Friday, June 21, 2013

The Farm Bill clusterfuck

Because about half of this country seems to have always hated the poor, food stamps (or SNAP) funding has been a part of what is know as the farm bill for a while so that it would have an easier time passing than if it were left to be voted on by it's own merits. It's actually the biggest part of the farm bill, which also includes subsides for people like Rep. Stephen Fincher who can use those subsides for their corporate farms to get rich and run for congress where they lecture people on how Jesus really didn't care about the poor unless they put in a full 60 hour work week, or were a farmer like him.

This process by which we throw a few bones to poor people so they can afford to eat while giving wealthy farmers millions of dollars usually goes off without much of a hitch, because of course it does in our corporatocracy. But this year's vote in the House brought it down in spectacular fashion when the combination of some Republicans disliking the fact that the bill didn't cut food stamps enough and Democrats actually taking a stand and not liking that it cut food stamps as much as it did defeated the farm bill. Here's congress' prominent dogfighting proponent, Rep. Steve King, making the argument for cutting food stamps:

"[W]hen we see the expansion of the dependency class in America, and you add this to the 79 other means-tested welfare programs that we have in the United States ... each time you add another brick to that wall, it's a barrier to people that might go out and succeed," Rep. Steve King said during Wednesday debate.

If by "barrier to people that might go out and succeed" you mean not fucking starve, then I guess he's right. I never ceased to be amazed by how much these people hate the poor. Not only that they hold the belief, but that they think it's ok and good for their reelection purposes to say so in public. But remember, this is a christian nation. And Jesus was famous for putting conditions on receiving empathy and charity.

And that's only part of the clusterfuck. The reason this horrible bill didn't pass was that Boehner didn't secure enough votes, which is a big part of his job as Speaker. Unless his goal was to have it fail on purpose so as to leverage either a better bill or something else, this doesn't look good for him. Normally I would be pretty happy when a horrible bill gets voted down. But I don't really see a scenario in which a better bill passes the House and then passes again when it's revised in the Senate. And that's not to mention that Obama did the right thing and said he would veto it. In the end I suspect the need for Republicans to give money to corporate farms will outweigh the need for Democrats to give money to poor people so they can eat and grease the wheels in the hopes of passing immigration reform and we'll get a really shitty farm bill. Because making sure rich people have more money is the most important thing for this country.

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