Skip to comments.Billions in agriculture subsidies could face the chopping block
Posted on 06/04/2012 4:06:45 PM PDT by chessplayer
While the economic malfeasance of agricultural subsidies may be relatively low on the totem pole of the federal governments massively wasteful and intrusive spending binge, they are in and of themselves astoundingly terrible ideas that come with a whole host of neighborhood effects. From toying with market signals and inflating food prices; to inhibiting free trade that would benefit the poverty-stricken worldwide; to encouraging overproduction that degrades the environment: theyre just bad news. No American industry has been so persistently coddled as agriculture, helping out niche groups and special interests in the short term but making us all worse off in the long term.
"The Senate is expected to begin debate this week on a five-year farm and food aid bill that would save $9.3 billion by ending direct payments to farmers and replacing them with subsidized insurance programs for when the weather turns bad or prices go south."
"The details are still to be worked out. But theres rare agreement that fixed annual subsidies of $5 billion a year for farmers are no longer feasible in this age of tight budgets and when farmers in general are enjoying record prosperity."
Big words from people who can’t grow their own food. Obesity will not be a problem in the future.
Ag subsidies are as good a place as any to start the cutting. Eliminate all of them. Do it now.
I agree with cutting Ag subsidies but one has to realize that the Senate’s intent is not to stop spending this money but rather to give it to more fascism friendly industries.
“No American industry has been so persistently coddled as agriculture, helping out niche groups and special interests in the short term but making us all worse off in the long term.”
That’s all lies. Farmers did not want the federal government to control their business in the first place. The feds seized control of food prices as the first item in their agenda of total progressive control of the economy.
Any farmer will tell you, they will be happy to give up these federal government subsidies that were forced on them if the government will stop setting the price they can receive for their product.
you know, it would be interesting to find out what everything is worth without bailouts and subsidies and false propping.
... and should be.
I’ve been advocating this for 40 years.
Quit paying people to “not grow stuff”, and let the market determine prices.
We can feed the world if the population control crowd gets out of the way.
Just make sure we’re not undermining the farmers in the 3rd world who need to make a living and provide an economic foundation in their culture.
how about we just do an across the board cut of all government subsidies.....
“Ag subsidies are as good a place as any to start the cutting. Eliminate all of them. Do it now.”
HOORAY Lurker! Shut down the whole department! Blame it on the socialists. THEY HAVE bankrupted us.
DISMANTLE socialist collectives, foreign and domestic. (go ahead...pick any thousand...that would be a good place to START!)
live - FREE - republic
This is a tool to prevent people throwing the POLS out of office. Hungry people do that type of thing. Cheap food is soothing to the masses.
Farming is a high risk business. And the current subsidized insurance program has lots of flaws. And you must sign up for the insurance program, or you get no subsidy.
My family have always been farmers. Going back to well before the Civil War. In this county in TX since 1889. The subsidy programs began in the 1930’s. Many farmers refused the subsidy for several years after they began. That was a long long ago.
DITTO’s. Stop the Government price controls and stop the subsidies, but don’t control prices and leave them hanging.
Most farmers didn’t vote for Obama so I expect him to do exactly that.
Cut the crop price supports, ethanol subsidies and all agricultural related controls and subsidies at the same time or it won’t work.
Are you saying that if the American farmers are prevented from stealing from the taxpayers that people will starve?
Hear! Hear! (and a bump for your tagline)
Socialists are criminals. They roll with intimidation, plunder & death. Witness history. Witness current events.
DEPOPULATE socialists from the body politic.
"Socialim Is Legal Plunder" - Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850
Above all, if you wish to be strong, begin by rooting out every particle of socialism that may have crept into your legislation. This will be no light task. The Law; Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850
live - FREE - republic
Well, he can’t do that politically. He might reduce what farmers get by lowering the target prices they receive for their product or any combination of lowering insurance or direct payments through any number of mechanisms the feds use to control agriculture, but agriculture would be the last sector of the economy the federal government would give up control over.
Hardly anybody can grow his own food any more. Get rid of the damm subsidies.
Time for supply and demand to take over in the Ag business.
Ethanol is causing the Amazon rain forest to be chopped down to grow the soybeans that would otherwise be grown here.
Eco-wacko-ism and economic cronyism is causing actual ecological destruction.
According to the CATO Institute
“The largest portion of the U.S. Department of Agricultures budget consists of food subsidies, not farm subsidies. Food subsidies will cost taxpayers $79 billion in fiscal 2009 and account for about two-thirds of USDAs budget. The largest food subsidy programs are food stamps; the school breakfast and lunch programs; and the women, infants, and children (WIC) program. The federal government as a whole has about 26 food and nutrition programs operated by six different agencies”
>> Ag subsidies are as good a place as any to start the cutting.
