Iraq Spending Bill Is An Embarrassment

A bag of fresh spinach is seen in a market September 15, 2006 in Niles, Illinois. GETTY

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Washington doesn't get it — and worst of all, they don't think we are paying attention.

Take a look at the front page of USA Today. If the Iraq spending bill looks a little thicker than you thought it ought to, it's because Democrats have added on almost $4 billion in farm aid.

U.S. farmers got more than $20 billion in help in 2005 alone. It's one of the reasons we have so many problems making international trade deals — our farmers are subsidized to the hilt.

Part of the money the Democrats have piled on includes aid to spinach farmers in California. Now let's see: They're the ones who shipped E.coli-laden produce all over the country — and now we're supposed to bail them out.

The real problem is not money for farmers; the real issue is emergency funding for Iraq. By adding a few billion dollars for farmers, the Democrats sully themselves and the process.

And Washington wonders why we're cynical.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

  • John Kreiser

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