NATIONAL TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP APPLAUDS MILK MARKET ORDER RULING | Citizens Against Government Waste

NATIONAL TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP APPLAUDS MILK MARKET ORDER RULING

Press Release

For Immediate Release   Contact:  Jim Campi
December 9, 1997(202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) applauds a ruling by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty that requires Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to reform the nation’s dairy pricing system by February 15, 1998.  CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz issued the following statement in reaction to Friday’s ruling:

“I applaud Judge Doty for denying the Secretary of Agriculture an indefinite stay of the court’s earlier ruling enjoining the Secretary from enforcing existing Class I milk price differentials in most federal milk marketing order areas.  Had this request been granted, the Secretary would have been allowed to endlessly delay the badly-needed reform of antiquated milk market orders.

“Secretary Glickman should use this temporary stay to develop a plan to completely overhaul the Class I milk price differentials as well as significantly reform the entire federal milk marketing order system.  The Secretary must place a high priority on eliminating the milk price-distorting impact of Class I differentials.

“The original justification for these regional differentials is no longer valid.  For over a decade, differentials have been little more than a political bone thrown to dairy producers to increase producer profits in some regions of the country at the expense of less-politically connected regions.

“Federal milk market orders – particularly the Class I differentials – are responsible for increasing the price of milk by at least $1.5 billion annually.  This amounts to nothing more than a milk tax – and a very unfairly applied tax at that.  Since differentials range from as little as ten cents per gallon in some regions to as much as fifty cents per gallon in other regions, consumers in the higher differential regions get gouged significantly more than everybody else.  It is time to abolish this unfair consumer milk tax.”