Works for me. Welfare is welfare. Cut it all!
Cut all of that crap too. One hundred percent of it. Cut it!
It is obvious that most of the comments on this thread are from people with little or no knowledge of agribusiness and the way farm subsidies are actually paid and how each farmer must submit his AGI which then determines how much or how little of the subsidy is going to be paid.
In fact, in many cases, the only subsidy large farmers receive is for CRP land which is basically rent for land required to be taken out of production to provide habitat for various animals and birds.
Thank you Josh for posting about the food subsidies, not farm subsidies in the Ag budget.
Two-thirds of the budget is not about farmers, but about food stamps, free lunch, etc. And nothing is free; it’s your tax dollars.
So who does the Dept. of Agriculture benefit most?
Then you won’t miss it.
Cut it. Cut all of it. Cut it now. Get Government put of the business of farming entirely. Don’t even let them report statistics. The Dept. of Agriculture shouldn’t exist.
“Cut it. Cut all of it. Cut it now. Get Government put of the business of farming entirely. Dont even let them report statistics. The Dept. of Agriculture shouldnt exist.”
Cut the following departments immediately. All programs, all regulations, all employees:
Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, OSHA, EPA. The states can pick up the activities or not.
Thanks for the information, joshhiggins. US Border Patrol might also come out of that budget. That is one area we definitely need.
(rethinking Ag cuts...perhaps put CBP into Defense)
Oh, so subsidies are just fine if you agree with them?
I don’t know who is setting the prices but I paid $2.50 for a single bell pepper at Publix yesterday.
Almost every landholder within 1,000 miles of me is being paid to do nothing. “CRP” - it HAS to STOP!
The federal government sets the prices for food in ways so subtle it takes person with a PhD in Agricultural Economics to fathom. Many of these fellows work for the Federal Government.
Depression-era leftover, when technology drove down the prices so it wasn’t worth the farmer’s time.
Replace agriculture with the service industry, and you have the same governmental interference leading to prolonging, if not intensifying, market shock.
I go back even further..
I got into a fight with my high school soc. teacher on this subjuect and he became so nasty that my daddy, a farmer, went down to the school and had a talk with the guy.
The subsidies to agriculture were meant to keep prices low for consumers. Don’t believe it? Then you probably don’t know that food prices in the USA are the lowest in the world.
The amount of your food bill that goes to the actual product is less than 20%.. The rest is transportation trucking, warehousing, grocers etc,
The subsidies were approved because farmers had such narrow margins that food production was going down.
I don’t care why they were instituted. They were wrong then and they’re wrong now. Regulating the price of foodstuffs is NOT an enumerated power of the Federal government.
That practice needs to end and it needs to end now.
Many solid conservatives support farming subsidies. The supposed alternative is market-driven prices alone. I prefer a different approach to subsidies or pure market forces when it comes to the nation’s food supply. My opinion is that federal and state governments would be wise to buy and stockpile American agricultural and livestock products when they are plenty, and allow market forces to work when they are scarce.
Our food supply chain is incredibly short. Today, if we found our nation in a depression, the death toll would be catastrophic. Fewer people are capable of growing their own food. And the efficiency of the supply chain brings with it the weakness of running out quickly when supplies are depleted.
And the current subsidized insurance program has lots of flaws
Oh please, most farmers are some of the biggest welfare queens of the USA. Why do you think we have so many democratic senators and reps in the farm states? They vote for pork and they get it!
Parents need to provide kids with a reality based foundation and the assurance that they will back the kid, when he stands up.
My college transcript is littered with downgrades for taking on the prof’s sacred cows.
Once, pointing out that the prof wasn’t exactly going to pass muster on the “master race” policies he was endorsing, via his pro-euthenasia, pro-abort stance.
He didn’t appreciate it when I suggested that his policies wouldn’t be limited to third world eugenics.
Well,I told you the truth and when people begin to go hungry or pay the prices that Europeans pay for food some of the posters here will wake up. Farmers have never been ‘Welfare Queens’ that is just nonsense, and yes, representatives from rural areas do pander to farmers. Farming is one of the hardest physical jobs there are, and they gamble on whether the weather will be favorable or if their labor will be in vain if the crops fail. Food is a national security issue. Just try to run an army without it. Some Republican bias here [and I am a Republican] makes for stupidity. Bias, and calling everything ‘socialist’ one does not agree with is part of what is wrong with the party. Try a little independent thinking. Starving is a hard way to learn anything.
I grew up in the country so I actually do KNOW what I am talking about. Big and medium farms are some of the biggest government whores in the country. To deny reality doesn’t mean it stops being true.
