That’s what an L.A. Times writer calls Republican congressmen who voted in “an outbreak of pure cynicism” to gut funding for food stamps to the poor while raking in subsidies for farmers.
Of particular roguishness was the pious anti-government speechifying. Sermonized Rep. Doug LaMalfa R-Richvale (rice country near Chico): “I think we’re all pretty loving people here, that want to help the poor. But government has not provided those solutions. It’s failing. And to think that we can’t retract just a little bit of the spending over something that’s grown exponentially in the last three or four years to try to get this reform in place.”
Then LaMalfa raked in an estimated $1.7 million in farm subsidies. Government can’t provide solutions. But it can provide pork. The basis of this Valley-wide ag mentality, as best I can tell, is that farmers deserve whatever insulation from their industry’s vicissitudes that government can provide. Even though they chose an inherently up-and-down occupation. Because they grow food for everyone. So their broad public benefit merits subsidizing.
But the poor, who didn’t choose their lot, deserve no help from government. Because they offer no broad public benefit … though they might, if they weren’t starving.
Government must be starved — the poor as well — after farmers get theirs. Yet some people just don’t see that modern conservatism is America’s best hope.