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A Bumper Crop of Food Stamps
Heritage Foundation ^ | 5/25/2013

Posted on 05/25/2013 12:12:20 PM PDT by IbJensen

(Cartoon by Glenn Foden)

Where do food stamps come from?

They come from taxpayers—certainly not from family farms. Yet the “farm” bill, a recurring subsidy-fest in Congress, is actually 80 percent food stamps and other government nutrition programs.

The food stamps sweeten the farm deal for lawmakers, who admit that the combination works for their political purposes. As Heritage experts Daren Bakst and Diane Katz explain:

The food stamp portion creates a reason for urban representatives to support farm subsidies, and for farm-state lawmakers to support food stamps.

Talk of de-politicizing agriculture programs and welfare policy is met with stiff resistance. For example, Senator Thad Cochran (R–MS), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently told the North American Agricultural Journalists group that food stamps should continue to be included in the farm bill “purely from a political perspective. It helps get the farm bill passed.”

Food stamps are there to help “get the farm bill passed.” And the relation of the rest of the farm bill to farming is also questionable. Bakst and Katz note that “Congress has expanded the farm bill over time into a costly compilation of disparate programs. Along with agriculture and food stamps, the legislation includes dozens of forestry, conservation, energy, and rural development programs.”

It has become the norm that Congress lumps billions—even trillions—of dollars in taxpayer-funded programs together into huge bills. This allows them to sneak in plenty of special-interest pork.

Each of these programs deserves to be evaluated on its own, and taxpayers deserve transparency from Congress about how it plans to spend our money.

For example, food stamps are a massive program that needs a careful look. Food stamp spending has doubled under the Obama Administration, and participation is at historic highs. Recruiters hold bingo games and other “parties” to try to get more people on the food stamp rolls.

Farm commodity programs are also a major concern and in dire need of reform. Congress may eliminate the egregious direct payment program, which pays farmers for doing nothing. However, instead of stopping there, both the House and Senate farm bills would replace direct payments with programs that could wind up being even costlier.

Food stamps and farming ultimately have to do with food, but that’s about all they have in common. Making the farm bill 80 percent food stamps just doesn’t make sense.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: agriculture; ebt; evilobamaregime; foodstamps; greatsociety; usda; welfare
View the farm bill as a microcosm of how the federal government operates. It takes the essence of what might have been a reasonable approach for a temporary, limited in scope program to meet a short-term need and blew it up into a massive, permanent bureaucracy whose intended goals have more to do with creating government dependency and ensuring votes at election time and doesn't assist any perceived public need. Is it any wonder that the federal government can take in over $2.5 trillion dollars annually and still manage to run annual deficits of $1 trillion dollars a year?

This is what happens when the federal government manages anything!

1 posted on 05/25/2013 12:12:20 PM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

Or to put in more succinctly.

Government corrupts EVERYTHING it touches.


2 posted on 05/25/2013 12:14:45 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: IbJensen

Yes, the government doesn’t live in the real world it seems.

BTW, did anyone else see that show on the Chinese Cultural Revolution on the History Channel last night?

It was amazing. I saw parallels with today. Even with a little probable liberal bias those events were horrific.

I would compare the Red Guard with Occupy and other leftist groups. They said before the end of the Cultural Revolution these Red Guards had turned on each other, that a half million probably died in those battles.


3 posted on 05/25/2013 12:16:30 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: All


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4 posted on 05/25/2013 12:17:13 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: IbJensen; WKB; Black Agnes

For example, Senator Thad Cochran (R–MS), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently told the North American Agricultural Journalists group that food stamps should continue to be included in the farm bill “purely from a political perspective. It helps get the farm bill passed.”

- - - -

FWIW, we despise him.


5 posted on 05/25/2013 12:19:33 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: musicman

Holy smokes Bullwinkle ... all that purple made my eyes see yellow at the bottom.


6 posted on 05/25/2013 12:35:06 PM PDT by knarf (uals-two logic)
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To: IbJensen

Excellent post.
The food stamp program is a perfect example of dispensing gravy to enough constituencies to make it nearly bulletproof in the Congress.


7 posted on 05/25/2013 12:37:52 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: knarf

8 posted on 05/25/2013 12:41:23 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: IbJensen

In addition to the 80% of the ‘farm bill’ that has nothing to do with farms, the remaining 20% has 75% of that going to very large corporations.


9 posted on 05/25/2013 12:42:37 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: IbJensen

What you daid. Plus, when the government gives aid for failed/ruined crops, it will not allow farmers to salvage what’s still good and then compensate them for what was lost. They’re so worried some farmers might lie that they insist on all or nothing so the good portions rot in the fields.


10 posted on 05/25/2013 1:01:43 PM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: onyx

Do you know how many little MS towns would just die without food stamps? I really think the only reason our local pigglywiggly is in business is food stamps. It’s the only form of payment I usually see when I shop there.


11 posted on 05/25/2013 1:02:55 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: IbJensen

I remember as a kid in elementary school learning the gov’t pays farmers not to grow anything and thinking how stupid that was. Plus I was told by my mom that there were kids starving so I had to eat all my food, so nothing made sense.


12 posted on 05/25/2013 1:14:04 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Black Agnes

“I really think the only reason our local pigglywiggly is in business is food stamps. It’s the only form of payment I usually see when I shop there.”

