Farm Bill intended to help those who need its benefits

By Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

    Some of our vaunted solons in Washington are quarreling among themselves about how much yet again to reduce food stamps provided qualified recipients under the Farm Bill.

    At the same time our solons are quarreling about reform of farm subsidies under the Farm Bill and how much to cut payment to recipients.

    Who do you think will end up being cut the least if at all?  In this connection, it might be of interest to note that taxpayers gave 15 members of Congress, eight of them on agriculture committees, a total of $238,000 in farm subsidies in 2012.  This figure doesn’t include crop insurance, disaster programs, and conservation support paid to farmers and landowners.

    I am sure the original Farm Bill never intended that legislators could re-write it in such a way that they are able to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense.  In fact, I always thought the original intent was to help farmers struggling to make a living on the land, not to large corporate farmers and wealthy landowners.

    To top it all off, a story in the NY Times, published 11/7/2013, states, “The federal government paid $11.3 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies from 1995 to 2012 to 50 billionaires or businesses in which they have some form of ownership, according to a report released by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research organization.  .. . The billionaires have a collective net worth of $316 billion, according to Forbes magazine.”

    It might seem hypocritical to some that 10 members of Congress who received subsidies voted to cut food stamps, especially if billionaires continue to receive subsidies.

Bob Cook
2004 Strong Ave.

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