Policy Documents

A Comparison of the House and Senate Farm Bills

Daren Bakst, and Rachel Sheffield –
October 4, 2013

In this Issue Brief, the authors write that every five years when the farm bill is up for renewal, many legislators, including those who claim to be pro–free market and limited government, push a farm bill that is a model of central planning. Agriculture policy continues to emphasize price supports, supply restrictions, import quotas, government-subsidized international marketing programs for major corporations, and much more. Through sound free market reforms, farmers will benefit by having government out of their way so they can have the freedom to make decisions based on market conditions. Consumers will have choices that best reflect demand and enjoy prices that reflect open competition, not artificial constraints on supply. Further, food stamps should be reformed to promote self-sufficiency among able-bodied adults. Adults who are able should be required to work, prepare for work, or at least look for work in exchange for receiving food stamp assistance.