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posted: 2/2/2014 4:40 AM

Farm bill is rife with wasteful spending

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Farm bill is rife with wasteful spending

According to a Jan. 27 Bloomberg report, a farm bill is advancing largely keeping food stamp spending intact as well as preserving most farm subsidies. While the bill reins in some of the food stamp abuses that expanded the program to 47.4 million or 15 percent of the population it does not go far enough to bring this program under control.

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Spending $76.1 billion in fiscal 2013 is absurd. Cutting food stamp spending $8 billion over 10 years is ridiculous. A 1 percent cut in food stamps is either assuming we will not recover economically over the next 10 years or gives the administration a blank check to perpetuate benefits to ineligible recipients pandering for their votes. What happened to the $40 billion in cuts previously sought? Is this another sell out by entrenched incumbents bought off by lobbyists?

Regarding farm subsidies, the taxpayer watchdog group Open the Books has documented massive amounts of "farm subsidies" flowing into America's urban areas. Among the 50 states Illinois ranked third in farm subsidies. Among Illinois municipalities with the most subsidies, Chicago ranked seventh. Over $6.1 million in farm subsidies flowed into 930 individual Chicago entities from 2008 to 2011. Why are payments going into areas like the Gold Coast, Loop, Lincoln Park and Hyde Park where there are no farms?

Contact your Congressional representatives and Agricultural Committee Chairman, Frank Lucas, as well as Illinois Republican committee member, Rodney Davis and express your concern for the perpetuation of excessive spending as drafted in the farm bill. How can elected representatives expect constituents to support re-election campaigns by allowing this bill to advance as presently drafted?

Mike Tennis

Sleepy Hollow

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