Milk prices likely to climb in New Year
The Kansas City Star
Parents with children have to be looking quite nervously at milk in the refrigerator sections of grocery stores right now.
The price in the New Year is expected to rise from an average of $3.65 a gallon to $6 to $8 a gallon if Congress fails to pass a new farm bill, The New York Times reports.
With the dysfunction we’ve seen in Washington the last few years, don’t bet the farm on lawmakers coming to an agreement on this Truman-era farm policy.
Without action, the government would have to stick with a 1949 farm law that would result in Washington buying milk at inflated prices based on farm production costs 64 years ago. It’s “to maintain a stable milk market.”
But it would be anything but stable for consumers. Pinched by milk prices, people will likely cut back on that commodity.
Other food prices such as cheese, bakery goods and other milk-based products would likely also rise, nickel-and-diming consumers even more. None of it would be good for the staggering U.S. economy.
And then there is that lingering problem of the fiscal cliff with expiring tax cuts and automatic government spending cuts. Consumers will feel deeper slices taken out of their paychecks — those who remain employed.