I appreciate where Kevin Drum's coming from here, but I wouldn't want to give in 100 percent to farm subsidy fatalism. Back in the 1990s, a Clinton administration that was serious about policy and a Gingrich-led congressional GOP that was pretty serious about reducing spending, produced an okay farm bill. The Bush administration and the Bush era congressional leadership then went back on the okay parts of that bill and promulgated a terrible farm bill.
But things could have gone otherwise. Had Al Gore been President of the United States it's pretty likely that they would have gone otherwise. Had the Republican nominee been somewhat serious about public policy it's pretty likely that things would have gone otherwise. The current political moment in the United States isn't incredibly favorable to the sort of cross-partisan technocratic initiative that would produce a saner agricultural policy, but that can change and even right now things aren't hopeless.
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