Cowed by the Dairymen

American dairy farmers, it seems, have been extraordinarily successful at milking the Treasury as well as their herds. Although the total number of dairy cows has gone steadily up since 1979 and milk output has swollen accordingly, the Government's generosity makes it profitable for farmers to produce still more. One unhappy result: the Government is holding almost 17 billion lbs. of surplus "milk equivalent"—mounds of milk, butter and cheese—in warehouses and caves around the country under a price-support program that cost taxpayers $2.5 billion in fiscal 1983.

Last week the House approved a radical approach to the problem. By a vote of...

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