Cop-outs, bailouts

Rep. Tim Huelskamp is proud he stood up to members of his own party who tried to pursue productive compromise, even if in doing so he lost the ability to most effectively represent his constituents on agricultural issues.

Wouldn't it be nice if he displayed the same moral integrity and dissociated himself from the gun and dirty-energy lobbies, among others?

Standing firm for destructive principles is no virtue.

Agriculture is indeed a major issue upon which we Kansans need national representation. So it's ironic that some of those who loudly lamented the feds' one-time auto industry bailout are now despairing over a possible fiscal-cliff demise of the Farm Bill, the name given to a perpetual federal bailout of the farm industry.

Farmers and ranchers, like many entrepreneurs, must be gamblers. Even those who are most proficient can be undone by the whims of nature. Many capable business people face similar uncertainties beyond their control.

Had the auto industry imploded -- whatever the reason -- the ripple effects would've been devastating to the overall economy. If the farm bailout stops, the consequences could be downright catastrophic.

So, is federal subsidy a sin only when some interest group other than our own is the direct beneficiary?

Or is big government sometimes, after all, a necessary part of the solution?

Jon Hauxwell