A leading voice for Texas agriculture producers is making a familiar case against one of the conservative movement’s foremost think tanks.
Gene Hall, spokesman for the Texas Farm Bureau argues that the “once … storied think tank” Heritage Foundation has traded its formerly-reliable contributions to the national discourse with a dogmatic stance that suggests absolute free market principles will guide the American farmer to greener pastures.
“Today’s foundation is about stamping out any notion that government could contribute to the national good,” Hall states. “Their opposition to crop insurance is just that kind of flat earth thinking.”
The Texas Farm Bureau’s latest message in full context can be heard, below.
Hall notes that despite the significant wealth creation credited to free market principles in other industries, the American farmer exists in “a global market now”—pitted against foreign competitors that benefit from government stockpile programs and subsidies.
Carefully-polled talking points derived from Capitol Hill white papers mean little to an independent farmer—much less a grocery shopper on a budget, Hall warns.
“Rigid ideology has no place in a national food security discussion.”
Breitbart Texas contributor and KRFE-AM Lubbock talk show host Jay Leeson previously reported on the Heritage Foundation and its political action arm’s record of scapegoating the Farm Bill as a means to demonstrate fiscal conservatism.
The growing rural impression is that Heritage-approved politicians seem dead-set against the national security of accessible, affordable and domestically produced food and fiber, because it’s not “conservative.”
And yet, even with American farmers sloping further into crisis, Heritage attacks with a hostility of such vast ideological acreage that it makes the Midwest seem small by comparison. Advancing to eliminate what’s left of farm policy, particularly commodity policy and crop insurance programs.
Leeson added that Heritage touted a 2002 international trade agreement before the World Trade Organization that effectively terminated American cotton subsidy programs.
Groups outside of farming—way outside of farming— are displeased that the Brazil consequences weren’t harsher on the American farmer.
One such group is the Heritage Foundation.
The history of American agriculture is a continuous feud with capitalized Eastern U.S. establishment groups that guise betrayal of the country’s interests with expressions of fealty to “the market” (e.g., opposition to railroad antitrust legislation, Rural Electrification Administration, farm credit system, cooperatives in the Capper-Volstead Act, etc).
It’s from this history that the contemporary conflict between rural America and Potomac think tanks like Heritage emerges— an economic confrontation pitting academic ideologues in urban towers against practitioners of frugality out in the country.
The Texas Farm Bureau bills itself as the “voice for Texas agriculture”, claiming more than 500,000 member-families in the Lone Star State.
Logan Churchwell is the Assistant Editor and a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.