FOOD & FUEL FILE
Sure, Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has a 10-year plan to take this country back from the poor, the uninsured, the elderly, the hungry and all the unemployed that threaten to make America a warmer Iceland.
But, I ask, does Mr. Ryan’s plan go far enough in reining in this earmarked, Pell-granted and almost Food-Stamped-out nation?
Nay, I say. Neigh.
For example, Ryan’s plan cuts only $127 billion – a measly 20 percent – of the Food Stamp program over the coming decade.
Giddy-up, partner; the best you can do is cut all the food assistance received by 30 American states and territories in the next 10 years?
Yanking 8 million weakened-by-hunger, mostly poor people who don’t vote from the national bread line won’t pay for the $700 billion tax cut Congress and the President gave the richest two percent of Americans last December.
So saddle up and yank all 44 million from the line! Let ’em pull themselves up by their bare toes and, when they get boots, by their bootstraps.
After all, Speaker John Boehner said he did it and he’s been getting a government paycheck only since 1984.
Besides, three years of crushing recession has surely given community food pantries enough time to gear up to feed the hungriest of one in nine Americans.
That move alone saves about $620 billion, or five times more than your chicken-feed plan.
My idea almost covers the entire tax cut nut for the rich in one swing of the cleaver. Sah-weeet.
Sweet, too, are cuts to farm program spending that you’ve suggested.
Yes, the $30 billion you slash from direct payments and crop insurance subsidies over the coming 10 years is nothing to sneeze at. But, in truth, you need a bigger hanky.
For instance, are you the only farm state person in Congress who doesn’t know that 74 percent of all farm program subsidy money from 1995 through 2009 when to just 10 percent of all farmers?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting these people – including those check cashers in town or at sea on their yachts – should face the knife. No, no.
What I’m suggesting is that the other nine out of 10 farm program payment folks, the ones who are pocketing the remaining 26 percent of the money year-in, year-out these weaning calves should be yanked from the federal, ah, milk-dispensing device.
After all most are 5 o’clock farmers and ranchers anyway; they do their farm and ranch work before dawn or after coming home from their town job, the one they got to support their farm in the first place.
Golly, since these folks are already subsidizing their farms with off-the-farm income – not to mention their spouse’s income, too – you, me and John Q. Sucker shouldn’t be underwriting their bleak lives, also.
That’s unkind, not neighborly and not what our smart university people have been teaching us for 40 years.
Besides, these farms are small and behind the times; most lack GPS, GMOs and grandpas who left ’em a section of land.
In all likelihood, they will be unable to help our truly capable farmers who need their land to feed the world by 2050.
Cut crop insurance subsidies to these small operators, too. It makes no sense to put true entrepreneurs, our crop insurance companies, at risk by trying to save those who farm only because they want to. Farming and ranching is not a lifestyle; it’s a business.
I have some other budget ideas, too – like annexing Canada.
Canadians work hard, speak English (most of ’em, eh?) and already have insurance. So, duh?
You need more help? Just call and leave a message. If I’m not updating the Constitution or shuffling my laundry, I’ll probably call back.
The Farm and Food File is published weekly in more than 70 newspapers in North America. Contact Alan Guebert at www.farmandfoodfile.com.
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