Okay, so the House of Representatives peels the nutrition program away from the farm bill, ostensibly to reduce the deficit by even greater amounts. So what do these self-proclaimed deficit hawks then do? They load up the “farm-farm bill” with billions of dollars in subsidies designed to mostly benefit the largest, wealthiest farmers. (Where would we be without our sacred traditions?)
How do you like that for a set of priorities? If you’re passionate about deficit reduction, and you believe in the ideals of democracy (what congressional representative shouldn’t?), why shovel more taxpayer money to those who are already sitting pretty?
And come on, putting out a 608-page bill at 8pm on the night before the vote. Really? Is this the way to run the railroad we call the United States of America? Is this the way we honor the values of democracy upon which our republic is built?
Even the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation has decried this deceitful travesty.
“The House has ignored the need for reform by just repackaging the agricultural sections of the failed farm bill. The agriculture-only farm bill:
- Spends far more on the most expensive farm program (crop insurance).
- Doesn’t even make one reform to crop insurance.
- Creates a radical new program that would cover even minor losses suffered by farmers. Even the American Farm Bureau expressed concern over this minor loss system.
- Hurts low-income families by preserving policies that drive up food prices, which have a disproportionate effect on the poor."
And commenting on the rush to vote on the new 608-page version of the farm bill, the Heritage Foundation has this to say:
“House Republicans were swept into office in January 2011 with promises of bringing greater transparency to the ‘people’s house.’ One of those promises, included in the GOP’s ‘Pledge to America’ was a 3-day waiting period to provide members of Congress with adequate time to read and debate legislation. In order to get around this requirement, the House Rules Committee, with the exception of North Carolina Representative Walter Jones, voted to waiver the 3-day rule.”
Seems more like the way we edge ourselves ever closer back to feudalism. Is this really the backward path we want to tread? The path that leads to increasing wealth and influence disparity? Shouldn’t democratic civilization be heading in the direction that broadens the potential of human aspiration rather than eclipsing it?
Why do we put young people’s lives in harm’s way to espouse, proclaim, fight, be wounded, and die for emergent democratic values in foreign lands, and then vote to undermine these values right here at home?
Why indeed? It all adds up to a curious paradox that well suits those who desire to amass fortune, consolidate influence, and wield immense control over the lives of others.
Welcome to the brave new, twisted world to which we are headed. Aren’t you excited about arriving there as soon as possible? Do you think your children, grandchildren, and beyond will thank us or curse us for it? Is this the legacy we willingly choose to provide?
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