Members of Congress, taxpayer groups, and free market organizations slammed the direction that the Farm Bill has taken in two letters hitting Congressional office mailboxes this week.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, has proposed a bill that largely maintains the status quo by artificially increasing consumer prices and hooking taxpayers with new, costly entitlement programs. Worse, the reforms proposed to cut a paltry $23 billion in spending over ten years are not only below the House of Representative’s minimum target set this month of cutting at least $33.7 billion, but are even below President Obama’s goal of cutting $30 billion.
Letters from eleven free market groups, including ATR, and eight Members of Congress, lead by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), directly questioned why the booming agriculture sector should still be propped up at taxpayer expense. Both pointed out how net farm income has nearly doubled over the past decade from $55 billion to $98 billion while we’ve spent almost a trillion dollars since 1995 in various forms of subsidies to farm businesses. The letter from Rep. Flake also correctly questioned why the House is letting the Senate - especially given the upper chamber's anti-free-market leanings - to take the lead on crafting the law.