Following on from Chris’s post yesterday about the explosive cost of food stamps, Brad Plumer at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog yesterday posted this pie chart showing how the CBO has broken down the spending in the proposed Senate farm bill (costing almost $1 trillion over 10 years). Nutrition programs account for almost 80 percent of the spending. From Plumer:
The Congressional Budget Office has a handy breakdown (pdf) of many of the provisions of the bill, which I’ve redone in simplified pie-chart form:
I’ve blogged about food stamps before. For sure the program has problems, and moreover I think nutrition programs should be handled by the states if not even more locally (although I still place nutrition programs lower on my priority hit list than, say, the terribly distorting and costly federal sugar program). But at the very least we should separate out all of these parts of the farm bill and force members of Congress to vote on each of the programs on their merits, and not as some gigantic logrolling extravaganza.