The moment I saw the headline of this Corner post (House GOP Strikes Food Stamps Pact), my heart sank. After reading said post, it’s still “underwater.”
Now, to be fair, the “pact” – which is in fact a policy idea that hasn’t yet been run through the entire caucus – isn’t bad. Essentially, it restores the 1990s welfare-reform requirements on food stamps for able-bodied adults without children (work 20 hours a week, or be limited to three months of aid every three years). The numbers folks say it could save about $20 billion (although I think that’s over multiple years).
However, and I can’t say this enough, any attempt to deal with the recent explosion in food stamps without addressing the market-distorting farm policies is merely treating the symptoms while the disease runs unchecked. So long as the government continues with policies that drive up the price of sugar, milk, corn, and everything fed on corn (i.e., meat), more people will need government assistance than would be the case in a true free market for food.
Whatever one thinks of the particular policy change (and, again, I think it has some merit), any farm/food-stamp bill that doesn’t get rid of Pitchfork Corporatism still says the same thing to suburban and urban consumers: Drop Dead.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal