One of the hotly debated issues during the current legislative system has been the farm bill.

One of the hotly debated issues during the current legislative system has been the farm bill.  When the Republican leadership proposed breaking apart the food stamp program from real agricultural issues, the lefties in congress were aghast.

            As the New York Times editorialized, “For decades farm subsidies and food stamps have been combined for the simple reason of political expediency.”  The Times explains that farm state lawmakers went along with food stamp payments to keep the crop subsidies flowing and urban lawmakers did the reverse.

            So quickly students, what’s wrong with this picture?  It illustrates one of the prime reasons this country is 17 trillion dollars in debt and still growing.  Evidently each side recognizes the fraud and waste in both programs, but what the heck, as long as we get the pork we want why not let the other fellow have his pork.

            But here’s the kicker – the food stamp and nutrition programs represent about 80 percent of the agricultural bill and has grown at astronomical rates.  President Obama doesn’t like being called the food stamp president but he definitely deserves this ominous title.  Under his leadership almost 1 in 7 Americans use food stamps and 50 percent of recipients have used them for more than five years.  Our president encourages and rewards states for adding people to food stamp rolls.  The Mexican government is even being paid to advertise American food stamps.

            This issue, along with many others, has brought to the limelight the most promising candidate in a long time.  This is Tom Cotton, the first term congressman from Arkansas.  When the New York Times spills this much ink against a freshman legislator, you know he must be a powerful force with brilliant ideas.  Recently this biased piece of propaganda disguised as a newspaper blasted Cotton on both his views on food stamps and the immigration bill.

            On yet another issue Tom Cotton is showing his good judgment and standing up for conservative principles.  Voting differently than many of his fellow Republicans, he opposed the recently passed student loan legislation.  Most would agree the student loan issue has been an active political football.  The liberals and some “moderate Republicans” won’t touch anything that could be called against full funding of education.

            Cotton doesn’t believe Washington politicians should be dictating the rates for any kind of loans and that local banks are better suited to work with students and families to finance higher education just as they do with homes, farms, businesses and other loans.

            Although Tom Cotton didn’t delve into the financial aspects of federal student loans, to do so is to review a typical federal government boondoggle.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned taxpayers recently to the tidal wave of student loan defaults coming their way.  This student loan debt now surpasses one trillion dollars which is nearly double what it was when Obama took office.  All told, about 40 percent of out-of-school borrowing have defaulted or delayed their payments.

            This same bureau that alerted us taxpayers tells the deadbeats not to worry.  They proclaimed, “There are ways to avoid default on a federal student loan even when you think you can’t afford payment.” Here are a couple of examples:  Courtesy of the Obama re-election campaign graduates can cap their payment at a mere 10 percent of income with any outstanding loans forgiven after 20 years.  So if you can find a job where your “reported” income is small, you could make small payments not even covering the interest and the entire principal would be forgiven.

            An even better deal awaits these graduates who enter public service (government or 501(c) (3) non-profit employment.)  They can discharge their loans completely after a mere ten years.  That’s right.  Go to work for the government, repay as little as possible and then let us taxpayers take the hit.

            Back to our renegade Tom Cotton.  He was one of only a few congressmen or women to vote against the mammoth 60 billion payout to the Northeast arising from the hurricane Sandy.  John Brummett of the Arkansas Dem-Gaz has hammered Cotton unmercifully for this vote.  Brummett has used words and phrases attacking Cotton that most of us wouldn’t use against our worst enemy.

            Why did Cotton take this position?  He knew that 60 billion was too much.  Reliable reports indicated the actual damage was about 20 billion and this was simply an excuse to get mammoth pork barrel projects and blame it on hurricane Sandy.           

Our mandy-bamby Senator Pryor is going all out to discredit Tom Cotton.  You have got to feel sorry for Pryor.  From now until election day in 2014 he will spend his millions attempting to make Arkansans forget Pryor’s vote on and support of Obamacare.  The recent history of what happened to ex-Senator Lincoln has his boots shaking and now he will be facing an opponent that has sound principles and will fight for them.

(Jerry Jackson of Heber Springs writes his “conservative viewpoint” column each week)