Now the smaller family farms is a different story. Almost none of them get any kind of government dollars.
That’s silly. Grow your own if you have access to dirt. If you don’t, find a friend who does. $2.50 for a pepper is criminal.
I have 39 bell pepper plants growing in my garden now, and will soon plant 6 more.
I use many every summer in salads and grilled, and freeze several pounds of diced peppers in the fall and stuff and freeze 3 dozen peppers to eat over the winter.
I do have to buy several over the winter for salads, however, as frozen peppers are terrible in salads. Fine, however, in omelets and scrambled eggs.
Subtotal, Farming Subsidies in United States, 1995-2010
Subsidy Recipients 1 to 20 of 2,852,063
Recipients of Subtotal, Farming Subsidies from farms in United States totaled $167,331,000,000 in from 1995-2010.
(* ownership information available) Location Subtotal, Farming Subsidies
1 Riceland Foods Inc Stuttgart, AR 72160 $554,343,039
2 Producers Rice Mill Inc Stuttgart, AR 72160 $314,028,012
3 Farmers Rice Coop Sacramento, CA 95851 $146,174,314
4 Harvest States Cooperatives Saint Paul, MN 55164 $48,259,465
5 Tyler Farms Helena, AR 72342 $34,611,595
6 Missouri Delta Farms Sikeston, MO 63801 $25,280,578
7 Due West Glendora, MS 38928 $21,319,485
8 Dublin Farms Corcoran, CA 93212 $20,017,036
9 Dnrc Trust Land Management - Exem Helena, MT 59620 $19,794,841
10 Balmoral Farming Partnership Newellton, LA 71357 $19,706,445
11 Kelley Enterprises Burlison, TN 38015 $19,688,705
12 Gila River Farms Sacaton, AZ 85147 $19,038,126
13 Colorado River Indian Tribes Farm Parker, AZ 85344 $17,916,374
14 Perthshire Farms , MS 38746 $17,456,519
15 Bruton Farms Partnership , MS 38748 $17,130,031
16 Morgan Farms Cleveland, MS 38732 $16,726,985
17 New Hope Farms Schlater, MS 38952 $15,951,384
18 Soudan Farming Co Marianna, AR 72360 $15,739,779
19 Hansen Ranches Corcoran, CA 93212 $15,640,472
20 Tohono O’odham Farming Authority Eloy, AZ 85131 $15,526,042
* USDA data are not “transparent” for many payments made to recipients through most cooperatives. Recipients of payments made through most cooperatives, and the amounts, have not been made public. To see ownership information, click on the name, then click on the link that is titled Ownership Information.
City Slickers Continue To Rake In Farm Payments
Remember the last time you were smack in the middle of downtown Chicago or walking down a bustling street of Manhattan? Did you notice the sweeping farm vistas, the rich fields of corn and wheat?
Oh, wait a minute. There are none within the city limits of the Windy City or the Big Apple.
So why is the U.S. government sending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in farm subsidy payments to people who live in some of Americas wealthiest and decidedly urban neighborhoods?
The fact is, you can be a city slicker in Miami Beach or Beverly Hills and collect farm subsidy payments. All you have to do is have an ownership interest in some Iowa farmland. While 60 percent of American farmers must get along without a dime in federal subsidies, the so-called farm safety net benefits a narrow band of the wealthiest agri-businesses and absentee land owners and the lobbyists who ensure that the subsidies keep flowing.
$1.3 Billion to People
Who Don’t Farm
The largest annual subsidy, called direct and countercyclical payments, is given to farmers regardless of what crops they grow or whether they grow anything at all. The Post found that, since 2001, at least $1.3 billion was paid to landowners who had planted nothing since 2000. Among the beneficiaries were homeowners in new developments whose backyards used to be rice fields. (July 2, 2006)
Years ago I Hunted on a farm near Gettysburg, PA. Told the farmer one day that he had a nice farm, how comes not all of it was in production? He grinned said, pointing “ Over there is 60 acres I get paid to not plant tobacco. Over there is 80 acres I get paid not to plant wheat. Over there is X acres I get paid not to plant buckwheat. Over there is 90 acres I DO plant corn in, but the National Parks pay me for crop damage if there is, or isn’t, any from their deer which can’t be hunted.”
EL CAMPO, Tex. — Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. He is a 67-year-old asphalt contractor who wanted to build a dream house for his wife of 40 years.
Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual “direct payments,” because years ago the land was used to grow rice.
Matthews is not alone. Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post.
Some of them collect hundreds of thousands of dollars without planting a seed. Mary Anna Hudson, 87, from the River Oaks neighborhood in Houston, has received $191,000 over the past decade. For Houston surgeon Jimmy Frank Howell, the total was $490,709.