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Cheaper Groceries From Farm Bill

Cheaper Groceries? How the Farm Bill Could Help

President Bush is in talks with Agriculture Secretary Ed Shafer over the Farm Bill, a five-year, $285 billion bill currently being considered by Congress. Bush disagrees with the proposed new $3.8 billion farm disaster program as well as new perks for the sugar industry included in the legislation. He also objects to the $10 billion in extra spending and the bill would allow over the measure’s $560 billion, 10-year baseline. Lawmakers aren't expecting Bush to till up support for the bill.

Should a presidential veto be on the shopping list, supporters in Congress have a plan to override and save the increases in food aid to poor Americans. The bill also proposes a $10.3 billion increase for food stamps and other nutrition programs — lawmakers think these programs could be piggybacked onto other, must-pass legislation.

How does a law become a grocery bill? In Time magazine this week, a teeny tiny item showed just how the bill could lower food prices and grocery costs for families. To see how,


  • Disaster Relief: The very $3.8 billion program Bush objects to could help farmers hit by weather hurdles helping them get back on their feet and ensuring a steady supply to market.
  • Ethanol Subsidy Cuts: The bill aims to cut tax credits and subsidies more efficient means of biofuel production like using wood and grasses.
  • Food Stamps: The bill is set to increase the minimum food-stamp allowance, which has been set at $10 since 1977.
  • Emergency Food Assistance: Programs like food banks and pantries could get up to $100 million more in funding, increasing the number of people they can help.

Bush has said the bill is "bloated" and disagrees with payouts to multimillionaire farmers that actually do little to stem food costs. He said, "Congress can reform our farm programs — and should — by passing a fiscally responsible bill that treats our farmers fairly and does not impose new burdens on American taxpayers."

Does the problem lie in combining nutrition and hunger plans in with farm payouts? In an era where family farms are on the decline, are farm subsidies as needed? Is it prudent to protect our food supply or is our farm policy full of weeds?


Join The Conversation
Shannybaby Shannybaby 9 years
"small struggling farmers are a myth" Why don't you go ask one of the small struggling farmers about that. Please do a little research before you open your mouth and spew your filth.
Shannybaby Shannybaby 9 years
I'm very late with this but...Multibillionaire farmers? Where do those people exsist?? I am a farmer and believe me when I tell you that just because food prices go up doesn't mean the farmers are getting that money. We get a set price for our product. When the prices go up as they have, we still get our set price. The extra money goes to the government and all the bozo's on wallstreet racking in the cash. I'm sorry but it makes me angry when people think farming is a get rich job. It is not. Not only are we getting pennies for our product but OUR costs have gone up to produce. Not to mention it is a 24-7 job 365 days a year. My goats don't get a vacation, they have to be milked twice a day every day. Farmers don't get vacations or sick days. When there are disasters in other countries the U.S. always sends aid. How come when there is disaster here (like a drought or flood to wipe out crops) there has to be a bill passed to get some help. For shame! The governement is the reason the food prices are so high. I'd sell you a gallon of milk for next to nothing if I didn't have to pay the government or if I didn't have to practically give it all away because of the prices they have set for me. Whew ok I feel better now.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
How about we let the farmers do their jobs and grow what they want, instead of paying them not to grow? You know, like the Constitution intended it to be. :ponder:
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
That's FOOD STAMPS not Rood Stamps, although I've known quite a few "rude" Food Stamp recipients.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
"Congress can reform our farm programs — and should — by passing a fiscally responsible bill that treats our farmers fairly and does not impose new burdens on American taxpayers." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now there's a new concept. Congress not giving money to the big agribusiness lobbyists who donate to Congressmen and women. Hmmmm. If they want o spend money, give it to the Family Owned Farms (no matter the size) and NOT to Agribusinesses. Rood Stamps are not Welfare, btw. They are a Farm Subsidy and that is why the legislation seems out of place to some. It's all about getting people to eat food so that the farmer can raise more and make more money. Long Live Family Farms! They should receive the "offical" Government Farm Subsidy. (see "Ruh Roh" to explain "offical")
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Yahoo linked to the everyone and their mother was on there. :OY:
stiletta stiletta 9 years
I was on the site earlier and noticed how many commenters there were on the Gore thread. And then I read them ... it was like a horror movie. Those people were insane. Why did that happen? Why that just one thread?
stephley stephley 9 years
Dave, the large farmers are multi-nationals like ConAgra and they don't like competing with little farmers which is why they drove them out of business. They've even patented seeds so that farmers HAVE to buy them and can't trade among themselves any more.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I think we need to get back to the concept of paying a farmer for only what he reaps. That way, he has to strive to be more effecient. The smaller farmers can make as much as larger farmers, and with all the food shortages around the world, the demand is high enough that everyone should do well.
onabanana onabanana 9 years
Farm subsidies mainly help giant corporate farms get more money. We encourage them to be inefficient. They're making tons of money off of corn based ethanol. If the goal is to assist normal people with the cost of food then increase funding to food banks or food stamps don't give it to the giant farms. The small struggling farmer is a myth.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I like RaccMan better. It sounds more studly. :)
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
It cracks me up reading your comments with that little face peering at me. :rotfl:
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I am a raccoon. I am also a man. I am a Mancoon.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
Gosh! Who could punch a raccoon? They are little theives but they are very cute ones.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
That Gore thread was like getting punched in the face repeatedly.
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
I look so dorky when I mess them up!
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
hee hee thank you Harmony! :)
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Here you go harts.... :drinks:
hartsfull hartsfull 9 years
You were talking of this on the other thread I stumbled (from my drunkeness :drink: )onto. I have to go there now.
stephley stephley 9 years
That's funny, I had an image of the two of you coming in and flopping on a sofa with big sighs. I knew Gore would be a dangerous topic
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Sorry I'm talking about the Gore thread. There is a link to it from Yahoo. Hypno and I were there, but we had to escape the crazies that came to comment.
stephley stephley 9 years
I'm very confused now.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
At least they aren't personally attacking YOU hypno! :ROTFL:
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Bill sounds good to me
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
O.K. a break from the nuts
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