And if we're still looking for $50 billion to fix the AMT, consider the recent farm bill that both houses are working on. The Senate on Friday approved a $286 billion farm bill with an election-year expansion of subsidies for growers and food stamps for the poor.
$286 billion to EXPAND subsidies. For those who don't know, one consistent sure-fire result of government subsidies is higher prices. Look at the current price of corn and you'll understand. This is the result of government subsidies in order to increase ethanol fuel. And Congress wants to spend nearly $300 billion to EXPAND these subsidies to other crops like wheat, barley, oat and soybeans. Just wait, the prices for all of these will soon begin to climb the moment this legislation is made into law.
And before you start advocating for the average American farmer, you should know that the vast majority of these subsidies don't go to the poor Midwest farmer working the family plot of a few hundred acres. Oh no. Most of this money goes to major corporations that have bought up these farms all over the country. For those who curse "big oil", you may also want to take a close look at "big corn". You may be surprised at what you find. Check out this article on Archer Daniels Midland, a company that raked in $236 million in corn profits in 2005.
But the Senate wants to limit this. They propose capping payments to anyone who makes more than $750,000 a year. The House wants to cap at $1 million. Bush wants that cap to be $200,000. Apparently that's unacceptable to Congress. Funny, I thought the Dems were opposed to the wealthy. I guess when it comes to "big farming" that's a different story.
I'm sure if Congress adopted Bush's proposal they'd be able to find the $50 billion for AMT relief. Remember, this is a $300 billion bill. Obviously, subsidizing major farming corporations is much more important than fair taxes for the middle class. Who knows, if Congress fixed the AMT there may not be as much of a need for food stamps for the poor.