business & economy bills 2008

Bills in Brief

Congress kicked off its year working on an economic stimulus plan, but it could get to other business-related bills left hanging from '07 later in the year.

Housing: With everyone blaming the subprime market for turning the economy sour, Congress started last year looking for ways to keep foreclosures to a minimum while taming the subprime market from future excess. It didn't get far, but this year the pressure is on to wrap up a series of bills introduced last year - from expanding federal loans to making it harder for brokers to sign off on risky loans. See our "Housing Jitters" page for more.

Food and Oil Futures: with gas and food prices on heady upswings, Congress is moving to tame commodities' future markets, which some believe are helping to nudge prices up.

farm bill

Bill in Brief

What's up

If you are tired of left against right, Republocrats vs. Demicans partisanship in Washington, the farm bill might be just the legislation for you. In fact, some would argue that that is the problem with the farm bill—it has something for everybody, and too much of it.

business bills 2007

Bills in Brief

The new Democratic Congress continues to work on business issues that dogged last year's Congress - at the same time as giving a Democratic twist to new and old issues.

farm subsidies

Issue in Brief

What’s up?

Farm subsidies - in the US and Europe - were at the center of the Doha round of global trade talks. While Doha may now be dead, farms subsidies continue to get attention at home as Congress gets ready to debate a farm bill, which is home to billions of dollars of support for farmers.



CitizenJoe's food facts offer tidbits on two longstanding debates on the science and economics of farming; subsidies and genetically modified foods. But first, a bit of the lay of the farmland...

Farms - General

  • How much we spend on food: $616 billion, or 13% of our out-of-pocket expenses (Census - 2003)

  • How much goes to farmers in net income: $75 billion, and as gross profit: $239 billion (the rest goes to processing, distributing, etc.) (USDA - 2005)

Big farm/Small farm (USDA - pdf)

how many there are - small, medium and large

Posted In