Why scrap WIC instead of reforming it?

By Megan McArdle

Well, if you've got a magic secret bullet for derailing the farm lobby, please get down to the Republican Congressional leadership's offices pronto and help them stop the vile travesty of a farm bill that's about to be passed.

Short of that, it's really hard--nearly impossible--to alter programs in such a way as to take away benefits from a key constituency.

So I propose a two step program for reforming WIC:

1) Build a new program that actually does something useful. Let it accumulate bureaucratic power, hopefully under another agency than the USDA.

2) Have it assimilate WIC. It's well known that a bureaucracy can only be killed by another, more powerful bureaucracy.

But I doubt WIC itself will ever be any good. It's been thoroughly captured by the farm lobby.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/05/why-scrap-wic-instead-of-reforming-it/3462/