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Obama Attacks Paul Ryan for Stalling Massive Agriculture Subsidies

President Obama launched an attack against Paul Ryan during an Iowa campaign speech today over the House’s stalled farm bill.

"Right now folks here in Iowa and across the heartland are suffering from one of the worst droughts in 50 years. Farmers and ranchers depend on a good crop season to pay the bills and put a roof over their heads, and I know that things are tough right now.

"The best way to help these states is for leaders in Congress to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes necessary reforms and gives them some long-term certainty. But right now, too many members of Congress are blocking that bill from becoming law. Now, I'm told Governor Romney's new running mate might be around Iowa these next few days. And he's one of those leaders of Congress standing in the way. So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. It's time to put politics aside and pass it right away.

President Obama conveniently forgets to mention in this speech that the House already passed a miniature (by Washington standards) drought bail out for farmers to the tune of $383 million. The President and his progressive allies in Congress are not content with a small disaster package though. They want a five year reauthorization of the monstrous farm bill, and nothing less.

The farm bill has all the hallmark of legislation that President Obama supports. The bill is costly (the Senate version was estimated at $970 billion over ten years), fosters government dependence, and distorts the free market. Unfortunately, this bill is usually authorized like clockwork with ample Republican support. Such was the case when Republicans helped Senate Democrats pass the Senate version of the farm bill earlier this summer. Unlike years past, conservative opposition has been strong enough to stall passage of the farm bill in the House. Speaker Boehner has spoken out against ‘Soviet style’ price controls, and he has been supported by conservative groups like Heritage Action .

We commend Speaker Boehner for his longstanding and continued resistance to big-spending farm and food stamp bills. With our nation’s debt approaching $16 trillion, we cannot afford another $1 trillion boondoggle. Nor can we continue, in the Speaker’s words, ‘Soviet-style’ farm programs that create perverse, market-distorting incentives.

The farm bill fight has yet to become a hot topic on the campaign trail. If Obama really wants to pick a fight over a bill that essentially nationalizes our agriculture industry, Paul Ryan should not hesitate to take him on. The farm bill ties into the Romney campaign’s most important criticisms of Obama’s first term. The farm bill reflects Obama’s eagerness to undermine capitalism and bail out every industry as soon as it struggles. The farm bill reflects Obama’s lack of interest in reigning in federal spending. Pushing for another big spending farm bill also shows that Obama is not interested in changing the status quo in Washington. Most importantly, advocating for a new farm bill is yet another reminder that Obama will increase the size and scope of government every chance he gets.

The President has demagogued the farm bill in order to attack Paul Ryan and pander to voters, once again leaving it up to the Wisconsin Representative to have an adult conversation with the American people.

This post was authored by editorial intern Kyle Bonnell .

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