Totally Misguided Support for the Food Stamp and Farm Bill

Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that he would vote for the trillion-dollar food stamp and farm bill.  Though he has concerns with the bill, he stated that he will “vote for the farm bill to make sure the good work of the Agriculture Committee and whatever the floor might do to improve this bill gets to a conference.”

He thinks this will help bring about “the kind of changes that people want in our nutrition programs and our farm programs.” Moving the ball forward legislatively may be a good political strategy in Washington, but it is all but certain to result in bad policy (and thus bad politics). As Heritage has explained, the farm bill that the House has produced is dramatically flawed and beyond repair.

From our CEO Michael A. Needham:

Republicans retained control of the House to serve as a check on President Obama’s disastrous policies.  Advancing a nearly one trillion dollar food stamp and farm bill ignores that mandate.  Now is not the time to be locking in the President’s failed stimulus policies.

Sadly, the bill the House has produced is full of disastrous programs.  Heritage just identified 20 specific programs that are completely unjustified, which can be viewed here.

They explain:

The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on a $1 trillion package ofagriculture subsidies and welfare benefits that exemplifies warped federal policy. Within its 575 pages, the proposed Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act includes massive spending on food stamps, a bumper crop of insurance subsidies, and lots of conservation largesse.

But there are also a multitude of lesser-known programs that will inflate commodity prices, escalate risks, and expand the size and scope of government. 

From guaranteed income for peanut farmers, who have a “very strong” lobby in Washington D.C., to a Christmas tree tax, to multi-million dollar education programs to teach people candy, soda, and chips aren’t health foods, these programs are a massive and egregious waste of taxpayer money.

Check out Heritage’s blog for the list of 20 ridiculous (and ridiculously costly) “farm” bill programs.

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