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Do Budget Data Show That the Food Stamp Program Has Been Treated More Favorably Than Farm Programs In Recent Years?

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Abstract:

Since enactment of the 2002 farm bill, expenditures for farm programs have declined while food stamp expenditures have grown.  Some farm-program advocates have cited these figures as evidence that the Food Stamp Program has been treated more favorably than farm programs and that farm programs therefore are the ones that deserve more favorable treatment when the 2007 farm bill is written.  However, analysis of the recent Congressional treatment of these programs and of what the budget numbers related to these programs actually signify shows that these arguments are based on misuse or misunderstanding of the data.