The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 5/23/8

President Bush has vowed to veto any version of the farm bill as it now stands, calling it “wasteful,” and Mississippi’s senior Sen. Thad Cochran is standing against him.

But Cochran, the senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, says the bill “strikes a careful balance” in funding. Among the two Republicans, both avowed fiscal conservatives, who is right?

It should come as no surprise that despite Bush’s rhetoric, Cochran – who has been advising presidents for decades about the intricacies of the farm economy – is right.

No one would dispute that there aren’t aspects to U.S. farm policy in need of reform – with some of the worst waste in Bush’s home state of Texas, as “Harvesting Cash,” The Washington Post’s yearlong investigation into wasteful spending revealed (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/01/AR2006070100962_pf.html).