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

There is a proverb in which dates back for the early Bible which says that as long as mankind exists your strong will usually oppress the particular weak.

Recently we observed a new fulfillment involving this biblical prophecy play out upon Capitol Hill as Congress passed your Farm Bill 2014 laced with a lot of generous goodies pertaining to rich farmers and also insurance companies that will be compensated regarding through the taxpayers and in addition by cuts for the food stamps plan that benefits lower income people.


It had been praised through the President as representing the bipartisan breakthrough and signed by him despite his recent speak about the issue involving earnings inequality.

In the bill there tend to be some decorative reforms such as ending immediate payments in order to millionaires designed to become excellent talking points inside election campaigns. Yet any closer look at its provisions reveals one thing very different.


The principal provision of into your market is that it makes new farm subsidies as well as crop insurance regarding farmers to become paid out for simply by government if crops fail or prices fall too far.

In the wedding involving any such occurrence the particular guarantee extends not just towards the farmers however towards the insurance providers that underwrite failure and so the federal government provides for you to spend the subsidy not merely for the farmers nevertheless to the insurance providers as well.

Senator Klobuchar (a Democrat) offers implied that this provision is no problem since it merely affects 16 states. However would people who lose benefits below into the market agree? Along With there is one additional issue using this provision.

The Congress voted to keep the public coming from mastering how much the lawmakers by themselves maybe getting in subsidies. There is definitely an obvious conflict of curiosity simply because these folks were voting about legislation that could give themselves the advantage and also went further by which includes a new provision for you to enable these phones hide it by excluding the duty in order to disclose it.

This at a moment when according towards the Environmental working Group:

1) inside 2013, 15 lawmakers or their own spouses which personal farms collected a total involving $237, 921 in subsidy payments (Washington Post- Exactly why watchdog teams don't like the new farm bill, by simply Ed O'Keefe, February 7, 2014); and

2) subsidies are usually skewed to wealthier farmers because taxpayers support should go mostly to always be able to large, lucrative operations to not family members farms that will really require assistance (The Economist, The Actual Farm Bill- A New trillion within the trough, February 8, 2014).


The new subsidies will need to compensated for by simply taxpayers but also by cuts of over $800 million per year from your meals stamp plan which usually was developed to assist low-income folks (called Supplemental Nutrition assistance Plan or SNAP).

This cut will affect 850,000 individuals and also will take an average of $90 out of their pocket each month.

It should be remembered that 45% of meals stamp recipients are kids plus 2010 USAID said that 41% are generally operating poor. Furthermore one out of 7 Americans count on meals stamps (New York Times, Welfare for the Wealthy, simply by Mark Bittman, June 4, 2013).

The timing of this cut could 2014 millionaire not become more serious simply because at this time people require a safety net because the country recovers coming from one of the actual worst recessions when there is actually a expanding earnings inequality involving the top earnings earners as well as the remainder of us.

The query to be inquired here's why would Congress pass such a bill?


The undeniable fact that Congress would pass any bill that gives more towards the rich and fewer to the poor is actually hardly shocking given that nearly all members tend to be millionaires. That is truly a millionaires' club.

Of the 534 current members with the Home as well as Senate, 268 had an typical net valuation on $1 million as well as much more throughout 2012, up coming from 257 in 2011 (NPR, Vast Majority inside Congress tend to be Millionaires simply by Carly Cody, January 13, 2014).

But that is not necessarily all. These members are not reluctant to utilize their own workplace for personal benefit.

In latest a lengthy time 73 lawmakers have sponsored legislation that will could advantage companies that concerned these members as well as their particular families. This practice will be both legal and permitted under the actual ethics rules.

But it actually is Congress in which writes the guidelines regarding itself as well as even though your lawmakers need executive branch officials to end up being able to prevent the appearances of your conflict in their dealings, they've not inquired exactly the actual same regarding themselves (Washington Post, Politics- Congress members back legislation that could advantage themselves, relatives; by Kimberley Kindy, David G. Fallis as well as Scott Higham, October 7, 2012).

This is an region of the law that's badly short regarding funds associated with reform.


The new bill signifies all that is wrong using Washington i.e. the hypocrisy along with double standards of our own elected leaders.

For example, among the greatest recipients of farm subsidies is really a Congressman via Tennessee which says in which meals stamps is actually theft along with which it isn't the role associated with Washington to end up being able to steal coming from some inside the country and give others. Therefore he supported your cuts to SNAP inside the bill but will be fairly happy to collect its generous subsidies, courtesy with the taxpayers as well as the poor.

Then there is the issue in the imbalance regarding political clout on Capitol Hill. Your Koch brothers who manage Americans for Prosperity spared absolutely no resources throughout lobbying to get provisions that expand the actual biomass energy programs and to consist of exemptions from your Clean H2o Act coming from which usually their own corporate empire derives benefits.

On one other hand recipients associated with food stamps had few sources with which in turn for you to lobby and so without leverage they lost.

Lastly, the balance exhibits which our elected leaders respond for you to people who fund them and not for you to those who elect them. This may be suggested which the cause why for that bill was in which ten Residence members who accepted the most cash coming from agricultural lobbyists took an typical of $225,000 within political contributions during 2013 and the Farm bill was just pay back again (The Economist, Your Farm bill etc.). That is difficult for you to disagree with that.