A Fannie And Freddie For Food?

Posted on Sat 06/12/2010 by

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By Conn Carroll

Paul Krugman will forever deny Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s role in the housing bubble, but there is a reason Americans are now more skeptical of Washington than ever. But the Obama administration does not care what Americans think. Instead they want to do for food what Fannie and Freddie did for housing. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website reports:

As part of the President’s proposed FY 2011 budget, the Administration announced a new program – the Healthy Food Financing Initiative — a partnership between the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Agriculture and Health and Human Services which will invest $400 million a year to provide innovative financing to bring grocery stores to underserved areas and help places such as convenience stores and bodegas carry healthier food options. … Through these initiatives and private sector engagement, the Administration will work to eliminate food deserts across the country within seven years.

Because that is what the grocery industry needs: the federal government as a business partner. What could go wrong? After all, agriculture subsidies have done such wonders for farming.

And just what is the problem crying out for a government takeover of the grocery industry? What are these “food deserts” the Obama administration speaks of? Let’s Move again:

More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods that are more than a mile from a supermarket. These communities, where access to affordable, quality, and nutritious foods is limited, are known as food deserts.

People have to walk all of one mile to get to a supermarket? That is what qualifies as a “food desert”?

This is, yet again, an  Obama administration government takeover solution in search of a problem.

Conn Carroll is the Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at The Heritage Foundation and is also an Editor at The Foundry.

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