The “farm bill” affects all Americans, not just farmers. After all, everyone eats and wants affordable food to feed their families. Yet as is typical, the House and Senate generally ignore the needs of consumers who buy food and the taxpayers who pay the subsidies that are transferred to wealthy agribusinesses.
Especially with record federal budget deficits, Congress should be finding ways to save money and avoid waste. Regrettably, that’s not the case. To put it in context, President Barack Obama has proposed to cut almost three times as much in agriculture spending as the House and Senate “food stamp/farm bills” bills do.
Both the House and Senate would add costly new agriculture programs. They would maintain programs, such as the sugar program, that drive up prices for consumers and cost jobs for Americans. For example, The Wall Street Journal has recently reported on jobs going overseas due to the sugar program. The House and Senate bills would also force taxpayers to continue subsidizing international marketing by agricultural companies. While President Obama would make cuts to the most expensive agriculture program (crop insurance), the House and Senate bills would irresponsibly add new costs.
At least when it comes to agriculture spending, President Obama is far more fiscally responsible than Congress. That should embarrass anyone who claims to be a fiscal conservative.