Farm Bill Socialism in Senate

December 12, 2018

Republicans have criticized the socialism of Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but they should reflect on their own party’s socialist vote in the Senate yesterday. The upper chamber voted 87-13 for the bloated monstrosity known as the farm bill, which funds farm subsidies and food stamps. Republicans in the Senate voted in favor 38-13.

It is not hyperbole to call the farm bill “socialism.” It will spend $867 billion over the next decade, thus pushing up government debt and taxes. It includes large-scale wealth redistribution in the form of food stamps. At its core is central planning, which is obvious when you consider that the bill is 807 pages of legalese laying out excruciating details on crop prices, acres, yields, and other micromanagement. Furthermore, the bill lines the pockets of wealthy elites (landowners), which is a central feature of socialism in practice around the world.

The bill does not represent incremental reform toward smaller government. It is an extension and expansion of big government programs.

Many Republican senators who claim to be conservative voted for farm bill socialism yesterday. They voted for wealth redistribution, central planning, and ultimately higher taxes. Yet on their official Senate websites, these members who approved socialism yesterday nonetheless claim to favor conservative budget policies.

In alphabetical order …

Sen. Roy Blunt: “Unfortunately, bigger government, more spending, higher taxes, and more debt has created an inequality crisis of opportunity in our country.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy: “The national debt is more than $20 trillion. Fiscal responsibility is not an option, it’s a necessity to ensure the long term financial health of the United States. We must get federal spending under control by cutting wasteful, duplicative programs and ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.”

Sen. Bob Corker: “A key leader on our nation’s fiscal challenges, Bob is one of the few members of Congress to put pen to paper and produce a bill that would set our country on a path to fiscal solvency. As one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress, he continues to fight against Washington’s all too common practice of generational theft.”

Sen. John Cornyn: “Congress must also be careful stewards of your tax dollars, focusing on lowering annual deficits and recovering from our $18 trillion debt so future generations can enjoy the same opportunities available today. By eliminating excessive spending and increasing economic activity over time, we can reduce the current budget deficit.”

Sen. Mike Crapo: “Our nation faces many threats but perhaps the biggest is our growing, unsustainable national debt … It is an urgent issue for many Idahoans who agree we must reduce our spending and balance the federal budget.”

Sen. Ted Cruz: “He has consistently voted against raising the debt ceiling, insisting that any debt ceiling increase be accompanied by structural reforms, such as a balanced budget amendment, to better control the way Washington spends money. Sen. Cruz believes that Washington’s out-of-control spending robs prosperity from our children and grandchildren, and that economic growth necessitates a smaller, less regulation-heavy federal government.”

We are only up to “C” in the alphabet here, but you can see the dissonance between the conservative self-image of many Republican members and their actual behavior.

These folks get elected because they claim to be conservative and claim to be worried about overspending and debt. But actions speak louder than words.

More on the farm bill here and here.



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