The Farm Bill, after military funding, is the best time to watch “conservative” lawmakers abandon the free market and capitulate to large crony interests. They do it every two years. This massive bill, which is in many respects a transfer of wealth from taxpayers to agribusiness, costs us hundreds of billions of dollars. And still “conservatives” get away with it. They shouldn’t. This should be put on the taxpayer’s radar screen and highlighted.
Earlier this week, reports indicated that Republicans in Congress, now taking another stab at passage of another bloated farm bill, would attempt to eliminate an Obama-era change that had reined in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies paid to many of the wealthiest American farmers. Also now on the chopping block, the reports claim, are limits on subsidies paid to family members serving as nominal farm co-owners—such as spouses or kids.
When these caps were put in place, they were little more than baby steps in the right direction. They were the first of many needed agricultural reforms, nearly all of which involve Congress and the USDA giving away less of your money. But elimination of these minor reforms would confirm almost all of what critics of both Washington lawmakers and farm subsidies have long contended: they are unnecessary, embarrassing, shambolic, shameless, ossified, counterproductive, abominable, and grotesque.
Congress’s despicable plan to re-subsidize wealthy farmers was revealed just days before a new analysis from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that monitors farm subsidies, revealed that tens of thousands of Americans had received farm subsidies (or other taxpayer-supported payments) every year for more than three decades.
And some farmers always get upset when we point out that the subsidies they get are a form of welfare. Sorry guys, we love you. We love rural America. But they are.