People lose their senses when entering the land of the farm bill. Conservatives vote for subsidies and feel perfectly fine about it while voting to cut food stamps. (Which should be reduced but so should the farmer subsidies.) When one explains to a farmer that they are essentially on welfare and costing the taxpayer billions of dollars one invariably hears back that farmers feed the the country and that somehow they deserve all the welfare that they get because they feed us.
The argument is bull shit, and farmers know what bull shit is.
(From The Los Angeles Times)
The AEI’s analysis of the new bill says its one clear cutback in farm aid is the elimination of direct payments to farmers. Some 75% of those payments went to the richest 10% of farm owners.
But the $5 billion in annual savings there, AEI says, could be swamped by the higher costs of three new programs created by the farm bill. Among them are programs that would “essentially guarantee that farmers’ revenues never fall below 86% of what they earned in previous years, when crop prices were at historical highs.” Another program would be “much more lucrative for farmers” than the version it replaces by guaranteeing farmers “much higher prices for covered crops.”
AEI supports a proposal by Sens. Tom Coburn (R, Okla.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that would cap taxpayer subsidies for crop insurance for the richest farmers, cutting them as much as 15%. That’s a step in the right direction, the organization says, but it’s pretty meager–and it’s not part of the farm bill.