August 7, 2012
The farm bill is responsible for the dramatic increase and expansion of many subsidy programs. Worse, the debate over its renewal is often confused by unrelated programs tacked onto the legislation, Heritage Action for America CEO Mike Needham and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal.
Heritage Action is a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation.
The bill funds policies such as farm subsidies, crop insurance, and commodity quotas. But 80 percent of what has been marketed as a farm bill actually goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.
Needham and Stutzman urge lawmakers to consider these different programs separately:
Instead of combining farm policy, food stamps, telecommunications, energy, forestry and conservation into a single legislative vehicle, we must begin advancing one issue at a time. Even Americans with differing views on the role of the federal government in U.S. agriculture should agree that any farm bill passed by Congress be a farm-only bill. Only by breaking this massive bill into manageable, understandable pieces can we begin to make meaningful reforms.
Do you think farm policy should be considered separately from food stamps and other programs?