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IPFS News Link • Legislative Mischief

For 90 Years, U.S. Farmers Have Been Getting This Handout

• by Connor O'K

This food-related omnibus bill was introduced ninety years ago as a "temporary" measure during the Great Depression. It's been reauthorized by Congress every five years since, and recent ones cobble together two seemingly unrelated programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps, and federal farm subsidies.

However, the two share an important link. One program gives tax dollars to those who cannot afford food; the other seeks to make food less affordable. Taxpayers are forced to help prop up crop prices only to be taxed again to address the consequences. The American people must wake up to the scam hidden in the Farm Bill if we ever wish to see it end.

SNAP gets the most attention during Farm Bill negotiations in part because it eats up most of the bill's price tag. However, it is also the only Farm Bill program where negotiations fall neatly within party lines. Negotiations over farm subsidies are less partisan. Lawmakers mostly push to secure benefits for their districts and friends in the industry. This year, the media is focused on the Democrats' push for more funding and fewer restrictions for those relying on SNAP. Republicans are voicing concern about government spending and pushing for more restrictions on those receiving benefits.