Letters to the Editor

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CONGRESS: Cut subsidies for farms, not families

Letter by John Culhane, Tacoma on March 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm with 23 Comments »
March 22, 2011 3:40 pm

The House Agriculture Committee has recommended that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as food stamps) should be cut rather than the automatic subsidies to farms.

This at a time when more people are getting benefits from SNAP than ever before. There is no information about how the cuts would be made; i.e., reduce the number of people eligible or reduce the benefit amount. But it seems clear that the $4.9 billion in direct payments that are paid out automatically each year, regardless of whether a person farms, are more important than protecting a program that helps provide food for children and families including, you might be surprised to learn, military families.

Interestingly enough, members of the House Agriculture Committee, Republicans and Democrats, come from districts where some of the highest subsidies are paid.

These agricultural subsidies are wasteful and unnecessary, and we should question the logic of maintaining them while lawmakers are searching for budget cuts.

Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Cut the rich off from the Govt. teat??
    You sir are clearly a communist\Marxist\Socialist!

  2. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    Thank You John, well spoken.

  3. slasmith says:

    Why not cut both?

  4. geeterpontiac says:

    Good article

  5. the3rdpigshouse says:

    The answer for the U.S. is to create living wage jobs – not the expansion of the dependent class!!!

  6. GHTaxPayer says:

    The feds should cut subsidies to EVERYONE. Let’s get back to bare-bones basic government, and how about passing a balanced budget amendment, GOP ?

  7. “and how about passing a balanced budget amendment, GOP?”

    The Paygo system enacted under George Bush1 in 1991 and used during the Clinton administration worked wonders for balancing the budget. In 1991 the federal deficit was 4.5% of GDP, and by 2000, there was a Federal surplus of 2.4%. Unfortunately in 2002 under George Bush 2 and the GOP controlled congress, the Paygo system was allowed to expire and our country’s deficit spending, beginning with Medicare Part D., began its out of control spiral.

    Its about time the GOP make amends for the devastation they’ve caused.

  8. Reply to 3rdpig: I’m shocked that I agree with you! But go one step further and create jobs that pay above a “living” wage so that folks can afford to spend on American made goods. We ARE a consumer economy, regardless of the so-called smart ivory tower economists. Workers who make high wages pay more in taxes and are the economic stimulus America needs. The serfdom being created can only lead to further depression.

  9. Stop subsidizing the monster agribusinesses. The poor family farmer
    needs our help.

  10. Of course….agribusiness is a large employer of migrant labor for low wages.

  11. Great letter, but we should cut both. Food stamp fraud is rampant.

  12. Food stamps return approx. a $1.60 back to the economy for every dollar spent. None of it goes overseas unlike tax breaks that return on average less than 70%.

  13. Get rid of tax breaks for dependents – I should not have to subsidize your spawn.

  14. Remove farm subsidies.
    Remove the 60 billion we give to the oil companies.
    Remove the tax cuts we gave to the rich.
    Replace the so called ‘death tax’ (drama queens)
    Remove all tax loop holes, personal and corparate.
    Remove dependent credits.
    Tax churches.

    Do that then we can worry about the 5 million for NPR that seems to be breaking us.
    Stop walking past dollars to pick up pennies.

  15. concernedtacoma7 says:

    SNAP cost $68 billion last year vs $4.9 billion in subsidies (the number of concern from the author).

    Where is there an opportunity to make a significant impact on the budget? Funny the author left that figure out…

  16. Yep, 4.9 billion to the wealthy that do not need it or take food from poor peoples mouth.
    The cons choose to starve their fellow Americans instead of ‘hurting’ the poor rich man.
    Gawd help us.

  17. The GOP is so concerned about saving pennies that go to what they call ‘social welfare’ but ignore the dollars that go to what I call ‘corporate welfare.’

  18. concernedtacoma7 says:

    That $4.9 billion subsidy is the product of good intentions and govt intervention in the free market. Over time it has become the hot issue it is today. This is a great example of a change the tea party wants in regards to govt involvement and govt over-reaching. Nice to see the “X”s on the side of the right.

    And no, I not involved in the tea party in any way, but I support their push for a smaller, less intrusive govt.

    And I like to see both Xs ignore the significance in $68 vs 5 billion.

    Last, most of the subsidy goes to corn. The ethenol debate is front and center in this controversy. Typical of the left on this board to ignore the real issues.

  19. The Government pays PRICE SUPPORTS to encouraged farms to grow certain crops, and gives SUBSIDEIS for not growing crops. It is landowners, and not farmers and farm labors that benefit from farm subsidies.

  20. ct7 – hadn’t ignored the issue, my next post (this one) was going to be about corn. (If you have access to the archives you will see that I have posted about this on many occasions – ask whatido to help you find it).

    My dad is a liberal, worked as an animal science professor in Iowa (which benefits very much from corn price supports and subsidies). He has said from day one that making fuel from corn makes no sense economically nor on an energy cost basis.

    ct7 – why is it that some of you “conservatives” spend so much time posting about liberals in such a broad, cartoonish way? Are you afraid that your Us v. Them dichotomy would fall apart if you didn’t constantly reinforce it?

  21. donjames says:

    Gawd I love it! Liberals and conservatives talking about across-the-board spending cuts!

    Elections DO have consequences. And in the case of the 2010 mid-terms, reason appears to be one of them (unlike the ’08 debacle).

    Carry on!

  22. concernedtacoma7 says:

    BB- where do you see me speaking generally about the left/libs on this thread? I responded to specifically to xring and xtp. You just made a broad, prejudiced comment. What I did was break down the rhetoric.

    And I agree that corn subsidies for ethenol production is a waste of money. There are more efficient ways to increase domestic energy production, green or otherwise.

  23. ct7 Right here is where I saw you” speaking generally about the left/libs on this thread” Typical of the left on this board to ignore the real issues.

    Really dude – don’t attempt to deny something that is just a few posts upthread.

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