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1998 Ron Paul Chapter 23

Introduction Of The Rice Farmer Fairness Act

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5 March 1998
HON. RON PAUL
OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, March 5, 1998


1998 Ron Paul 23:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am today introducing the Rice Farmers Fairness Act H.R. 3339. This legislation would condition the continuation of farm subsidies on the maintenance of rice production. The 1996 Freedom to Farm Act allows for the continuation of subsidies to landowners who discontinue tenant rice farming on their land. In essence, this means that the subsidy will continue to flow in spite of an end to production.

1998 Ron Paul 23:2
Theoretically, the idea of the plan is to “wean” landowners off of subsidies over a transition period. In fact, what this program allows are “something for nothing” subsidies, which is the worst kind of subsidy. Moreover, as a result of this provision there is a very real threat to the agricultural infrastructure. With landowners receiving subsidies in spite of lack of production, the entire warehousing, processing and “value-added” industries are put at risk.

1998 Ron Paul 23:3
As grain elevators, processors and others see a reduction in demand for their services because of the diminution of production permitted by this legislation they have a disincentive to continue to provide said services, services which must remain in place in order for those who remain in production to be able to bring to market the rice which they continue to produce. Thus, by way of the decimation of the infrastructure, this subsidy to non-producers comes at the expense of those who continue to produce rice. Therefore, the provisions of the Freedom to Farm Act which provide this subsidy actually amount to another form of federal welfare, taking from producers and giving to non-producers.

1998 Ron Paul 23:4
My legislation is very simple and direct in dealing with this problem. It says that those who had tenant rice farmers producing rice when they began to receive this subsidy must continue to maintain rice in their crop rotation if they wish to retain the subsidy. In this way, we can remove the perverse incentive which the Federal Government has provided to landowners to exit the rice business and thereby put the entire rice infrastructure at risk.

1998 Ron Paul 23:5
America’s rice farmers are among the most efficient, effective producers of rice in the world despite the many hurdles erected by Washington. Our rice producers can compete with anyone absent such hurdles and this bill will help remove one. In order to enhance our competitive position, we should also end our embargoes of other nations which would like access to rice produced in America. Further we should eliminate the burdensome taxes regulations on America’s farmers to insure increased market access and a healthy farming community in the these United States.
Note:

1998 Ron Paul 23:5 Ungrammatical Further we should eliminate the burdensome taxes regulations on America’s farmers to insure increased market access and a healthy farming community in the these United States. perhaps should be Further we should eliminate the burdensome taxes levied on America’s farmers to insure increased market access and a healthy farming community in the these United States. or even Further we should eliminate the burdensome tax regulations on America’s farmers to insure increased market access and a healthy farming community in the these United States.

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