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07:11:23 pm

Farm Bill 2014: Welfare for that Rich at the Expense in the Rest associated with Us

There is a proverb which dates again towards the early Bible which says that so long as mankind exists the actual strong will usually oppress your weak.

Recently we noticed the fulfillment involving this biblical prophecy play out upon Capitol Hill as Congress passed the actual Farm Bill 2014 laced with many different generous goodies regarding rich farmers and also insurance firms that is likely to be paid out pertaining to by the taxpayers and by cuts to the food stamps plan that will rewards low income people.


It was praised from the President as representing a new bipartisan breakthrough along with signed by him despite his recent speak about the issue regarding earnings inequality.

In the balance there really tend to be a few decorative reforms like ending immediate payments in order to millionaires designed to become good talking factors throughout election campaigns. Yet the closer examine its provisions reveals some thing extremely different.


The principal provision associated with the balance is always that it creates new farm subsidies along with crop insurance with regard to farmers to be paid with regard to by simply government if crops fail or perhaps costs fall also far.

In the event involving virtually any such occurrence your guarantee extends not just for the farmers but towards the insurance providers which underwrite failure therefore the us government features in order to pay the subsidy not just for the farmers yet to the insurance companies as well.

Senator Klobuchar (a Democrat) features implied that this provision isn't any big deal since it only affects 16 states. Nevertheless would those who lose rewards under into your current market agree? Along With there can be certainly another problem with this particular provision.

The Congress voted for you to keep your public via learning just how much the lawmakers on their particular own maybe receiving inside subsidies. Right now there is definitely an obvious conflict of interest because these were voting on legislation that could give on their particular own a advantage and went further by simply which includes a provision for you to enable them to hide it by excluding a duty to be able to disclose it.

This with a time when according to the Environmental working Group:

1) inside 2013, 15 lawmakers or perhaps their spouses that own farms collected any total associated with $237, 921 within subsidy payments (Washington Post- Precisely why watchdog groups don't such as the new farm bill, simply by Ed O'Keefe, February 7, 2014); and

2) subsidies are skewed for you to wealthier farmers since taxpayers support should go mostly to large, lucrative operations never to family farms which genuinely need assistance (The Economist, The Particular Farm Bill- A New trillion in the trough, February 8, 2014).


The new subsidies will need to paid out regarding simply by taxpayers but also by simply cuts well over $800 million a year from the food stamp program which in turn was made to assist low-income folks (called Supplemental Nutrition Help program as well as SNAP).

This cut will affect 850,000 folks and takes an typical of $90 from their pocket each month.

It must be remembered which 45% involving meals stamp recipients are generally kids and in 2010 USAID declared 41% are generally working poor. Furthermore one out of 7 Americans depend on meals stamps (New York Times, Welfare for your Wealthy, by simply Mark Bittman, June 4, 2013).

The timing of this cut cannot end up being a whole lot worse since from this time people require a safety net as the nation recovers coming from among your worst recessions so when there exists a developing earnings inequality between the top earnings earners and the rest of us.

The problem to be asked the next is why would Congress pass this kind of bill?


The undeniable fact that Congress would pass any bill that will gives much more towards the rich and less to the poor will be hardly stunning considering that the majority of members tend to be millionaires. This is a millionaires' club.

Of the actual 534 present members of the house and also Senate, 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or perhaps a lot more throughout 2012, up through 257 throughout 2011 (NPR, majority within Congress are generally Millionaires by simply Carly Cody, January 13, 2014).

But which is not really all. These members usually are not reluctant to use his or her office for personal benefit.

In current many years 73 lawmakers get sponsored legislation that will could advantage companies that involved individuals members or even their particular families. This practice can be both legal along with permitted below the actual ethics rules.

But it really is Congress which writes the principles regarding itself and also however the particular lawmakers need executive branch officials to always be able to avoid the appearances of the conflict inside their dealings, they've not necessarily questioned the same involving on their own (Washington Post, Politics- Congress members back legislation that could benefit themselves, relatives; by simply Kimberley Kindy, David G. Fallis and Scott Higham, October 7, 2012).

This is surely an area associated with what the actual law states that is badly in need regarding reform.


The new bill signifies just about all that is wrong together with Washington i.e. the actual hypocrisy as well as double standards of our elected leaders.

For example, certainly one of the greatest recipients involving farm subsidies can be a Congressman from Tennessee which says that food stamps can be theft along with which it is not necessarily the role regarding Washington in order to steal via a few in the nation along with give to others. Consequently he supported the actual cuts to SNAP inside the bill yet can be fairly very happy to collect its generous subsidies, courtesy with the taxpayers and furthermore the poor.

Then there is the issue of the imbalance of political clout upon Capitol Hill. The Particular Koch brothers whom control 2014 millionaire Americans with regard to Prosperity spared no sources within lobbying to get provisions which expand your biomass energy applications and in addition to contain exemptions from the Clean water Act coming from which his or her corporate empire derives benefits.

On another hand recipients involving meals stamps had couple of sources using that to lobby therefore without having leverage they lost.

Lastly, the bill shows that our elected leaders react in order to those that fund these and never in order to those who elect them. This may be suggested in which the primary reason for your bill was that ten Home members who accepted one in the most money coming from agricultural lobbyists took an typical associated with $225,000 throughout political contributions during 2013 and the Farm bill was only spend again (The Economist, The Actual Farm bill etc.). It is tough in order to disagree with that.

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