President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, because it “has too much spending and not enough reform.” But this frustration is not limited to conservative, pro-taxpayer groups. The left-leaning international anti-hunger organization Oxfam released a similar statement claiming the bill continues to favor a “system that rewards those who need help the least.”
Even the reliably liberal Los Angeles Times editorial board supports Bush’s promised veto, in part because of the “accounting shenanigans” Congress is relying on to balance the books. With this bill, Congress takes another step toward abandoning even the pretense of a budget, as it is to exceed the spending limit by nearly $10 billion.
The 2008 Farm Bill will hurt Americans at every turn by inhibiting competition, limiting consumer choice, burdening individuals with higher food prices, and exacerbating the rising cost of fuel. During a period of economic uncertainty, American families need more spending flexibility, not less.
As is too often the case, however, Congress’s concern with special interests and political support trumps sound economic policy. If Congress really wants to bring something home to the American people this Memorial Day, they should go back to the drawing board and institute real reform to the Farm Bill.