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Larry Larsen, Mandan, N.D., Published February 03 2014

Letter: New farm bill should be vetoed

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proclaimed his commitment to fairness and equal opportunity. He called inequality “the defining challenge of our time,” and he vowed to use executive action to meet it.

I hope President Obama will call Congress and tell them he’s preparing his veto pen for the 2014 farm bill. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that this hideous piece of legislation gives to the rich and takes from the poor. This legislation begun during the New Deal, as a “temporary” relief measure, for the Great Depression’s rural poor and nowflourishes as a permanent entitlement for the rich.

Supposedly, the bill is necessary to secure the nation’s food supply at a time of record farm income and epidemic obesity among the population. The bill cuts $8.5 billion, over 10 years, from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP provides nutrition assistance to millions of eligible needy low-income individuals and families; some are military families.

In my life, I have worked, part time, for several farmers, and each was a multi-millionaire, as some of our state’s farmer-politicians are. After two years of warfare by farm lobbies, our lawmakers were desperate to pass this turkey and move on. President Obama can put them out of their misery by signing it, or stand up for his declared principles by vetoing it and sending it back to them – thereby telling them to make it just, fair and honorable.