Last week Kansas Senator Jerry Moran took two stands on the deficit. He opposed aid to Vermont and other states hit hard by Hurricane Irene unless the money could be found by cutting other government spending. Then he lit into President Obama for proposing to cut $8.3 billion over the next 10 years from the federal crop insurance program.
“ … Given the devastating effects of the drought in Kansas and weather-related disasters across the country, the President should be supporting, not weakening, this important cost-share program,” Moran said.
There was not a word in the senator’s statement about cutting other programs to keep funding for crop insurance at current levels. Nor did the senator say how he would increase federal income to pay for the crop insurance subsidy. We can assume, therefore, that Moran would rather see the deficit increase than to have crop insurance subsidies cut.
The Register agrees with the senator. Crop insurance is a very important safety net for the nation’s farmers. When crops are destroyed by flooding, by drought, hurricanes, unseasonal freezes or any other weather-related cause, crop insurance at least takes the edge off the disaster. It is cost effective. It should be maintained and strengthened.
The cost should be covered by increasing taxes rather than borrowing money.
It is just as imperative for the federal government — the government of all the people — to come to the aid of Americans hit hard by natural disasters, as many were by the horrific rains that accompanied Hurricane Irene. And it should not be necessary to cut programs such as crop insurance in order to step in and help disaster victims generously and promptly.
In this case, borrowing the needed money is the only practical course to follow since it would be impossible to increase taxes quickly enough to raise the needed money.
IT IS NOT SURPRISING to see a senator, any senator, be in favor of the federal spending which helps his constituents while voting against spending for other parts of the country. That’s politics as usual. It is, however, disappointing to have our own senators demonstrate so graphically how parochial and inconsistent members of Congress can be.
— Emerson Lynn, jr.
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