The House and Senate are considering farm bill legislation this week whose costs should raise red flags for all Americans. In fact, the House and Senate versions of the bill would cost far more than the Obama stimulus package.
The costs are just one example of how the farm bill ignores taxpayers, consumers, and virtually all Americans.
First of all, the “farm bill” is a misleading title. It’s more appropriately called the food stamp bill, since nearly 80 percent of the costs are connected to food stamps. By combining agriculture programs with food stamps, legislators have turned the food stamp bill into a political game where, every five years, Congress rubberstamps legislation that helps special interests at the expense of most Americans.
It’s well past time that the politics is taken out of the food stamp bill. There should be a separate food stamp bill and a separate agriculture-only farm bill. The legislation that the House and Senate are considering this week should concern all Americans. Massive new subsidies are added, and old subsidies are maintained or made even worse. The effect will be high costs to taxpayers and higher food prices for consumers.
Further, the government’s interference into farming and ranching practices will undermine the freedom that farmers should have when making critical agriculture decisions.