Durbin: Man, the House GOP really ignored a “winning formula” with that separated farm bill
posted at 5:21 pm on July 15, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
…Uhm, except that almost everything you just said, precisely outlines why food stamps’ and agriculture subsidies’ decades-long marriage of convenience, isn’t a “winning formula.”
When it comes to the farm bill, twice now, the Senate has passed the farm bill by strong bipartisan votes… Now, they’ve stripped out food stamps. I listened to the explanation from Congressman Kelly; he wonders why so many are receiving assistance, SNAP, and food stamps. It’s because their wages and incomes are so low. They’re working, but they can’t afford to feed their children. Elderly people on Social Security not receiving enough to really keep food in the house. That is a problem we should face squarely. It isn’t a matter of defrauding the American taxpayers; it’s a reflection on the weakness in our economy for a lot of hardworking families. … For fifty years, we have had a partnership of those living in the cities who are interested in nutritional programs, whether it’s food stamps or school lunch, and those who represented rural areas, which I did in Congress, that came together in a farm bill. It was a winning formula. Now, the House Republicans have given up on that. That’s a mistake. … Separating out these two issues is not in the best interest of our country.
Absolutely, yes — I completely and emphatically agree that the current weaknesses in our economy are problems that “we should face squarely.” So, let’s face them, by addressing the actual problems instead of continuing to throw more and more money we don’t really have at them, which is in and of itself one of the problems. Providing more and more food stamps is going to accomplish exactly nothing to fix the problem of why people need food stamps in the first place, which largely comes down to our top-heavy federal bureaucracy handing down too many taxes, regulations, and market interferences for our economy to effectively recover and enter a phase of robust growth and well-paying employment opportunities.
Democrats’ opposition to the House’s version of an agriculture-only farm bill last week was based purely upon the decoupling of agriculture policy and food stamps into two separate bills, as their union normally helps assure an urban-rural coalition that means both measures receive unscrutinized passage — the precise type of unquestioned and omnibus spending that isn’t going to do anything in the long run to improve our economy nor our fiscal sustainability.