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October 06, 2005

GOP: Cut Food Stamps to Fund Agribusiness Welfare

From AP:

The bill by [Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby] Chambliss would cut food programs for the poor by $574 million and conservation programs and farm payments by more than $1 billion each.

The $574 million cut in food stamps would come from restricting access to this benefit for certain families that, because they receive other government assistance, receive food stamps without going through the application process. The restriction would shut an estimated 300,000 people out of the program.

Of course, this is in an agriculture budget giving tens of billions of dollars to big agribusiness. Which at least a few Senators have noticed and proposed an alternative to cutting food aid to the working poor:
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said he and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, are pushing for Bush's payment limits, which would eliminate loopholes that let bigger growers collect unlimited payments.

Effective payment limits would cut spending enough to spare nutrition and conservation programs, said Chuck Hassebrook, director of the Lyons, Neb.-based Center for Rural Affairs.

This fight is a good reminder that most "welfare" in the federal budget goes to big business-- whether through agicultural subsidies, no-bid defense contracts, and tax subsidies for a range of business investments.

And the rightwing's first instinct is always to cut aid to the poor rather than to go after the subsidies to the wealthy.

Posted by Nathan at October 6, 2005 01:52 PM