Let me show you how corruption can work in Dizzy City.
- Collin Peterson is a Democratic Congressman from Minnesota; he is, by now, the Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee.
- Unsurprisingly, Rep. Peterson gets most of his corporate donations from the agricultural industry. Of interest here is the dairy industry. As you can see, over the years they’ve put a decent amount of change into his campaign coffers.
- Congress is trying to put a farm bill together again – and they’re having a bit of a problem: the Republicans in Congress want to put a brake on our current out-of-control spending on food stamps, and the Democrats refuse to reduce spending. Ever. As usual.
- Collin Peterson has a plan! …He wants his party’s chief ag crony (Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture*) to manipulate the rules in order to double milk prices.
- Yes, the Department of Agriculture can do that; in fact, they almost had to last year (short version: the federal government has mandated minimum milk prices that have never been updated in over sixty years; if implemented, the new mandatory prices promise to double the cost of milk. Even shorter version: Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an idiot).
- The ostensible idea is that the threatened rise in milk prices will convince Republican legislators that yes, Democratic legislators hate poor people just enough to be willing to risk an outbreak in various nasty dietary diseases, just to keep funding levels artificially high.
- But… there’s still a good deal of money to be made there, right, Collin Peterson? Even a couple of weeks of doubled prices on milk would probably translate into some serious cash. Pure profit for the dairy industry, too.
- So… doing well by doing ill, Congressman?
And these people still manage to sleep at night.
*Because apparently you can’t farm without a bureaucracy.