Milk Prices To Spike In January – Another Reason To Hate Republicans

Author: December 21, 2012 6:20 pm

Milk Carton with face drawn on it and sign saying "I am the 2%: Occupy the Fridge

Got milk? If so, we hope you enjoy plenty of it with your holiday cookies, because when you see the higher milk prices in January, you might have a cow. According to Ron Nixon’s article in The New York Times, milk prices may rise to $6.00-$8.00 per gallon — more than double what we pay now — if congress fails to pass a new farm bill. Since the 113th congress barely even seems able to pass gas out of a paper bag, passage of a new farm bill seems highly unlikely. And — once again — America’s stubborn, cud-chewing Republican-led House of Representatives is to blame. The majority-Democrat Senate passed a new farm bill with bipartisan support back in July, but the House hasn’t managed to moo-ove their version out of committee.

Without new legislation, US farm programs automatically revert to what Nixon describes as “an antiquated 1949 farm law that would force Washington to buy milk at wildly inflated prices, creating higher prices in the dairy case.” The higher prices would reflect the higher relative costs of dairy production back in the 1940’s, when farmers milked their cows by hand.


Old photograph of little girl milking cow

And back then, we didn’t have no new-fangled electricity or refrigerators neither.

Amanda Peterson Beadle reports for Think Progress that the trouble started when the (GOP-led) House allowed the previous farm bill — The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 — to expire in back in September. This wide-ranging “omnibus” legislation governs billions of dollars in agricultural, alternative energy, and energy conservation subsidies, in addition to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and other food assistance programs, which account for 80% of the 2008 farm bill’s budget (according to Wikipedia).

It is strange that conservative Republicans so strongly oppose passing a law that would renew the 2008 farm bill, considering that the 2008 farm bill extended the 2002 farm bill, both signed by former President George W. Bush. One of the few good things Bush II ever did was to revamp the inefficient and humiliating food stamps program, expand it to the working poor, and popularize it as SNAP which distributes benefits through convenient (and less stigmatizing) debit cards. This, of course, does not exonerate Bush II and his fellow Republicans from enacting the policies that have forced so many of us to rely on food stamps to begin with.

It seems unnecessarily cruel that our House of Representatives keeps promoting policies intended to make most Americans poorer, while rolling back programs and tax exemptions that give middle class and low-income people a helping hand.


Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, friend her on facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

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2 Comments

  • Milk’s not good for anyone anyway … too many Growth Hormones and Antibiotics from Monsanto … no great loss in my book …

    • I agree with you in theory, TurboKitty … Alas, nothing else works with coffee & hot cocoa for me (though I don’t use milk for anything else) … but I still don’t delude myself into thinking it’s “healthy.” To me, milk is an indulgence. And it’s scary how so much advertising promotes milk as “healthy” — especially for kids — when, really, kids don’t need milk past age 3 or 4.

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