Did the debt‐ceiling deal passed in May reflect a new congressional focus on spending restraint? Or was it a fluke win by House conservatives that will unravel as Congress addresses spending this fall?
One test will be the upcoming farm bill, which will reauthorize both farm subsidies and food stamps. Without reforms, the bill will cost $1.5 trillion or more over the coming decade. Expensive farm bills usually pass because of a giant logroll—rural members favor farm welfare and urban members favor the food stamp program, also called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
But the government is running massive deficits. Downsizing is needed. Farm subsidies and food stamps should be cut. Republicans often say that welfare, such as food stamps, should be only temporary, and that people should strive to stand on their own two feet. The same should be true of farmers.
Read more in my new op‐ed at The Hill.