News & Politics

U.S. to Spend $20M of Your Money on Cheese ... to Raise the Price of Your Cheese

Barack Obama’s administration can’t get anything right. Its latest brilliance is the decision to drop $20 million in taxpayer money to buy 11 million pounds of currently stockpiled cheese in an effort to boost dairy prices for American farmers.

Of course, dairy prices were already rebounding, anyway.

Which means there’s probably just a dairy crony in D.C. somewhere with an excellent lobbying team, and they just stole 20 million bucks:

The Department of Agriculture plans to buy $20 million of stockpiled cheese to distribute to food banks and pantries nationwide in an attempt to stem farmer losses after dairy prices plummeted amid a global milk glut earlier this year.

The purchase of about 11 million pounds of cheese, which the USDA reported Tuesday in a statement, comes in addition to $11.2 million in subsidies for dairy producers announced earlier this month. A dairy lobbying group had asked for as much $150 million in cheese purchases.

“We understand that the nation’s dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the statement.

A combination of plentiful supply and flagging global demand has put farmers on the back foot in recent years. Some American dairy cooperatives had so much milk this spring they were forced to dump tens of millions of pounds.

So what’s the big deal, right? After all, American dairy farmers could use the boost and it’s not like the cheese is going to go to waste.

Well, to start with, dairy farmers were already looking at higher returns:

Yet more recently, producers in some parts of the country have seen premiums on the open market as food manufacturers struggle to purchase enough milk. Declining corn and soybean prices also mean lower feed costs for farmers.

Overall, 2016 dairy margins will shake out close to the five-year average and increase in 2017, encouraging modest expansion within the industry, said Bill Brooks, a Dearborn, Missouri-based dairy economist at INTL FCStone. Futures prices for Class III milk — a category of the commodity used to make cheese — has rebounded 45 percent since hitting at a six-year low in May in Chicago. That’s reduced the need for federal aid, said Marin Bozic, a dairy economist at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

We should be thankful it’s only $20 million. The original request was for $150 million.

The Obama administration is taking taxpayer money to boost prices that are already rising.

Our money is being spent to make us pay more. Only a Democrat could think of such brilliance.

The fact that the food will be donated to food banks doesn’t help all that much — as it makes it that much more difficult for average Americans to be able to make their own donations. After all, they’re having to pay more for their own milk and cheese.

Thanks, Democrats.