Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wasteful farm bill passes US Senate

The Senate on Monday passed a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that expands government subsidies for crop insurance, rice and peanuts while making small cuts to food stamps.

This is terrible and is government cronyism at its (usual) worst.

Some notes:

1.  Just to put in perspective: $500 billion over 5 years is $100 billion a year.  Given our population, that works out to almost $300 for every man, woman, and child in the country.  If you only want to consider taxpayers, it is far more than $300.  With legislation like this, is it any wonder why we keep running massive deficits?

2. This has bipartisan support.  While the Republican Senator of PA, Pat Toomey, voted against this, both Republicans and Democrats have a terrible history of supporting wasteful farm spending.  

3. This line is ridiculous:

Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said the bill would support 16 million American jobs, save taxpayers billions and ...

This is similar rubbish to what is found in poorly conducted/biased economic impact studies.  This won't increase jobs and won't save taxpayers money relative to having no farm bill.

4.  Much of this goes with the bloated food stamps program.  People who get food stamps, in my opinion:

A. Should not be allowed to buy steak.  If you can buy steak, you don't need food stamps.
B. Should not be on cigarettes or drugs.  See justification for A.
C. Should not be spending any money on cable/satellite television, cell phones, etc.  See justification for A.

Before we steal money from one person to give another person food stamps, we should put in these common sense restrictions.

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