Himes touted a set of agriculture-related cuts, which he said would save $469 million in 2011 and as much as $6 billion over the next ten years. His target list included ending subsidies that help cotton and peanut producers cover their commodity storage costs and nixing grants to makers of worsted wool fabrics.
Budget hawks say many of these proposals have been tried before and gone nowhere, and there's little to suggest this year will be any different. "These cuts are a lot easier said than done," said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates for responsible fiscal policies. "The interests that fought to get them into the budget are going to fight like heck to keep them there."
As for whether these cuts seemed to be more political posturing than substantive legislating, Bixby said such efforts were important and could eventually lead to fruition, albeit probably not in this Congress. But, he added, "it doesn't take a lot of political courage for a congressman from Connecticut to go after cotton subsidies."