FOOD STAMPS IN THE CORNER POCKET….George Bush’s newfound religion on farm subsidies has prompted two basic reactions from liberals. First, cautious support. Seems like an idea whose time has come. Good for George.
Second, that it’s just for show. Bush gets to look tough, even though he knows perfectly well it will never get through. It’s just cheap grandstanding.
Today, Ed Kilgore tosses out a third: maybe it’s actually a devious scheme to cut funding for food stamps. I’m not sure I buy it, and even Ed admits it’s a “two-cushion shot,” but who knows? Worth keeping an eye on.
UPDATE: As Matt Yglesias points out, Bush’s budget already contains a $1.1 billion cut in food stamps. Who needs Ed’s subtle ploy when food stamps are already directly on the chopping block?
On the other hand, this might actually be evidence that Ed is right. Bush’s budget has a target of $8 billion in cuts to the agriculture budget, and by putting both farm subsidies and food stamps on the table from the start, it makes it a lot easier to horsetrade between them. Not so subtle after all.