Warning this letter will no doubt break the rule of letter etiquette composed by Jane Miller. I do apologize ahead of time.
A recent editorial spoke to the double standards display glaringly by the recent defeat of Farm Bill, H.R. 1947, especially in regard to Obama’s stimulus and the Democrats in Congress. The reason for failure wasn’t the bill itself but for not heeding to any austerity measure enacted by Republicans. It failed because the Democrats did want SNAP cut and the raucous Tea party conservatives wanted a deeper cut to that program.
There are other reasons why that bill failed. Other than cutting SNAP by $20 billion it would add new restrictions for all recipients who are in the SNAP program. Those cuts would increase crop insurance subsidies but would not help farmers who have livestock produce or raise fruits or vegetables.
They would receive an extra $9 billion in crop insurance subsidies. It should be noted here that members of Congress and their relatives would receive over $6 billion in farm subsidies and that 74 percent of farmers and farms that would receive subsidies are for the wealthiest farms and farm industries. That does not include subsidies paid by their state to the farmer Congresspersons. This is only on the federal level.
The defeated farm bill would have also raised price guarantees meaning that if prices fell taxpayer are on the hook for billions. That would include special deals like for sushi rice.
Extend direct payments to cotton farmers and it will cost another extra $1 billion. Rejected all reforms for crop insurance meaning no cuts for crop insurance subsidies.
Rejects conservation compliance, rejects state safety standards, cuts conservation programs already in place and weakens environmental protection.
It really looks like the Republicans want to cut the budget but only at the expense of those who really need their help. That would be the poor, small family farms, the environment, safety standards and any reform measures.
Charles M. Reeder
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom