The lead editorial in today's Buffalo News -- "Change farm subsidies" -- applauds the part of President Obama's budget that would significantly change the way the U.S. Department of Agriculture spends its money. Less on subsidies paid to mega-farms for fattening grains. More on infrastructure to help sustainable farms for fruit, vegetables and preserved soil.
It would be a major step toward ending the Depression-era farm programs that have, over time, shifted more and more to favor large agribusiness operations that produce a few crops at the expense, not only of the overstressed taxpayer and the overtaxed soil, but also of all the other farmers who grow different crops or operate at a smaller, more sustainable, scale.
The second -- "Pay at the pump" -- plays with, and finally rejects, the already withdrawn brainstorm from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to pay for highways with a tax on miles driven rather than motor fuel purchased.
We could put GPS transponders in every car and truck, linking them to the satellite network and measuring how far every vehicle drives in a month. ... That would not only be expensive to implement, it would exceed the tolerance most Americans will show for personal information to be known to the government.
Today's My View contribution, from Julie Ottaway Schmit [right], touchingly explains why the airliners that fly over her home in Clarence Center have gotten much louder recently.
George F. Will praises attempts by Democrats to limit the ability of presidents to make security decisions without congressional oversight. He only hopes they squirm a little now that there's a Democrat in the White House.
Froma Harrop hopes that the new administration's plan to welcome scientific research will stop, and reverse, the brain drain the U.S. suffered during the Bush years.
-- George Pyle/Editorial Writer