What are conservatives up against in 2013? We are up against an extremely liberal President and his ideological allies in the Senate. What do we believe in and work to preserve? An America where freedom and prosperity flourish. We promote free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense – and liberals adamantly disagree with us.
In April of 2012, the New York Times had the stunning revelation that President Obama was intentionally bypassing Congress to advance his ideological goals. They noted what they characterized as a marked shift in the President’s tone at a strategy meeting in the fall of 2011.
He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.
As Congress continues its recess and activists across the country attempt to educate their elected officials on the problems with the current farm and food stamp bill, we wanted to provide the main questions that our folks are receiving on the road and their best factual response, all in one post. Here you go, and we hope you find its useful.
How much does the so-called “farm bill”—the Federal Agriculture and Risk Management Act (H.R. 6083)—cost?
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill costs $957 billion over ten years. The last farm bill, enacted in 2008, cost $604 billion over ten years. This bill amounts to a 60% increase in farm and food aid since the last reauthorization.
Doesn’t H.R. 6083 “save” money?
Not in any real world sense. As stated, the bill includes policies that over ten years will cost 63% more than the previous authorization. It is only because the Congressional Budget Office must ignore the expiration date of these programs and assume their continuation into eternity—including the Obama food stamp expansions—that the bill can be judged to “save” $35 billion. This is really just Washington-speak for spending 3.5% less than expected ($957 billion instead of $992 billion)—it’s not a cut.
Isn’t H.R. 6083 really mislabeled as a farm bill given how much food stamp spending it includes?
Yes. 80% of H.R. 6083’s spending is comprised of food stamp spending. This is because there are now 46 million individuals on food stamps, compared with 30 million in 2008 and 17 million in 2000. The reduction in the rate of growth to the food stamp program contemplated by the bill equals just $16 billion or 2%—not the sort of reforms that will lead to rolling back the food stamp program. This is one reason why most conservatives are so intent on splitting up the bill between its food stamp and farm subsidy components.
Doesn’t H.R. 6083 include some much needed reforms to farm subsidies?
The bill does eliminate wasteful direct payments to farmers, but it then plows much of the “savings” back into three new “shallow loss” entitlement programs that will actually serve to guarantee the profits for a larger number of farmers than currently benefit from direct payments. In addition, the bill sets new price floors for commodities (in most cases, higher than average recent prices) and expands crop insurance subsidies.
Isn’t passing H.R. 6083 crucial towards passing drought assistance for those regions of the country that have been hard hit?
We continue our Member of the Week segment with a questionnaire with the Congressman. We want you to know the most conservative members of Congress on both a professional and personal level because it’s important to see them as real people, not just politicians. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) answers 5 questions, some policy oriented and some personal:
There are two parties in this country – but not the two you’re familiar with. There is the party that wants more government involvement and believes that government is the answer to all of life’s problems, and the party that wants less government involvement and believes that the private sector and the American people are the driver of the economy. Heritage Action’s communications director, Dan Holler, sums up what this two-party system has caused in his latest column: