Proponents of Tighter Pay Limits and Eligibility Rules Are Too Busy Griping to Notice They Won

February 3, 2014
Everybody knows at least one person like that.
 
The person who on a picture perfect summer day, with good health and beautiful scenery to match, with not a want in the world, will still find something to complain about.
 
You know, a walking, talking, real-life version of Waylon Jennings’ Rainy Day Woman.
 
Well, the Farm Bill has its version too: the never satisfied, always wanting, tighter pay limits and eligibility rules crowd.
 
Forget all the ratcheting down and tightening of past Farm Bills, and just look only at what their demands were this time:
  • Must have Senator Grassley’s limit on Loan Deficiency Payments or Marketing Loan Gains. They got it.
  • Must have Senator Grassley’s total pay cap of $125,000. They got it.
  • Must have Senator Grassley’s actively engaged demands as laid out in a GAO report. They got it.
Yes, it is true that the Farm Bill only seeks to address the key problems identified in the GAO Report, and does so by giving directives to the experts at USDA to do so in a targeted way rather than just plying farm families with more red tape.
 
And, yes, it’s also true the Farm Bill didn’t impose caps within caps that would have put the new Farm Bill on par with a Farm Bill of nearly 20 years ago that fell apart in the middle of a collapse in the farm economy, resulting in the addition of some $30 billion in ad hoc assistance to stop the bleeding and a full-blown farm financial crisis.
 
So, the pay limit crowd won every single objective that they set out to win … but all they can do is gripe.
 
When it comes to the pay limits crowd, one might just say they ain’t happy unless they find something wrong and someone to blame. If it ain’t one thing it’s another one on the way.