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Over The Cliff We Go!

What might be more important is the Dairy Cliff
milk cliff
Dateline Washington: Tuesday, 1 J
anuary 2013, Zero Dark Thirty

The masterminds in the Senate finally pass a measure regarding the fiscal cliff.  Of course it is to pull us up from the precipice not keep us from going over.  …they missed that one.

According to Fox News, “Early Tuesday morning, the Senate approved a scaled-down package aimed at halting historic tax hikes for most Americans and postponing across-the-board spending cuts, just hours after Congress missed a midnight deadline for action.

The Senate voted 89-8 in favor of the package, which was hastily pulled together after a late-night deal between White House and Senate Republican negotiators.”

That’s all well and good, but now it has to go to the House for their approval.  This thing seems like it is never going to end.  Well, really it’s not.  What our genius representatives did was come up with a band aid to put on the problem.

There is a little bill that no one is talking about because it plays better on mainstream TV to talk about taxing the rich, spending cuts or how the income tax rate is going up, or a host of other popular things related to the “fiscal cliff”. But this little bill, the 2008 farm bill, if not extended, will send us off the Dairy Cliff.

If something is not done (there is something addressing it in today’s measure) , you will see the price of milk double in 2013, hey that’s right now!  This farm bill doesn’t only cover milk, I’ll explain the cost jump in a minute, it also covers all kinds of stuff from food stamps to commodity price supports.

During the beginning of the great depression, Congress wrote up some legislation intended to stabilize food supplies and keep struggling farmers in business.  Congress is supposed to rewrite this thing every 5 years, obviously they missed the mark. They are timely when it comes to taking breaks and giving themselves a pay raise.  So if not extended or re-written, when expired, it’s back to the ‘30s or ‘40s.  Under the 1940s law, the government will buy milk from farmers at about twice of what it costs today.  And prices for us will follow.

It’s not only milk.  The next “cliff”, since everyone likes that word now, would likely be wheat.  In about March, the USDA would have to say, “Here’s what the price of wheat will be”.  Oh, I can’t wait!

There are other major things that not extending the bill will affect.  Food aid programs, (food stamps), renewable energy crap, crop insurance, organic agriculture, tax provisions on bio-fuels and a myriad of other stuff are all set to get shook up.  I’ll admit, in my opinion some of that stuff could go away.  I don’t think the tax payers should pay for many of the things we do.

So let’s say milk goes up in price to $7.00 and a loaf of bread costs $6.00.  What is that going to do to your family budget?  For me and my family, we just could not afford it.  Looks like it would be cheaper to buy a cow and start making bread ourselves.  Of course if the cost of wheat goes up that affects many more things than just bread.  You could expect food costs to rise across the board for everything.

I’m starting to think that those “end of the world” or “apocalypse” prepers might have been on the right track all along.  If I happened to have a few years of food storage in the basement or the good ‘ole bomb shelter, it sure would make it easier to buy $7.00 a gallon milk.

I’m not sure what to do.  If nothing is done, we could the rise in the cost of milk in as little time as a few weeks.  All the other increases will follow.  Just the possibility of higher prices could push up milk futures, thereby raising the costs to us.

I guess it’s up to lawmakers to keep from bringing the farm policy back from the 1940s.

Boy, do I hate the idea that the fate of my family’s food costs depend on a politician.

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