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A bit of powerful wisdom

Most Americans don’t read the actual bills that come out of Congress. Why would we? They tend to be excessively long and windy. Take the Agricultural Act of 2014 for example. This document, commonly called the “Farm Bill” is nearly 1,000 pages long. We depend on our Congressmen and Senators to interpret these bills and our newspapers to keep us informed on the specifics.

This “Farm Bill” is a shining example of why the federal government doesn’t work. This bill is touted at the congressional level as legislation designed to help the American farmer, yet only 20% of the nearly $1 trillion dollars it allocates goes to farming.

Over the next 10 years, nearly $800 billion will be spent on food stamps in this country. While I agree that helping those in need is a noble policy, I believe that that policy should be limited. Most people on food stamps have been on them for years. Some make little or no attempt to increase their job potential or even find a job. They lie about their economic status.

I have seen the lies first hand. I know of several young mothers that live with their boyfriends, but do not declare the extra income. I’ve seen households making as much as $80,000 a year and buying food with the food stamp card.

There are no job training or education benefits or time limits attached to this program. We all know the phrase, “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.” I believe we should apply this bit of powerful wisdom to this policy. It seems like a custom fit.

The actual agricultural part of the bill goes toward farm subsidies, crop insurance, conservation, rural development, renewable energy and other farm programs. $80 billion per year to feed the unemployed poor, $20 billion a year to help the hard working farmer make more food. Why are these bills tied together and not called the Food Stamp Bill?

They haven’t always been connected. Decades ago, they were separate bills. Lawmakers combined them in the hopes of using urban votes to keep the Farm Bill afloat. Someone noticed that there were more inner city poor than there were farmers and decided to use those poor to further their own agenda.

Recently, several new Congressmen realized that having the two bills combined as a single bill was both dishonest to the American People and a huge disservice to the American Farmer. They campaigned heavily for splitting the bill back into two, but change doesn’t come easy. As usual, they took heavy fire from their fellow Congressmen and from several political groups that were afraid that changing this bill would mean it would go away completely.

The majority again chose the “Lesser of Two Evils” path, but I commend those that stood their ground in the face of adversity. They defended their position and did not cave, even after the battle was lost. This is the true mark of an honorable person. We need more people like these in our government.

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