Truth in Legislating
by Mark Steyn • Feb 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm
Further to my thoughts on Obama's world without work, how ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm? Food stamps!
First, the new Farm Bill authorizes new spending over the next ten years to the tune of $956 billion. That's $100 billion more than Obama's stimulus bill in 2009. Do our farmers really need to be subsidized at the rate of $95.6 billion per year? The answer is no. You see, this wasn't a Farm Bill, at all. It should have been called the Food Stamp Bill because 79% of the total approved spending ($756 billion) is not to subsidize farmers; but is actually the new budget for Food Stamps.
Most of whose recipients have never been anywhere near a farm, and fall under the US Department of Agriculture for no other reason than that's the department that supervises food production. So why not call it the Food Stamp Bill? As I usually say round about this point in the conversation, say what you like about George III, but the Tea Act was about tea. Why, look, here I am saying it yet again, in relation to "comprehensive" immigration reform, only last June:
So Senator Hoeven and 67 other senators went ahead the following day and approved the usual bazillion-page we-have-to-pass-it-to-find-out-what's-in-it omnibus bill, cooked up in the backrooms, released late on a Friday afternoon and passed in nothing flat after Harry Reid decreed there's no need for further debate â€” not that anything recognizable to any genuine legislature as "debate" ever occurs in "the world's greatest deliberative body."
Say what you like about George III, but the Tea Act was about tea. The so-called comprehensive immigration reform is so comprehensive it includes special deals for Nevada casinos and the recategorization of the Alaskan fish-processing industry as a "cultural exchange" program, because the more leaping salmon we have the harder it is for Mexicans to get across the Bering Strait. While we're bringing millions of Undocumented-Americans "out of the shadows," why don't we try bringing Washington's decadent and diseased law-making out of the shadows?
Is it really asking too much in a supposed republic of self-governing citizens that a law's title should bear some resemblance to what it's actually about? To modify my old line: say what you like about George III, but the Stamp Act was called the Stamp Act. The Food Stamp Act has to be euphemized as a "Farm" Act. On the grounds, presumably, that almost everything Washington does these days is a bill that will expand the use of food stamps.
~In such a world, it's no surprise that Obama's Food Stamp Nation has achieved another first:
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in U.S. households that rely on food stamps â€” a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.
That's great news, isn't it? By the way, you guys with master's degrees in Colonialism, Transgender and Puppetry Studies, don't be shy about getting yours:
Food stamp participation since 1980 has grown the fastest among workers with some college training.
© 2015 Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc. All rights reserved.
No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of Mark Steyn Enterprises.
Got a comment on a column? Drop a line to Mark's Mailbox.
receive the latest by email: subscribe to steynonline's free weekly mailing list