“80% of the Farm Bill Goes for Food Stamps” and Other Minnesota Conservative Shriekings

3:09 pm in 2012 election by Phoenix Woman

Allen Quist rides off into the sunset, courtesy of Ken Avidor.

Rick Perlstein recently wrote an article for The Baffler titled “The Long Con” that nicely describes the addiction of American conservatives to the realms of untruth: not just blatant lies about ideological matters, but get-rich-quick scams and grifting as well, all of which at one time or another is hidden under a pious mask and often seasoned with bigotry.

I thought of this when I saw Bluestem Prairie’s latest limning of the shambling mound of dishonesty that is Bachmann ally Allen Quist:

In Walz cannot have bill both ways, a letter to the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune, the Norseland farmer writes:

Tim Walz is at it again. He’s again saying we need to pass the farm bill now.

But during the latter part of the recent campaign, he said we needed to control federal spending.

So which is it?

The last farm bill, in 2008, had a price tag of $286 billion. This farm bill’s price tag is almost twice that at $500 billion — half a trillion.

You can’t control federal spending and double spending on the farm bill at the same time, obviously.

And none of that spending increase is for farm programs. The increase is entirely for food stamps — a program run so poorly that we have no way of knowing if the benefits go to people who actually need them.

Actually 80 percent of the spending in the farm bill is for food stamps. It’s not really a farm bill at all. It’s a food stamp bill with a farm bill rider. . . . .

Heard it before from Quist? Of course we all have–again and again, along with nonsense about Food Stamps being an important contributing factor for the nation’s divorce rate.


As Bluestem goes on to point out, the sensible people understand that the actual Farm Bill, and not Quist’s bigotry-tinged Bizarro World caricature of it (because in the Republican version of reality, only urban nonwhites ever use food stamps), is more likely to help lower the nation’s deficit by spending judiciously on things like family nutrition. As we all know, spending on preventive care — and keeping problems from occurring in the first place — is far more cost-effective than dealing with problems once they’ve materialized in full force. Family nutrition programs of the sort that Quist derides are just that sort of preventive care.

Quist’s rantings, which apparently spring from various bits of GOP boilerplate talking points and are by no means original to him, aren’t the only bit of reality denial coming from the starboard side of the North Star State’s political apparatus.
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