Jul 162013
 

Paul Krugman is one of those whose depth of knowledge on the economy is so great that I seldom find myself in disagreement with him.  Once again, he did not disappoint, as he explained the Republican position on the Farm Bill, and the extreme level of hypocrisy therein.

16StealSomething terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.

The occasion for these observations is, as you may have guessed, the monstrous farm bill the House passed last week.

For decades, farm bills have had two major pieces. One piece offers subsidies to farmers; the other offers nutritional aid to Americans in distress, mainly in the form of food stamps (these days officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP).

Long ago, when subsidies helped many poor farmers, you could defend the whole package as a form of support for those in need. Over the years, however, the two pieces diverged. Farm subsidies became a fraud-ridden program that mainly benefits corporations and wealthy individuals. Meanwhile food stamps became a crucial part of the social safety net.

So House Republicans voted to maintain farm subsidies — at a higher level than either the Senate or the White House proposed — while completely eliminating food stamps from the bill.

To fully appreciate what just went down, listen to the rhetoric conservatives often use to justify eliminating safety-net programs. It goes something like this: “You’re personally free to help the poor. But the government has no right to take people’s money” — frequently, at this point, they add the words “at the point of a gun” — “and force them to give it to the poor.”

It is, however, apparently perfectly O.K. to take people’s money at the point of a gun and force them to give it to agribusinesses and the wealthy… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Photo credit: Café Press

Republicans are Robin Hood in reverse.  All their economic policies are designed to take from the poor to give to the rich.  Krugman says that it has gone beyond just economics to mean-spiritedness, and I have to agree.

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  17 Responses to “Krugman on the Farm Bill”

  1. I too agree with Paul Krugman – though I would say that the glee of the sadistic Repuglicons has been evident for decades – it is just getting stronger and stronger as the Kool-Aid they drink rots their brains!  They make me despair of humanity – then I think of what Desmond Tutu said about there being a dozen unsung good deeds for every bad deed and think of those of us on Care2 trying to help others and straighten my back and carry on.

    (Surely the Repuglicons are the repulsive Sherrif of Nottingham and all his horrible cohorts?) 

  2. It just galls me that my RepublicanT Representative voted for this and goes to visit farmers in our small rural area and acts as though he supports them. They have no scruples.

    • I have no objection to subsidies for small family farmers, but this almoat all goes to big corporate agribusiness.

      • I, too, am all for subsidies for small family farms. They struggle just to provide for their families. I know. I was once a part of a family farm and go to one once a week to get my dairy products and eggs.

        • My farming experience was limited to a week on  a friend's grandparents' dairy farm, when I was 10.  They worked my ass off!!

  3. There truly are NO limits Rethuglicans will not go in order to comfort the comfortable, and afflict the afflicted.

    Their hate for the poor, women, children, minorities, etc. knows no bounds.

  4. Just another example of who the republicans want to funnel your tax dollars to.  (Please excuse the poor sentence structure.)

  5. I fully expected them to vote as they did.  Folks on SNAP cannot contribute to their campaigns, but monster corporations can. 

  6. So House Republicans voted to maintain farm subsidies — at a higher level than either the Senate or the White House proposed — while completely eliminating food stamps from the bill.

    What a crock!  So farmers like Fincher will get a nice tidy farm subsidy amount, in addition to his Congressional pay.  Gee, sounds like he's on the public dole!  And the person working two minimum wage jobs with a child, who can't make ends meet, gets no assistance from SNAP!

    I think that every member of the House and the Senate should be forced to live on food stamps for 1 month and keep a diary of what and how much they ate, where they bought their food, and how they feel.  No meals out with lobbyists, constituents or anyone else.  If they have to have a meeting, have a pine float and an apple! (pine float = glass of water with a toothpick).  In other words, brown bag it.

    Republicanus/Teabaggers are soulless, and certainly not Christian, despite what they claim.

     

    • I agree with all except one thing.  Instead of making them live on food stamps, make them live in minimum wage and deny them food stamps.

  7. Republicans are Robin Hood in reverse.  All their economic policies are designed to take from the poor to give to the rich.

    Sad but true…