In addition to opposing the Farm Bill because it is anti-free market and is welfare for farmers, the Farm Bill should have been opposed because 80% of the $939 billion in the program funds food stamps. If Senator Lamar Alexander, Representative Marsha Blackburn and the rest of the Tennessee Republican delegation, with the exception of Representative John J. Duncan and Senator Bob Corker, could not vote against the farm bill because it is Soviet-style economic planning that distorts production and consumption and adds to the growing deficit, then they should have voted against it because food stamp spending is out of control and widely abused.
Since 2009 the number of people on food stamps has increased from 15 million to 47 million. Part of this is due to the recession and more people became eligible, but most of is is because the eligibility was changed to make people who previously would not have been eligible, become eligible.
While there are times when people do need assistance, food stamps have became a way of life for many people. Along with numerous other welfare and benefit programs, food stamps breeds dependency. They create a sense of entitlement. Also, they are widely abused. People will claim children living with them that don't in order to qualify. They will not report all of their income. The mother getting food stamps does not report the income of the live-in babydaddy. Food stamps are part of the economy of many poor neighborhoods. The going rate in Nashville, the last I heard, was 50 cents on the dollar. A person on food stamps will let someone use their debit card to go shopping and if the bill is a hundred dollars they will pay the person on food stamps fifty dollars.
I have worked in the social services field for years. I have seen the various ways people game the system. Once people are attuned to how the system works, it is not hard to figure out how to get free phones, food stamps, earned income tax credits, extended unemployment benefits and more. Welfare, including food stamps, changes a person's character. People do not think it is immoral to get benefits to which they are not entitled. It make people liars and thieves. The hand-outs create permanent poverty, because poverty is subsidized just enough that it becomes too expensive not to be poor.
If our Republican Senator and Representatives could not vote against the Farm Bill because it is Soviet-style planning, or because it creates government dependence and keeps people in poverty, there is another reason; it creates Democrats. Once people began getting a handout, they want to keep it. They don't know how they could ever get by without it. They feel entitled. The more people that are on food stamps, the harder it will be for Republicans to win elections.