Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute skews the GOP and rightfully so.
But in passing the farm bill, Republicans demonstrated that they are just fine with bloated welfare programs as long as those welfare payments go to well-healed special interests.
In 2011, the last year for which full data is available, the average farm household had an income of $87,289, 25 percent higher than the average for all U.S. households. And about a third of the farm subsidies go to the largest four percent of farm operators. If you want to see real “welfare queens,” look no further than Pilgrim’s Pride, Tyler Farms, and Riceland Foods.
It is absolutely true that the federal food stamps program has become bloated and deserves to be debated under a separate bill. Yet the message coming out of this debacle is that the GOP cares only about its rich patrons, red state farmers of all stripes including tree farmers.
The GOP failed to forecast the messaging problem with passing the farm bill. Twelve Republicans voted against the measure.