That has spread to the point where many northeastern cities and their immediate suburbs are in the same situation; businesses would close without food stamps, and our schools would close without the children of the illegals receiving the food stamps. We have a HUGE underground economy here; Obama is popular because he caters to those who don;t pay any taxes (whether they are working or not). At a nearby flea market I regularly watch Americans selling the tools of their trades to the illegals that have taken those jobs; the illegal strictly pay cash. It has worsened to a point where those Americans are now selling their household appliances as well...


13 posted on 05/25/2013 1:31:40 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Rusty0604

“I remember as a kid in elementary school learning the gov’t pays farmers not to grow anything and thinking how stupid that was. Plus I was told by my mom that there were kids starving so I had to eat all my food, so nothing made sense.”

I think the “paying farmers not to grow” involved crop rotation/leaving fields fallow on a regular basis; the failure to do so contributed to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s (soil was farmed annually until depleted/without time to recover). I was also told to clean off my plate because kids were starving in Red China; I guess now I can tell my children to eat their healthy dinners because we have poor children with diabetes here in the US (we have the fattest poor people in the world).


14 posted on 05/25/2013 1:34:22 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2

All part of the Cloward-Piven strategy writ large on a national scale. When sufficient numbers become dependent upon the government handouts and the tax revenues are so low that even the interest payments on the national debt cannot be paid without robbing other social programs, the system collpases, achieving waht the Cloward-Piven startegy was designed for, making a reset to socialism/communism/fascism.


15 posted on 05/25/2013 1:35:14 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: kearnyirish2

Yes, I think crop rotation had something to do with it, but I think they pay farmers not to grow some crops to keep the price up to a level that the farmers make money. Manipulating supply/demand.


16 posted on 05/25/2013 1:42:42 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: MHGinTN

We have had socialism for 5 years now; it is failing (in reality and public perception) because it is using inflated dollars (caused by the mass spending). Instead of re-setting to socialism/communism/fascism, here in NJ we’re watching our government shrink due to mass layoffs of government workers (the costs of sustaining them as our overlords has collapsed the system here already). Even our welfare cows will lose weight now that $500 in food stamps will buy you what $100 bought 10 years ago.

Nobody is enjoying our recent venture into socialism; those who expected to benefit (gubmint workers, welfare recipients, etc.) are in bad shape.


17 posted on 05/25/2013 1:43:34 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Rusty0604

I see; the same thing is done with licensing doctors, lawyers, accountants, and teachers (for the same purpose). I know Europe is dealing with some unrest as each country in the EU tries to protect its own agricultural sector.


18 posted on 05/25/2013 1:47:27 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2

Some States have been lobbied by so many special interest groups that want to keep their profession hard to get into mandate that you have to get certified and licensed to do almost anything that isn’t even specialized. It works for them to keep their prices high, gives the community colleges enrolled, and the gov’t happy with the fees that have to be paid (and more gov’t workers to enforce everything). Accountants, doctors, and lawyers make sense but not hairweaving or lemonaide stands.


19 posted on 05/25/2013 2:02:33 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

I remember asking why we paid them not to grow food - if they grew more, and prices came down, more people could afford food and not have money taken from them to give food to others.
Logic, of course, does not apply when the objective is to have strings to control others.


20 posted on 05/25/2013 3:29:04 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: IbJensen; red irish; fastrock; NorthernCrunchyCon; UMCRevMom@aol.com; Finatic; fellowpatriot; ...
+

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Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

21 posted on 05/25/2013 3:31:10 PM PDT by narses
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To: Rusty0604

I remember when the evil Roosevelt’s regime bought up enormous supplies of potatoes and had them doused with kerosene and burned. This was in order to keep the price of potatoes up.

He, being a fan of Joseph Stalin, probably thought this more humane than starving the entire state of Idaho to death.

This is the same government, maintaining the same socialist programs...even creating scores more.


22 posted on 05/26/2013 3:55:30 AM PDT by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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To: Rusty0604

A hairdresser’s licensing requires learning some sanitary things you want mandated.


23 posted on 05/26/2013 6:31:17 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2; Rusty0604

Well, yes they do actually pay people to NOT grow crops on otherwise good farmland. The idea is to keep an appropriate cover crop on the land to keep it ready to put back into production with relatively little effort and to keep the good soil in place during drought conditions.

My grandparents put their land into the program when they retired. Initially, they had just let the land go fallow for a while, so it had reverted back to normal native grass. Of course, this wasn’t good enough for the USDA. They had to rip out all the native grass and replace it with a special designated grass that was imported from Africa.

Last year, someone at the USDA decided that the prairie chickens didn’t like the imported grass, so if we want to keep the land in the system, we have to remove all the (USDA mandated) grass and put in native grass.

In the middle of the biggest drought that has come along in forever. So the land (that was covered with decent grass) now has $5,000 in native grass seed dying under bare ground because it hasn’t rained enough.

Go fig.


24 posted on 05/26/2013 6:48:18 AM PDT by Stegall Tx (Teaching part time and enjoying it. I just can't afford it!)
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To: Stegall Tx

That’s a shame; I wish them luck (and rain).


25 posted on 05/26/2013 9:35:40 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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