The House and Senate Agriculture committees announced a long-in-the-works compromise Farm Bill Monday evening — at the exact same time Tom "Kristallnacht" Perkins was defending the mega-rich on television.
On Bloomberg TV, billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins sort-of apologized for invoking the Holocaust when denouncing the war on San Francisco's impossibly-rich in a Wall Street Journal letter to the editor over the weekend. Perkins apologized for using the word "Kristallnacht," but otherwise didn't retract any of his implications about an impending war on the rich. Oh: This man also paid a $10,000 fine for killing a man with his yacht. Here's video:
Later, Perkins said "I could buy a six-pack of rolexes" while on a live microphone.
At the exact same time he was on Bloomberg, politicians in Washington announced $800 million in annual cuts as part of the two-year negotiations on a Farm Bill compromise. The money slashed from the bill is a relatively puny number compared to what Congress originally had planned, so somehow this is a victory.
A Farm Bill draft passed the House in September, cutting roughly five times as much. The Democratic Senate passed a version with only $400 million in cuts. The compromise, which extends for five years, will cost $950 billion, and save about $23 million over ten years compared to measures in place today. The bill also legalized industrial hemp production on college and university campuses.
But this is seen as a victory for most farmers and Americans who receive food stamp benefits, both of whom will continue to receive aid from the government, provided the draft passes. It has already been endorsed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The House will likely vote on the bill on Wednesday.
Not everything in this bill was a win for Democrats hoping to prevent deep cuts to the program, though. One of the bill's major concessions is raising the level at which people can "qualify for nutrition assistance by virtue of receiving home heating aid," the Hill reported earlier today. Bloomberg goes deeper into those numbers:
Republicans successfully sought to lift the “heat and eat” threshold to $20, while Democrats proposed $10. The higher level creates almost $9 billion in savings, some of would be plowed back into a $200 million pilot program that lets 10 states toughen work requirements and boosts spending for food banks by about $200 million for 10 years, said the congressional aide who requested anonymity to discuss internal talks.
Anyway, Republicans are probably pleased as punch — cuts to government spending on one station and a robust (if cringe-worthy) defense of capitalism on another.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.