Food stamp reform must be done in order to cut bloated spending in Washington!!

Food stamp reform must be done in order to cut bloated spending in Washington!!

Farm Bill: A Response to President Obama

October 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm

In his recent remarks, President Obama made a push to get a new farm bill enacted by the end of the year.

Sound agriculture and food stamp policy should be the goal, not getting a farm bill done at all costs based on an artificial timeline. The House and Senate are going to conference on their flawed farm bills, making it unlikely that good policy will come out. It would be better to have an extension than to lock in five years of bad policy.

Good policy would free farmers and ranchers from government intervention and recognize that the agriculture sector is a prosperous and innovative sector of the economy. Food stamps would promote self-sufficiency by requiring work for able-bodied adults.

President Obama is absolutely right, though, when he also said policymakers should focus on the American people when it comes to the farm bill. However, the interests of the American people are not the focus when:

  • A new program would force taxpayers to cover minor losses for farmers (referred to as “shallow loss”). Even minor or routine business losses would be covered. The usual justification of the farm bill as a safety net would go out the window, as taxpayers would effectively be guaranteeing revenue for farmers.
  • Sugar and dairy programs would continue to manipulate supply, thereby driving up food prices. Ironically, even as food stamps are a major part of the farm bill debate, both farm bills would drive up food prices.
  • The Market Access Program forces taxpayers to spend around $200 million a year to help multinational companies and trade associations with their overseas marketing efforts. This includes such “important” endeavors as promoting organic hair products for dogs and hosting international wine tastings.
  • Marketing orders, which were created in 1937, seek to limit supplies of certain commodities. The raisin marketing order has received significant attention due to a recent United States Supreme Court case, Horne v. USDA. The government forces raisin farmers to turn over a significant percentage of their raisins in order to limit supply, sometimes without compensation.
  • The House and Senate bills increase the costs of crop insurance, the most expensive farm program. President Obama, on the other hand, would cut these costs by about $12 billion over 10 years.
  • The House bill would seek to impose the Christmas tree tax that was blocked by the Obama Administration.
  • The Senate bill would do almost nothing to address food stamp reform. Even the House bill fails to impose a mandatory work requirement, the heart of food stamp reform.

A farm bill should serve the interests of the American people. This first starts with taking politics out of the bill. By separating out food stamps from the agriculture programs, these critical issues could be considered on their own merits. Otherwise, the unholy alliance of rural legislators (who tend to support agriculture programs) and urban legislators (who tend to support food stamps) helps to get a bill through without proper review or a chance at real reform.

Regardless of whether it is done this year or down the road, the next farm bill shouldn’t keep the status quo. Agriculture policy should reflect the realities of 2013, not 1933, and it shouldn’t be based on policies that would have made a Soviet central planner blush. It’s past time for legislators who claim to be in favor of free markets to apply those same beliefs to agriculture as they would for any other industry.

Related posts:

Open letter to President Obama (Part 432) A suggestion to cut some wasteful spending out of the government Part 2 (includes editorial cartoon)

(Emailed to White House on 3-15-13.) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is […]

Dear Senator Pryor, here are some spending cut suggestions (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Senator Pryor pictured below:  Why do I keep writing and email Senator Pryor suggestions on how to cut our budget? I gave him hundreds of ideas about how to cut spending and as far as I can tell he has taken none of my suggestions. You can find some of my suggestions here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here, and  here, and they […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 430) A suggestion to cut some wasteful spending out of the government Part 1 (includes editorial cartoon)

(Emailed to White House on 3-15-13.) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is […]

The Dysfunction in Washington is Republicans and Democrats that are unwilling to cut spending in order to vote for more programs (Democrats want more food stamps etc but Republicans vote for their pet programs and wars too like No Child Left Behind Act, the Iraq war, the prescription drug entitlement, and the TARP bailout).

The Dysfunction in Washington is Republicans and Democrats that are unwilling to cut spending in order to vote for more programs (Democrats want more food stamps etc but Republicans vote for their pet programs and wars too like No Child Left Behind Act, the Iraq war, the prescription drug entitlement, and the TARP bailout). If […]

Dear Senator Pryor, here are some spending cut suggestions (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Senator Pryor pictured below:  Why do I keep writing and email Senator Pryor suggestions on how to cut our budget? I gave him hundreds of ideas about how to cut spending and as far as I can tell he has taken none of my suggestions. You can find some of my suggestions here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here, and  here, and they […]

If you want to cut wasteful spending then the disability program must be reformed radically!!!

If you want to cut wasteful spending then the disability program must be reformed radically!!! October 7, 2013 1:19PM 60 Minutes Disability Investigation By Chris Edwards Share The abuse and overspending in government disability programs is so bad that even National Public Radio and 60 Minutes have taken notice. On the heels of this excellent […]

If you really want to cut wasteful spending then why not shut down Dept of Housing and Urban Development, Dept of Education and SBA?

If you really want to cut wasteful spending then why not shut down Dept of Housing and Urban Development, Dept of Education and SBA? There are many other areas that should be cut but these should be shut down!!!   October 7, 2013 4:57PM Close Washington to Dismantle the Welfare-Warfare State By Doug Bandow Share […]

Dear Senator Pryor, here are some spending cut suggestions (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Senator Pryor pictured below:  Why do I keep writing and email Senator Pryor suggestions on how to cut our budget? I gave him hundreds of ideas about how to cut spending and as far as I can tell he has taken none of my suggestions. You can find some of my suggestions here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here, and  here, and they […]

We need to stop wasteful government spending by privatizing the post office!!

We need to stop wasteful government spending by privatizing the post office!! Postal Service Won’t Shut Down but Will Default on Its Debt James Gattuso October 1, 2013 at 9:30 am Newscom The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) defaulted on its debt last night. No, it has nothing to do with the partial shutdown of the […]

We need to stop the stupid spending by Bureaucrats!!!

We need to stop the stupid spending by Bureaucrats!!!   Bureaucrats Gone Wild: Government Spends Recklessly as Fiscal Year Ends Rob Bluey September 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm Credit: Tetra Images/Newscom Washington’s reckless spending is driving America into debt — and yet federal bureaucrats continue their wasteful and frivolous ways. The latest example comes courtesy […]

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: