Sushi Rice, Catfish, and Other Farm Bill Winners

sushiCredit: Michael Kappel / photo on flickrThe $1 trillion farm bill is working its way though Congress (well, it has been doing so for the last two years), and this round of revisions contains some new winners in the always-contentious race to gobble up taxpayer dollars:

Tucked deep in the 629-page U.S. House agriculture policy legislation is an initiative to guarantee prices for sushi rice. So too is insurance for alfalfa and a marketing plan for Christmas trees.

Catfish farmers also get a morsel in the proposal being taken up this week: profit-margin insurance. The products represent a tiny fraction of the $440 billion U.S. farm economy. Yet each is slated to receive special treatment—either through subsidized insurance, promotional programs or protections against imports—in the bill that carries an estimated 10-year price tag of $939 billion.

From the cellar.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sushi Rice has no business being in that farm bill. Not after those Benghazi talking points.

  • SIV||

    FTW!

  • Pro Libertate||

    So, um, will this make sushi cheap? Stay strong, libertarian principles!

  • ||

    It's not going to do a damn thing to make sashimi cheap, that's for sure.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was thinking this was the first step in totally subsidized sushi. Obviously, government sushi will suck, but we could take sushi vouchers to private sushi providers.

  • ||

    You'd love that, wouldn't you. Go eat your octopus and your whitefish somewhere else!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Come on, feel the temptation of free maguro.

  • ||

    I prefer otoro, hamachi, and uni, you tasteless buffoon.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Can't stand uni, but I'm listening on the otoro. Free otoro. . .all you need to do is surrender and love the state.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Have you had fugu? If not, would you?

  • ||

    Of course I would have fugu. And it totally doesn't surprise me that you don't like uni. You are the guy that puts cheese whiz on his French onion soup after all.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I tried to like it, but it just galls me.

    Let me know when you're going to have fugu. I want to talk to the chef first.

  • ||

    I prefer otoro, hamachi, and uni, you tasteless buffoon.

    What about the lowly shimesaba???

  • ||

    Shimesaba is ok but boring. But ankimo: delicious.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Would California rolls be subsidized too?

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, those would be government-issued. Like government cheese.

  • ||

    California rolls are certainly shitty enough to be compared to government cheese.

  • Pro Libertate||

    My thinking exactly.

  • ||

    I've never had it, but I suspect you don't want any catfish sashimi.

  • Drake||

    I keep hoping they will make the government cheap. This bill sure won't do that.

  • Brandon||

    Cheap? Do you want sushi farmers to starve? There will be price floors to protect these poor, subsidized farmers.

  • ||

    "We must slaughter fish to drive up the price of sushi... Why? Wickard v. FYTW!"

  • ||

    That Benihanas? You didn't build that!

  • PapayaSF||

    The Gingrich House started a process to end farm subsidies, but somehow they came back, vampire-like.

  • ||

    But vampires really can be dispatched. However, there is no wooden stake big enough for concentrated benefits, dispersed costs, and political ignorance...

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Senate was a mistake.

  • ||

    I think 80% of the farm bill is slated to go for food stamps. Say what you want about sushi and catfish. Food stamps and ethanol are what is killing us.

  • SIV||

    Gettin' welfare checks for your dependent pine trees?

  • Robert||

    You can't even buy ethanol with food stamps!

  • DaveAnthony||

    Once the government begins guaranteeing the price of sushi rice, they can begin buying up surplus and using it for the school lunch program.

    PINK SLIME ROLLS!

  • Robert||

    You want that with soy sauce, wasabi, or blue Teddy? An artifact I suppose of deadlines and stock photo (or in this case Flickr) indexing.

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