I’m reminded of the old phrase attributed to the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu:
“A Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step“
Whether most folks are aware of it or not, our nation just took that rather halting and awkward step.
Almost exactly a year ago, I had a fairly lengthy post titled “Food Stamp Fraud & Abuse: Business As Usual“, detailing the rampant waste, excessive pork and flat-out wrongheadedness in the so-called ‘Farm Bill’, and its unnamed-yet-primary component: Food Stamps, now known as SNAP.
It appears that in the last twelve months, some of our politicians actually listened to their constituents, and (amazingly) managed to vote down this year’s bill.
From Erika Johnson over at HotAir:
The House version of the farm bill that failed to glean the necessary votes to pass and move to conference with the Senate’s version on Thursday afternoon certainly might not have been the most watched or well-known piece of legislation hanging over the country, but the fact that it was unexpectedly thwarted was quite the dramatic turn of events on Capitol Hill.
The many farm and agribusiness lobbyists who were relying on the bill’s passage to safeguard the status quo and their countless specially interested, pork-tossing programs were shocked — righteously, indignantly shocked, I say! — and plan to continue to press the House leadership so that they can get theirs, dammit, no matter how much market distortion and taxpayer money it costs the American economy and budget.
Yes, for all their hyperventilating, this boils down to special interests trying to shakedown the American Taxpayer for more cash, all in the name of ‘Compassion’. After all, you wouldn’t want people to starve, or America’s farmers to fail? DO you?
Of course not, …which is exactly what this bill’s backers have depended on year after year, and routinely exploited.
The Farm Bill is (and has been for ages) primarily a vehicle to enslave more of our country to the loving chains of ‘free food’, …paid for by us. Do yourself a favor: when this pops up in the news again in a month or two (the existing farm bill authorization lasts until Sept. 30), pay attention to how its proponents talk about it.
If you hear deliberately evocative phrases like:
- “Mass Starvation“,
- “End Hunger Now“,
- a “full-scale war against the poor“
- or especially if a liberal Democrat is suddenly concerned about “rural America”,
rest assured that whatever they’re backing is almost certainly a total scam, and in all likelihood a very costly one: for you.
Heritage.com did their normal excellent job in a video (below) about the Farm Bill, and it’s worth a watch. However, we need to do more than vote the existing bill down: we need to completely reform farm subsidies AND the Food Stamp program. Accomplishing both won’t end the cycle of dependency that has been created in America all by itself, …
…but it sure would be one heck of a next step.
Thanks for bringing this issue back to the forefront, JTR.
This bill was defeated, in large part, due to the relentless calls by average citizens to their elected officials. Heritage’s “Action for America” and other Conservative groups put together a very impressive program.
Of course, calling this ONE TRILLION DOLLAR atrocity the “Farm Bill” is a real laugher. The bill was 80% SNAP, and 20% Farm Bill. Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp would be stunned.
As you point out, we need to continue to hammer our representatives to work out the reform of these programs, otherwise, we’ll have to change the name of one of the programs from SNAP to SNAFU….
Surprise! Surprise! Stuff I didn’t know! Our politicians are always trying to fool us and it works. 😡
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