Letter to the editor: Call for an update on actual 2008 Farm Bill spending“I do not feel agriculture contributed to the deficit,” said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. “The irony is, we paid for the last farm bill; we paid for it lock, stock and barrel and reduced the deficit modestly.”
By: Alan Roebke , The Jamestown Sun
“I do not feel agriculture contributed to the deficit,” said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
“The irony is, we paid for the last farm bill; we paid for it lock, stock and barrel and reduced the deficit modestly.”
According to the story in DTN/The Progressive Farmer, Conrad added that the Congressional Budget Office considered the 2008 farm bill fully offset because of an extension of import inspection fees that were used to pay for a $1-billion-a-year increase in food stamps.
But Conrad failed to point out that even with that billion, the 2008 farm bill’s annual budget for food stamps was $38 billion, for a total outlay of $189 billion over five years.
Furthermore, only in fiscal year 2008 was spending held to $38 billion. In FY2009, it ballooned to $54 billion and in FY2010 just ended it jumped to about $68 billion without any new offsets by Conrad, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
So, I urge North Dakotans to call for a update of the Congressional Research Service release in April that estimated the five-year 2008 farm bill to be about 50 percent over budget or a staggering $132 billion increase. Today, the CRS can update the study because FY2010 numbers are available as are new estimates for FY2011 and FY2012.
Let’s hold the Senate Budget Committee chairman accountable. Ask newly elected congressmen John Hoeven and Rick Berg for an update of actual spending in the 2008 farm bill from the Congressional Research Service.