Why Green Acres Is The Place To Be

From the Desk of NickiLeaks

Eddie and Eva

 

“Old McDonald had a farm

With help from the GOP

Had some tax breaks fund his crops

With help from the GOP

Got his workers nice and cheap

With help from the GOP

Grows some thing that no one needs

With help from the GOP

With a tax break here

And a loophole there

He’s got all he needs”

This week, NickiLeaks, has no major discoveries, few attempts at humor and more of a down-to-earth look at farming and the farm bill, passed by the House this week and now headed to the Senate.

The farm bill does many things.

Some are even good.

But not many.

It doesn’t cut as much money for SNAP as the House Republicans wanted, just a 1% cut as opposed to the 5%-50% slash that the people who get more in meal allowances in two days than some families get in food stamps per month, had desired.

The new bill is also supposed to cut down on fraud, but, unfortunately that only applies to food stamps and not Congress as a whole.

But to get to their desired goal of more savings, our elected officials came up with some interesting ideas, like:

The agreement also clamps down on people receiving benefits in multiple states or under a deceased person’s name, bans lottery winners or anyone who collects big gambling earnings, and prohibits the Department of Agriculture from using federal dollars to advertise the food stamp program and cull new recruits.”

Christian Science Monitor

And:

The agreement does take the food stamp program’s lifetime ban on convicted drug felons receiving benefits and extends it to include felons convicted of other, violent crimes, including murder and sexual assault – an amendment that anti-hunger advocates have called overly punitive and liable to send recidivism rates surging. The exclusion applies only to violent felons convicted after the act’s passage, so it would not throw current convicts out of the food stamp program.”

  • – CSM

But NickiLeaks is forced to ask, is this the great and shining work of legislation that DC is trying to sell us on or is it more the political version of that thing which farmers collect from cows and spread around their fields?

The Los Angeles Times warns:

Don’t believe the hype. The conservative American Enterprise Institute says the measure could cost taxpayers $15 billion more per year than do existing crop programs, much of it going to the wealthiest farmers and the crop insurance industry. The AEI calls the farm bill a ‘bait and switch’ scheme and the product of ‘beggar thy neighbor cronyism.’

And that’s from a pro-businessorganization. 

. . .

The $5 billion in annual savings there, AEI says, could be swamped by the higher costs of three new programs created by the farm bill. Among them are programs that would ‘essentially guarantee that farmers’ revenues never fall below 86% of what they earned in previous years, when crop prices were at historical highs.’ Another program would be ‘much more lucrative for farmers’ than the version it replaces by guaranteeing farmers ‘much higher prices for covered crops.’ ”

 

(Author’s note: Having been laid off myself, I would have enjoyed a guarantee of 86% of my past income and I am sure I am not the only formerly middle-class American that thinks that way in this continuing downturn.

And of course, Congress continued to look after itself before it looked after us as The LA Times pointed out:

Mr. Haney

Our favorite poster boy among members of Congress who belly up to the crop-subsidy bar while crabbing about feeding the needy through SNAP has been California’s own Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), whose farming family collected a sweet $5.1 million in federal crop subsidies between 1995 and 2012.

By then he had come to the realization that food stamp recipients needed to tighten their belts in the name of governmental economizing.

“While I would have preferred a bill that generated more savings and included larger reforms in the food stamp system, I believe that we’ve achieved as much as the Democrat-led Senate will allow,” he said after Wednesday’s House vote.

Then he asked for sympathy for the pain and destitution California farmers are experiencing because of the drought.”

By Nick Vanocur