You don't get to be the Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis and miss a chance to bang the drum for free market systems and smaller government. And, that is exactly the message coming out of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA) event this morning in Atlanta. Dr. Barry Asmus did not leave the faithful wanting as he railed on any sort of free trade barriers, public health options and leftist agendas. Oh my...
It was the "red meat" 90% of the membership yearned for..
One thing was missing from Dr. Asmus' 90 minute political/economic speech to nearly 300 people dependent on agriculture. What? U.S farm subsidies. He didn't take questions from the floor but as soon as he was finished speaking the "less government" disciples gathered around him for more.
The farm machinery people ringing Dr. Asmus looked stunned. It got very quiet.
Barry didn't miss a beat. "I am all for it!", he exclaimed. "There are enough hungry people in the world that if the United States halted farm programs tomorrow we would see the economics come into play and farmers would be fine." And then he really spoke the truth, "The trouble is, even the most conservative farmer, even those in my family who raise the GOP flag with their right hand take the cash with their left. When it comes to this issue people like to say the word, 'but'. As in, 'I am against handing out government money BUT I want my crop payment..."
It was enough to send shock waves through the 20+ people around him. Can you imagine what impact this might have on the congressional delegation from Iowa? Which of them might be the first to float that idea?
And, that is the problem with some of the "less government" ideas. Less is always good, unless "I" am getting less.
Barry Asmus was a great speaker and what he said gave many folks hope and heartburn. For sure it was reason to pause and think...even for just a bit.