Jewish World Review Feb 5, 2014 / 5 Adar I, 5774
You can almost hear this one squeal
By Paul Greenberg
Other congressmen talk a good game about the need to cut out the waste in an out-of-control federal budget that continues to mortgage the country's future -- and take from future generations by saddling them with more and more government debt. But this
He's always been that way. He left a prestigious federal court clerkship to join the
How rare, though not unknown: a congressman who acts on his patriotic convictions, and doesn't just mouth them. Even as a
Whatever it is, Capt. Cotton stands by his guns, and not just figuratively. As he did on this issue, outvoted but not outfought. And he could scarcely have found a worse example of
If there was a special interest in the whole, sprawling, grasping farm- industrial complex now known as Agribusiness that didn't get its cut, it got it by some other name. For example, the feds' command-and-control system that keeps the price of milk and other dairy products artificially high is now called insurance, but that doesn't make it any easier for poor families to afford milk. Those direct handouts in the millions to planters, whether they actually plant a crop or not, are still there -- but they're called
There's no surer sign than this rotating crop of euphemisms that something fishy is going on in government. And in the government-subsidized industry that American "farming" has become.
Even the Obama administration's tax on Christmas, specifically Christmas trees, is still there in this latest farm bill, but be sure to call it a Promotion Program.
Yes, there are good reasons, or at least good rationalizations, for
But there were also crass, self-serving political reasons to pass this squealer, as there always are. Having learned their lesson (Politics Before Principle 101) after the Great Government Shutdown of 2013, the slow but politically educable Republicans in the House have decided not to repeat that political blunder in time for the midterm elections this year, when they might actually make gains this time out rather than embarrass themselves election night.
There are always good reasons to compromise principle. That's how it disappears in politics -- except among those profiles in courage like
Yes, the food-stamp rolls have grown since 2008 -- in tandem with the Great Recession and the greater number of poor, even hungry folks. But it remains one of the better administered and just plain decent government programs in existence. It should never have been yoked with a gigantic vat of pork like the farm bill. But that's how
Passing a farm bill is a great triumph -- but only for the farm lobby, not the rest of us.
It takes a clear-eyed
What a nice change, and great senator,
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