The Minneapolis Star Tribune explains how the failure of Rep. Kristi Noem to pass a real Farm Bill is just one more Republican cave-in to the rich and powerful:
A truer and more alarming way to view the one-year extension of a scaled-down version of the 2008 farm bill included in the deal is that Congress catered to the interests of rich and powerful corporate operations. They'll receive subsidies they don't need and increased exemption from estate taxes, which tightens their grip on land ownership. Congress also degraded the conservation, environmental, energy and organics programs assailed by Big Ag.
The measure is a giant step in the wrong direction. While Americans are relieved that milk prices won't skyrocket, they should be fuming that Congress has agreed to continue shelling out about $5 billion in annual subsidies to producers whether or not they grow crops or even need the money. The subsidies largely benefit the most prosperous operations at a time when many are experiencing spikes in farm incomes and land values. At the same time, livestock producers smarting from the high cost of feed will continue to be squeezed [editorial, "Farm Policy Made Worse," Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2012.01.04].
With obvious problems and obvious solutions staring her in the face, Congresswoman Kristi Noem just keeps calling her donors, ignoring her job, and letting her Republican bosses rape the land and the Treasury for the pleasure of rich subsidy takers like her own family.