With much of the nation’s political reporting focused on the ever-expanding scandals, few Americans (and even fewer media-types) are paying attention to this nearly $1 trillion food welfare boondoggle. In Washington, the lack of attention serves as a catalyst for reckless legislating and a green light for growing government. Too many lawmakers believe they can escape accountability by pulling a fast one past a distracted public.
Some may question why the food stamp program is in the so-called farm bill. The Heritage Foundation explained:
“In plain terms, merging food stamps with farm subsidies produces more support for expanding both than either bloc could possibly muster on its own. The food stamp portion creates a reason for urban representatives to support farm subsidies, and for farm-state lawmakers to support food stamps.”
Senator Thad Cochran (R–MS), the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, was a bit more candid. He told the North American Agricultural Journalists group that food stamps were an essential element of any farm bill “purely from a political perspective. It helps get the farm bill passed.”
That is exactly what he is hoping for this week when the Senate takes up the bill. An unholy alliance of big-government lawmakers – those who want food stamps and those who want farm subsidies – will provide the votes necessary to get the food stamp bill passed.
By rushing it through, Senators are hoping to apply pressure to their House counterparts who are more susceptible to the demands and concerns of their constituents. The longer the Food Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2013 is in the public eye, the harder it will be for lawmakers to convince their informed constituents the bill is just about protecting small family farms.
Speed and deception are tools of the trade for the proponents of big government. Blink and it will already be too late.