The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 24, 2012

Your View: Walz pushes irresponsible farm bill — again

Allen Quist, St. Peter

— Congressman Tim Walz is at it again. He’s again saying we need to pass the farm bill now. But during the latter part of the recent campaign, he said we needed to control federal spending.

So which is it?

The last farm bill, in 2008, had a price tag of $286 billion. This farm bill’s price tag is almost twice that at $500 billion.

You can’t control federal spending and double spending on the farm bill at the same time, obviously.

And none of that spending increase is for farm programs. The increase is entirely for food stamps — a program run so poorly that we have no way of knowing if the benefits go to people who actually need them.

Actually 80 percent of the spending in the farm bill is for food stamps. It’s not really a farm bill at all. It’s a food stamp bill with a farm bill rider.

The bill spends money we don’t have. It’s spending on a credit card — where payments on the card haven’t been made in years — but where payments will be required soon when the U. S. government credit runs dry.

For 2011 the federal government borrowed 36 cents of every dollar it spent. And now we want to double the spending on the food stamp bill?

This is more than a fiscal cliff. It’s a fiscal abyss.

And I wonder, who do these politicians expect will bail us out of this black hole they are dropping us into?