Congress, ever fond of putting off difficult, controversial decisions, extended the expiring Farm Bill as part of the fiscal cliff deal. Let's hope lawmakers use the next few months to rework the bill, starting with some honesty about what's in it.
Calling it the Farm Bill is a huge misnomer. This is primarily a bill about the food stamp program, not about agriculture programs. Nearly 80 percent of the money goes to the food program, which the Heritage Foundation said is the second largest and most quickly growing welfare program in America.
Food stamps began as a temporary measure to help people between jobs. But it has morphed into aid with no work requirement. A record 47.5 million people were enrolled in October, and the federal government rewards states for signing up more people.
No wonder food stamp spending increased to $71.8 billion in fiscal 2011, up from $30 billion just four years earlier.
A lot of supporters of this program no doubt like the fact that food stamps get cover by being in the Farm Bill. But by the time this topic resurfaces for a vote later this year, food stamps should be split into its own separate bill.