As we noted last week, this massive boondoggle represented “a two-pronged perpetuation of America’s dependence economy, in which government handouts (paid for with borrowed money) incentivize distorted markets and a lack of competition and productivity.”
The vast majority of the five-year appropriation – roughly 80 percent – would have gone to pay for the government’s out-of-control food stamp program. The rest would have been earmarked toward farm subsidies which raise prices on consumers while simultaneously providing larger farms with an unfair competitive advantage over their smaller rivals.
As a result of these concerns, fiscal conservatives – including U.S. Reps. Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney and Mark Sanford – all voted against the “Farm Bill.” Of course a majority of Democrats – including U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn – also voted against the bill because it trimmed $20.5 billion off of food stamp appropriations over the next half-decade.
Voting in favor of the legislation? Establishment Republicans like U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson and Tom Rice.
GOP majority leader Eric Cantor blamed Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for the defeat of the bill, saying she chose “partisanship over progress.”
Really? Last time we checked, sixty-two Republicans voted against this bill – and did so for all the right reasons.
The U.S. Congress should eliminate farm subsidies – and begin a phaseout of the food stamp program. Neither represent core functions of government, and with taxpayers staring down a $17 trillion debt we simply cannot afford either of them.