(Posted Wed. Mar 5th, 2014)
Yesterday, the White House released a proposed budget which has been deemed “dead upon arrival,” as budgets of this nature have been for many years now. Primarily important in its symbolism, the budget released by the Administration reflects current values but is highly unlikely to impact policy in the near future.
Notably, the budget proposed by the Administration is not likely to move forward for many reasons. Senate Democrats expressed they do not find a reason to pass a budget at this time as the agreement which Congress came to in December on the matter will be in place for two years. Additionally, the proposed budget does not contain traditional enticements to encourage bipartisan discussion.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) also plans to release his own budget for his committee to consider. While neither budget is likely to have immediate ramifications, the documents’ significance comes mainly from its expression of party priorities entering an election year.
The National Corn Growers Association does see cause for concern in the proposed cuts which would negatively impact American agriculture outlined in the budget released by President Obama. Proposing cuts to crop insurance and to food inspection budgets, the budget outlined by the Administration would lead to greater risk for farmers and higher prices for consumers.
The proposed cuts to crop insurance would come in the form of reductions to premium subsidies and also in funding cuts for crop insurance companies. These reductions are in direct opposition to policies passed only last month in the Farm Bill which support increased funding for crop insurance intended to help farmers minimize risk and provide economic stability for rural America. Notably, this legislation also provided tax payers’ savings through the elimination of direct payments.
Proposed cuts to food inspection spending would be accompanied by proposed fees for inspection paid by users in the budget outlined by the Administration. While the reduction would theoretically reduce tax payer spending on such programs, it would create additional costs for consumers by increasing the cost of getting food to market.