My Cato friends Michael Tanner and Chris Edwards break-down the $956 billion Farm Bill for you. Don’t believe anything the media puts out saying this is a cut. Check-out the chart below. A 49% increase is not a cut. And while Republicans rant and rave about food stamps let’s not forget about the gigantic food lobby getting fat at the trough. As Tanner points out here:
After all, while no one would deny that farming can be a difficult and sometimes precarious way of life, farmers generally are not suffering. In 2013 the average farm household had an income of $104,525. In 2011, the most recent year a direct comparison is available, farm-household incomes were 25 percent higher than the average for all U.S. households, and this gap has only increased since. Moreover, much farm aid goes not to small family farms but to giant agri-business. Among the biggest recipients of farm subsidies are Tysons Food, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Riceland Foods, none of which are likely to be the subject of a Lifetime TV movie anytime soon. In fact, roughly a third of subsidies in the last farm bill went to the wealthiest 4 percent of farmers.
And about those cuts. Edwards writes:
However, the 2014 farm bill is not a cut at all when compared to the 2008 farm bill, which was projected to cost $640 billion over 10 years. That is a 49 percent spending increase.
Sure, the new bill shuffles the farm subsidy deck chairs, but the bill’s main budget attribute is that it ratifies the huge recent increase in food stamp spending. The House bill had proposed trimming a modest $39 billion (5 percent) from food stamps, but Republican leaders caved in and agreed to just a token 1 percent trim in the final bill.