Friday, May 23, 2008

BDN Tackles the Farm Bill

The BDN editorial board weighs in on the Farm Bill this morning, and their piece makes a lot more sense than PPH's take on the bill.

My only real beef with it comes here:

[Collins] added that, while she supported increased funding for food stamps and other nutrition and conservation provisions, as well as increased federal oversight to prevent manipulation of electronic energy markets, "as a whole, this farm bill represents wasteful spending and the wrong priorities."
BDN cites these statements approvingly.

But in the context of the junior senator's record, it's important to ask what exactly she means when she says she "supports" a goal or idea--in this case food stamps and conservation.

After all, when you consider the fact that she's voted for $1 trillion in tax cuts tilted toward the super-rich and an Iraq policy that'll ultimately cost at least another trillion, it's curious that $43 billion in farm pork is where she draws the line.

And it's notable that she's willing to sacrifice $200 billion in food aid on the altar of fiscal prudence after she spent literally years turning back please to investigate--and help end--the expensive and deadly waste, fraud and corruption in Iraq war contracting.

So yes: Collins may "support" food stamps and conservation programs. But she supports them the same way I support cleaning my room. It's something I'd like to see accomplished. But it's not exactly high on my list.

As is often the case with Sen. Collins, the problem isn't so much what she thinks. (Or "thinks.") It's what she's willing to do about what she thinks.

And when it comes to putting the needs of Mainers ahead of the priorities of her President, she hasn't been willing to do nearly enough.

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