Food Stamps for Rich Corporations?

The Senate has passed a spending bill of almost a trillion dollars! But you would never know this to look at the news. The propaganda arm of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tells us: “The US farm bill is a multi-billion dollar piece of legislation that controls the federal government’s spending on farm subsidies.” True, because spending almost a trillion dollars over the next decade does indeed require multiples of billions of dollars.

Why not let food be produced by the private sector without adding still more to the national debt? As strange as it is that Congress is even considering it, the reason why the bill has not yet been passed in the House is even stranger. According to AgriNews:

“The failure of Congress to pass the farm bill can be placed directly at the feet of Republicans in the House, according to the second-most powerful member of the U.S. Senate.
“Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and assistant Senate majority leader, said . . . that the Republican House majority is holding the bill hostage because of differences with their Senate colleagues over cuts to the federal food stamp program.”

Of course, the story tries to make readers think that the Senate version is economically responsible.

Eleven Republican senators joined Democrats to pass the Senate version of the bill, which Durbin said saves $23 billion over five years. The bill reduces spending in a number of areas, such as nutrition, direct payments and food stamps.

Right. By “saves,” the story means that someone floated a plan to spend $23 billion more and then decided not to. No real money is cut at all. This is just another instance of what Rep. Paul Ryan calls “fiscal fantasy” when he suggested that Congress might as well invent “cuts” by passing a bill to cover the moon in yogurt.

You have to wonder why the House is getting hung up on the measly amount going to food stamps. The fact is that the whole bill is nothing but “food stamps” for millionaires. As pointed out by the Cato Institute:

“Farm businesses have thrived in recent years due to high crop prices. In 2011 real farm incomes were the third highest in the last 50 years. And Census data for 2010 show that average farm household income was $84,400, or 25 percent higher than the $67,530 average of all U.S. households. Farmers simply don’t need tens of billions of dollars a year of taxpayer hand-outs.

“Despite what politicians say, most farm subsidies don’t go to small family farms. The largest 10 percent of recipients receive more than two-thirds of all farm subsidies, according to the Environmental Working Group. Numerous large corporations and even some wealthy celebrities receive farm subsidies because they are the owners of farmland.”

These people need subsidies? I don’t think so. Adding another trillion dollars in debt over the next decade is insane. Forget quibbling over food stamps, the whole bill needs to be gutted.