Monday, September 23, 2013

The Farm Bill Fiasco

The House recently passed "The Farm Bill". It allegedly supplies subsidies to farmers who supply our national food supply. However, the fact remains that the largest subsidy that falls under the US Dept. of Agriculture's budget has little to nothing to do with farming. It is also the more controversial portion of the "Farm Bill":  the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP is also known as "food stamps", after the old-fashioned coupons given out for government-bought food. These days, SNAP is doled out through a sort of debit-card system known as an "EBT". The EBT was established to lower the stigma of using "food stamps". It has also opened the program to increased fraud and abuse.

That same fraud and abuse was what reforms during the Reagan Administration sought to reduce. Now, because of EBT payments being integrated with standard debit and credit card swipe machines, the fraud has escalated far beyond where it was in the early 1980s.

The federal SNAP funds far exceed any farming subsidies in the so-called "farm bill".

Last Thursday, the US House voted to continue many of the farming subsidies while reducing SNAP funding by approximately $39B during FY14. It is a less than 10% cut.

On the right, many claim the cut is far from enough. the cuts won't be enough to motivate people to return to work or to better their stations. With an increasing number of citizens more and more dependent upon the government, the right argues, liberty and personal responsibility are stripped. When those are stripped, so is the American Dream of self-sufficiency (liberty), success and prosperity (pursuit of happiness), and life being one's own (not enslaved to the wills and whims of another).

Meanwhile, many on the left, argue that the cuts to SNAP are stealing food from your children.

Let's examine that. First of all, a child's food should be earned by his parents. If his parents fail to do so, they should be help accountable. SNAP steals food from those who earned it by taxing away what they lawfully and rightfully earned. That is greed and larceny. Greed is no keeping what you earn. Greed is acting on coveting what somebody else earned.

SNAP kills charity. No logical and compassionate adult will argue that charity is a bad thing. It is moral. That is something the left and the right agree upon. However, many on the left believe that using force to redistribute what one has rightfully earned to those who failed to earn is "charity". It isn't. Charity is a function of free will. If the charitable act is not done willingly, it is not free will. It is extortion, theft, fraud, and immoral.

SNAP kills these acts of kindness by reducing what compassionate people have available to consider giving. When, after taxes, you have just enough to feed your family, pay the mortgage, and pay for fuels necessary to live (transportation, heating, cooking, etc.), there isn't enough left to give, freely, without taking from the mouths of your own kids.

So, reducing SNAP does not take food from your kids' mouths. It helps keep the food there, in the hands of those who earned it. Anything in excess can be donated.

Many on the left scream their heads off that the right attempts to "legislate morality" with many states banning same-sex marriage and restricting abortions to 20 weeks of gestation. Perhaps they are correct. However, it's a fact that many children are capable of surviving outside the womb at 20 weeks of gestation, especially with modern science. Science, the religion that the atheist left lauds over any deity. That same "religion" supports these abortion restrictions. So do those calling for better facilities at the abortion clinics. That isn't "morality". It's science and common sense. 

The same-sex marriage issue is one that has gone for centuries and will continue. It is up to the general (majority) society of each state to determine their laws. The only detail that needs to be addressed goes back to Loving v. Virginia. A marriage in one state needs to be accepted as legal in all states. Beyond that, it is a state by state right to issue marriage licenses in accordance with the state's own cultural beliefs. Sorry, kids, marriage is not a religious condition in our country. The First Amendment saw to that when it called for a ban of any state-sponsored religion. That being said, the left may be correct in their allegations regarding same-sex marriage. Again, the rules are for each state to determine for themselves.

However, it is highly hypocritical for the left to advocate for pilfering and extortion from those who work and earn in order to feed the kids of those too irresponsible to provide for themselves or their kids.

The House did not vote to take food out of your kids' mouths. They voted to stop taking it out of your kids' mouths, if you earned it. They voted to steal less from the citizens.

What is the story of Robin Hood?

A lesser lord returned home from the crusades. He found that the prince had increased taxes in the name of his brother, the king, who was fighting the war. The prince claimed the increases were for the war effort. Those fighting the war didn't see a penny. It was being redistributed to the nobles who supported John, to a bloated bureaucracy, and to those aristocrats poised to make John richer.

Robyn stood up for his people and against the unfair taxation. So John ordered Robyn stripped of his family's land (100% tax rate). Was the land given to the poor people? No, it was given to another nobleman, one who supported John's extortionist methods.

So, Robyn joined the freedom fighters. He looted the tax collectors and returned the unlawfully garnered "taxes" back to those who earned it. Once those people got their money, goods, and food back, they had enough to pay tithes to the church and donate food and goods to those in need.

Well, 80% of the funding collected for "food stamps" goes into the pockets of bureaucrats and con-artists. Imagine if the people who earned it were to give it directly to those in need. The amount of good would increase by nearly 400% if the government got out of the way.