Allen B. West

Farm Bill still full of pork (and high fructose corn syrup)

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Just yesterday the House and Senate passed the 5-year Farm Bill in order to provide predictability to our nation’s farmers. Of course “Farm Bill” is really a euphemism because 75-80 percent of it goes to food stamps and government feeding programs.

Kendric Ward of Watchdog.org calls it “the ultimate in pork-barrel politics” and reports that price supports on sugar will continue to force Americans to pay twice what global consumers pay. According to an economist, taxpayers loan just over $1 billion to sugar producers annually, but last year just three firms received the bulk of it.

Ward says $8 billion will be trimmed from food stamps – hallelujah, lottery winners will no longer receive them – but a work provision for adult eligibility is still optional. Junk-food additives — including high-fructose corn syrup — will continue to be subsidized, enough to buy every kid under 18 eight 2-liter bottles of soda every year. Wonder what Michelle Obama has to say about that?

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And you’ll be pleased to know companies like McDonald’s and Fruit of the Loom and other giant agricultural companies and trade associations will continue to receive funds from the $200 million-per-year Market Access Program, which subsidized ad campaigns.

Even those on the Left are concerned about this massive wasteful spending:

Dan Smith, tax and budget advocate for the progressive U.S. Public Interest Research Group stated, “Taxpayer money has even been used to pay for a reality TV show in India to promote cotton.”

We absolutely need to support our American agriculture industry, but until we begin implementing free market measures, reforming the entire Farm Bill and its design and restoring it to its original purpose, well, we’re just whistling “Dixie” as we say down South, while watching our debt grow.
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