Forget all the tongue clucking about Washington being so divided and nasty that Democrats and Republicans cannot work together. As the Senate and House proved this week in passing the $867 billion farm bill, when it comes to spending money they don't have, party leaders really can reach across the aisle.
With the national federal debt approaching $22 trillion, President Donald Trump has praised the bill, which provides food stamps for the poor, but also hands out subsidies to American farmers, even though it does not include needed reforms or even modest spending cuts.
Conservative think tanks dismiss the farm subsidies as corporate welfare. On the left, environmentalist groups have opposed them as well. Fiscal hawks are appalled at the failure of Congress to do anything to ease the deficit.
And yet the farm bill lives.
Chris Edwards of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute has written that federal farm subsidies "redistribute wealth upward," with the bulk of the money going "to the largest and wealthiest farm households."