Exclude DMSP from Farm Bill | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Exclude DMSP from Farm Bill

Letters to Officials

May 7, 2013

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Representative,

In the coming weeks, both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are expected to mark-up versions of the Farm Bill.  It is widely expected that these bills will include the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP) that was proposed during the 112th Congress.  On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our organizations, we urge you to oppose all efforts to include the DMSP as part of the Farm Bill.

The U.S. dairy market is a complex tangle of subsidies and price supports.  One example is the current Dairy Product Price Support Program that has the USDA purchase dairy products in order to keep milk prices artificially high.  By interfering in dairy markets, this program has unnecessarily raised prices of dairy products for consumers and has made our dairy exporters less competitive and reliable, limiting industry and job growth.  The price support program has a long history of wasteful spending as the USDA has often ended up with piles of rapidly deteriorating powdered milk and cheese.  Nearly everyone agrees that it is time for the price support program to be eliminated.

Unfortunately for taxpayers, the Farm Bill proposes to replace milk price supports with the DMSP, a program that will result in more frequent and more intrusive government manipulation of milk prices and markets.  Instead of being triggered only occasionally, the DMSP will be in effect whenever dairy farmer profit margins decline, up to 40 percent of the time according to one study.   Like price supports, the DMSP would manage both supply and demand for milk in order to keep prices artificially high.  Consumers will pay even more for dairy products, government funds will be wasted on dairy purchases, and dairy industry and job growth will be stunted.  Taxpayers and consumers can visit YourMilkMoney.org for more information on the issue.

After last year’s failed effort to reform America’s outdated agriculture policies, the 2013 Farm Bill must not include the same mistaken provisions.  At a time when all Americans, not just farmers, are experiencing financial hardships in a sluggish economy, taxpayers and consumers simply cannot afford to prop up a single industry.  We urge you to resist all efforts to include the DMSP in the Farm Bill.  Instead of adding more layers of government regulation with the DMSP, we urge that you instead support the deregulation of milk markets so that dairy can resemble other competitive industries across the country.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Pete Sepp
Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union

Grover Norquist
President
Americans for Tax Reform

Andrew Moylan
Outreach Director and Senior Fellow
R Street

Andrew Roth
Vice President of Government Affairs
The Club for Growth

Stephen Ellis
Vice President
Taxpayers for Common Sense

Matt Kibbe
President and CEO
FreedomWorks

Mattie Duppler
Executive Director
Cost of Government Center

Fran Smith
Adjunct Fellow, Trade and Agriculture
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Phil Kerpen
President
American Commitment

John Tate
President
Campaign for Liberty

David Williams
President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Timothy H. Lee
Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs
Center for Individual Freedom

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