Boy, Bloomberg.com runs hot and cold on cronyism issues sometimes, but here’s a good one.
Like so many New Deal programs crop insurance has spun off into a gargantuan boondoggle. Bloomberg reports that some farmers are even “farming the program,” (What?!) – planting where they know a crop is likely to fail in order to make an insurance claim on the crop. What’s crazier is that the crop insurance payments are subsidized by the taxpayer. So we pay the premiums and also pay out the claim. Insurance is not supposed to work like that.
In 2011, the latest year for which data are available, 26 farmers got annual subsidies of more than $1 million; more than 10,000 received $100,000 or more. One unidentified farmer, a grower of tomatoes and peppers in Florida, enjoyed a subsidy of $1.9 million, according to the Environmental Working Group, a watchdog that promotes increased preservation efforts.