President Bush’s budget proposal threatens the livelihoods of family farmers, ranchers and rural America by spending more than $30 billion less than was approved as part of the 2002 Farm Bill.

The 2002 Farm Bill has been a good piece of legislation, saving $23 billion due to its reliance on a safety net that only paid producers when prices were low. Now, in addition to removing this $23 billion from agriculture spending, the administration has proposed an additional cut of $9.4 billion.

Adding insult to injury was Secretary Johann’s recent 2007 Farm Bill proposal to rely on decoupled payments – paying farmers, regardless of the price at the marketplace, instead of relying on the counter-cyclical approach that saved so much. We’ve been there before and know that it won’t work.