The House and the Senate are close to voting on their respective farm bills, and Republicans and Democrats in both chambers are already patting themselves on the back for what they have wrought. The new spending package claims to “cut” anywhere from $26 billion to $33 billion (depending on the version) from the Department of Agriculture budget over 10 years. But that’s chicken feed when compared to the nearly $1 trillion price tag for the full bill.
Even that minuscule savings is smoke and mirrors, though, because the bill increases spending 39 percent above the 2008 farm bill in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Furthermore, labeling the package a “farm” bill is an Orwellian misnomer. Close to 80 percent of it will fund programs like food stamps. Membership in the food stamp program, heartily encouraged under Barack Obama, has grown 70 percent since 2008.
Individual foodstamps recipients rose by 170K in March – just a whisker below all time highs – it was the number of American households on foodstamps, which rose to a new all time high of 23,116,441, that’s MILLIONS, (each collecting an average of $274.30 per month), not exactly evidence of an economy on the mend. The other 20 percent of the farm bill is riddled with earmarks completely unrelated to agriculture but that allow elected officials to tell their constituents that they’re bringing home the bacon and if that ain’t pork I don’t know what is!
“If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.”
Thomas Jefferson, Date 1821