What if you wanted to sell me something for $40, but I only offered you $4?
Obviously you wouldn’t take that offer, but would you “compromise” and settle for $8?
It’s not very likely, especially if you knew your product could command $40.
Yet, that’s the type of “compromise” the House and Senate just made on food stamp cuts in the so-called farm-bill — but on a much larger scale.
The House wanted $40 billion in food stamp cuts. The Senate wanted $4 billion. The “compromise” they reached was an $8 billion cut.
Advocates of increasing the federal minimum wage argue a minimum wage increase would result in fewer people relying on food stamps and other federal welfare programs. The evidence suggests otherwise, but there are many examples recently of pundits and economists arguing for a minimum wage increase nonetheless.
The Associated Press reports an increasing number of food stamp recipients are working-age Americans, rather than children and the elderly, as was historically the case. AP notes some economists have thought about a minimum wage increase as a means of helping these working-age Americans become independent of federal welfare programs:
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night is expected to focus in part on reducing income inequality, such as by raising the federal minimum wage.
Conservatives and liberals agree that it is good to help those most in need to put food on their table. There is disagreement, however, with regard to how much the federal government should spend on food stamps and whether or not there is any fraud, waste, and abuse in the program. Does the steep rise in food stamp participation indicate a growing entitlement culture? Liberals and conservatives answer that question differently, too. At issue currently is a reported $9 billion dollar cut — over the next decade — to the federal food stamp program that cost roughly $80 billion in 2013 alone. The cuts would be part of a farm bill agreement.
Liberal politicians often defend ineffective, costly legislative initiatives that at first glance seem compassionate. As we reflect today on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” we need to question its effectiveness and that of other liberal, big government attempts to solve or reduce the problem of poverty in America. Despite the fact that the federal government spends billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars on big-government programs, 15 percent of Americans still live in poverty.
That’s unchanged since the birth of the “War on Poverty” in the mid-1960’s. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector notes in the Wall Street Journal (sub. req’d):
LBJ promised that the war on poverty would be an “investment” that would “return its cost manifold to the entire economy.” But the country has invested $20.7 trillion in 2011 dollars over the past 50 years. What does America have to show for its investment? Apparently, almost nothing: The official poverty rate persists with little improvement.
Will a farm bill be pushed through before the end of the year? Some lawmakers are working to make that a reality, but that accomplishment will not be favorable for taxpayers and consumers.
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) 72% told reporters Monday, “There’s no reason not to get [a farm bill]. Every day we don’t get something done makes it more and more difficult.” Rep. Conaway would like to see a farm bill passed before the end of the year.