This letter of mine  is published in today’s edition of the Washington Times:
No farm bill is best farm bill
Among the jobs of any secretary of agriculture is to portray the administration as smart, fiscally responsible and in awe of farmers’ goodness and wisdom. Secretary Chuck Conner tries to do his duty in “Farmers deserve better” (Commentary, yesterday).
But those of us who don’t work for the Beltway circus should ignore the corny debate over the relative merits of the Bush administration’s offensively expensive farm bill against those of Congress’ obscenely expensive alternative bill.
We should instead tell our “leaders” that the best farm bill is no farm bill. There is no sound reason for government to subsidize farmers or to protect them from foreign competitors. Any farmer or rancher too incompetent to produce food that consumers pay for voluntarily should find other employment.
DONALD J. BOUDREAUX
Department of Economics
George Mason University