How Big of Burden Will That Farm Bill Be?

David M. Herszenhorn and David Stout report:

The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to approve a five-year, $307 billion farm bill, sending it to President Bush for what is expected to be his futile veto. The 81-to-15 Senate vote, like the 318-to-106 House vote on Wednesday, attracted broad bipartisan support and received far more than the two-thirds that would be needed to override Mr. Bush’s veto, should he keep his pledge to wield his pen.

While I wish the bill had failed, I wish the folks at the National Review would learn to actually write intelligently:

Even though $300 billion is a big burden on American taxpayers, it’s apparently not big enough to change the political calculus of farm-subsidy supporters in Congress, as this week’s votes indicate.

While $300 billion per year sounds like a lot, the story by Herszenhorn and Stout correctly noted that this was about $300 billion over five years or $60 billion per years. And with GDP approaching $14 trillion, the annual cost per years represents less than 0.5% of a year’s worth of GDP. So why cannot the editors of the National Review write more clearly? Are they too dumb to understand what Herszenhorn and Stout, or they just really poor writers? Now I would not wish to think these clowns would try to mislead their readers – again!