The Senate passed a farm bill Thursday that will cost nearly $1 trillion, with more than three-fourths of the expenditures going to food stamps. Couldn’t our lawmakers dial it back a bit? Apparently not.
Should the bill become law — it still must pass the House and be signed by the president — nearly $80 billion a year will be spent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the new name for the old food stamp giveaway. While most of the Democrat-controlled Senate, and some Republicans, are OK with this massive wealth redistribution, one senator saw it as a bit too generous.
Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, proposed cutting a mere $20 billion from food stamps, less than 3% of $770 billion that had been dedicated to the program in an earlier version of the bill.
His modest amendment was rejected.
If the Senate can’t even trim a minute slice of an obscenely immense spending program, the road of debt we have ahead will be even rougher than most expect.
The percentage of Americans on food stamps is already at a record level under President Obama: 14.8% of the population — or 46 million — is in the program. As we noted in March, that’s far higher than the 9.3% who were taking food stamps during George W. Bush’s last year in office, and in a different league than the 1970-2000 average of 7.9%.