What is Draconian?

Published on: 17:45PM May 15, 2013

I was doing a google search on the House Farm Bill today and the 10th item that showed up in my search was this article.  With a title of "House Ready to Make Draconian Cuts to Food Stamps in House Bill" I was interested in what these "draconian" cuts were.  As you read the article, you will note that the author point out that the House Farm Bill is proposing cutting "Food Stamps" by about $2.5 billion per year or $25 billion over the 10 years.  This compares to the Senate Bill which calls for lower cuts of about $4.1 billion in total over 10 years.

On the face of it, $2.5 billion might be a lot of money, however, the total "Food Stamp" portion of the Farm Bill is close to $60 billion per year.  The proposed $2.5 billion cut equates to a 4% reduction.  I would normally not consider that to be "Draconian".  The House is most likely battling this issue as I write this post and it will be interesting to see what final number they pass onto the floor for a vote.

It also appears that the Dairy margin management program is still part of the Bill, but this may get eliminated or changed in the committee between the House and Senate.  We will keep you posted on any material changes in both versions.  So far, the Senate Bill appears to mostly follow the bill passed last summer.