The Farm Bill effects not just farmers but also those who rely on Food Stamps, now known as S.N.A.P. (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).
The Agricultural Act of 2014 cuts $23 billion:
- $8 billion over 10 years from S.N.A.P.,
- $4 billion from the conservation program, and
- $19 billion in the long-loathed subsidies in favor of an increased crop insurance program.
As the NYT notes, it's a far cry from perfect:
- The crop insurance still amounts to an outsized subsidy, as notes the Environmental Working Group.
- Thankfully, $8 billion in S.N.A.P. cuts is less than the $40 billion sought by House Republicans.
- States who passed animal rights laws are not superseded by the bill, NPR further notes.
- Politico notes further specific winners and losers.
The $500 billion legislation had already been delayed two years, and given this is the least productive Congress in U.S. history, many are amazed anything at all passed.
As with all politics and legislation, there is much compromising with the negotiations. The longterm unemployed lost out on the recent budget negotiations, and now some of the poorest Americans are no longer receiving needed subsidies.
May we not continue to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, favoring instead a greater distribution of credit and cuts.