Billions for Farmers, Nothing for the Poor

A blog about business and economics.
July 11 2013 5:24 PM

GOP Agriculture Bill—Billions for Farmers, Nothing for the Poor

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 9: House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) looks on during a press conference, on Capitol Hill, July 9, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Some people who advocate large-scale cuts in government programs that assist low-income families are not in fact motivated by callous disregard for the welfare of poor families. Some of them are driven by a principled dislike of government programs. The 216 House Republicans who voted for today's agriculture bill, however, are not in that group. In the wake of last month's legislative shenanigans the GOP leadership decided to move a bill that exclusively funds farm subsidies with no food stamps component at all.

And 216 Republicans voted for it.

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Because they don't have a problem with spending $195 billion over ten years, they just want to make sure it goes to the right people. Not poor people, in other words. Farmers. Farmers who, on average, are richer than the typical American.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.