Before leaving DC for their Memorial Day "District Work Period," the Senate began consideration of a $955 billion renewal of federal agricultural programs. These programs distort the marketplace by providing subsidies to growers of certain commodities, thus encouraging their over-production. Much of the Farm Bill can acutely be described as "corporate welfare," as the payments go to large agribusinesses and millionaire farmers.
Sadly, many so-called "fiscally conservative" Republicans support the Farm Bill because it benefits Republican constituents in "Red States." Some of these "conservative" Republicans even voted against an amendment forbidding farmers with an adjusted gross income of over $750,000 from receiving taxpayer subsidies. Fortunately, the amendment passed because of the votes of true fiscal conservatives and liberal Democrats who want the money spent on programs that benefit Democrat constituents.
The refusals of many politicians to stand up for the taxpayer when it comes to federal spending that benefits their constituents is a major reason why it is so difficult to reduce spending. For one thing, these politicians are often willing to trade away their votes, so Senator X will vote for Senator Y's Farm Bill if Senator Y votes for Senator X's housing bill. Furthermore, how can a Senator who votes for legislation giving subsides to wealthy farmers credibly argue for reductions in other areas of spending? As Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul used to say when questioned about his voting against federal programs that benefited his district, "How can I credibly argue against wasteful spending in New York if I am for it in Texas?"
Under Dr. Paul's leadership, Campaign for Liberty will continue to work for Real Cuts, Right Now in all areas of government.