Friday, January 16, 2009

An "Exclusive" House Ag Committee

Prof. Pollan has suggested making the House Ag committee "exclusive" (i.e., so important a member can only be on one).

Here's a piece which explains what's involved and why it may not work.

Another of his suggestions is separating nutrition (i.e., food stamps) and agriculture in the appropriations process, in order to facilitate cutting costly farm programs. He argues food stamps are safe in a Democratic Congress. Given his premises, I still think he's wrong--the food stamp/farm program linkage has, over the years, benefited both sides. Rural blue-dog Dems and Republicans, who once were deficit conscious and will return to that state at noon on Jan. 20, always oppose food stamps.

I too well remember my feelings in 1965, when it seemed liberals were destined to dominate forever. That dream quickly ended. Even though it's hard for young whippersnapper Dems to realize now, their dominance now will surely end, sooner or later. So I'd advise Pollan not to advocate structural changes now based on the assumption of a Democratic Congress.

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