Rep. Tom Cotton, the Republican nominee in the Arkansas Senate race, is running an ad highlighting his leadership in trying to fix Washington's broken farm bill legislation. The ad isn't particularly controversial ormaking false claims, in any discernible way and yet "fact checkers" at the Washington Post and PolitiFact have pretty savagely attacked it. Once again, the fact checkers are wrong on the merits. But more than that, there's something very fishy about their Cotton critique.
You can watch the whole ad, but here's the supposedly objectionable claim Cotton makes:
“When President Obama hijacked the farm bill, turned it into a food stamp bill, with billions more in spending, I voted no. Career politicians love attaching bad ideas to good ones. Then the bad ideas become law, and you pay for it.”
As far as legislative sausage-making goes, there are few spectacles more off-putting than Capitol Hill's periodic farm bill extravaganza. The farm subsidies are bad enough on their own, but for decades the bill has also included funding for the unrelated Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka food stamps. The result is the worst kind of bipartisanship—rural Republicans compromise on bloating the cost of food stamp funding in exchange for Democratic votes to get their farm subsidies.Read more
The federal government paid more than $74.6 billion last year to provide 46.6 millions Americans with food stamps. This is an astonishing increase, even for this era of rapidly rising federal spending. Four years earlier the comparable figures were $34.6 billion in benefits for 28.2 million recipients.Read more
After five decades of liberal antipoverty programs that have produced only failure and futility, it is more than time for a conservative response to the problem of poverty—one that emphasizes work, family, and economic freedom.Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report on Thursday regarding illegal trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps. The report showed that the rate of trafficking rose from 1 percent of total benefits in the last study period of 2006-2008 to 1.3 percent in the current study period of 2009-2011, an increase of 30 percent. The report noted the trafficking rate remains well below a rate of almost 4 percent that existed for much of the 1990s. The rate plunged to 1 percent by the 2002-2005 study period and remained there until the current report:Read more
The day's trending theme (that would be a "meme" for those not in the know) seems to be that Republicans have become a tribe of nihilists who aim not to improve efficiency in government and make it better but to pour sand in its crankcase and jam its gears.Read more
Two charts on food stamps spending, provided by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee, just as the Senate is voting the food stamps program (which is part of the so-called farm bill):Read more
In an article titled, "Use of Food Stamps Swells Even as Economy Improves," the Wall Street Journal reports that "The financial crisis is over and the recession ended in 2009. But one of the federal government's biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn't shrinking back alongside the recovery."Read more
On Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture quietly released new statistics related to the food stamps program, officially known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The numbers reveal, in 2012, the food stamps program was the biggest it's ever been, with an average of 46,609,072 people on the program every month of last year.Read more
The federal government is now spending $110 billion on "all food assistance" per year, according to new analysis by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. The federal dollars spent on these programs has risen by nearly $70 billion in just ten years.
Here's a chart from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, showing how spending has increased over the last dozen years:Read more
With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that "Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth [Is] 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation," according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. "For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People Added To Food Stamp Rolls."Read more
Food stamps enrollment has hit a new record high. 46,681,833 are now enrolled in the social welfare program, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the federal department that runs the program.Read more
A new chart provided by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the alarming fact that enrollment in federal social welfare programs like Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Disability have far outpaced job growth over the last four years. Here's the chart:Read more
A new chart put together by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds that, since 2001, the "number of non-citizens on food stamps quadrupled." Here's the chart detailing the growth in regards to non-citizens:Read more
This week, Congress is under pressure to pass the 2012 farm bill before the current legislation expires on September 30. About every five years, Congress pushes through a farm bill, ostensibly a big bundle of agriculture subsidies that also funds food stamps. But the name is misleading. Nearly 80 percent of the $1 trillion the 2012 bill would spend over the next 10 years would go to the food stamp program.Read more
An alarming data point from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee: More Americans are being added to food stamps than are finding jobs. The data is detailed in this chart, provided by the committee:Read more
On C-SPAN's Washington Journal recently, a Democratic member of Congress, Rosa DeLauro, said that the increase of food stamps usage has to do with the "rough economy" and the fact that real unemployment is higher than 8.2 percent. The 8.2 percent number is the one offered by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, but accounts for only those looking actively looking for work.Read more
The federal government has been making the case that, with food stamps, "everyone wins," according to literature meant to promote the federal social welfare program. The argument is that accepting food stamp benefits helps to promote economic growth for the communities hosting those recipients.Read more
CBS News: "Clinton: US using 'smart power' for Libya, Syria"
Reform Medicaid: "Fact Checking FactCheck.org on Rick Perry and Texas Medicaid Costs"Read more
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