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Heritage Action: Farm Bill or Food Stamp Bill?

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The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
July 26, 2012 | 2,817 views | 4 comments

A full 80% of the farm bill doesn’t even have to do with farming! It pays for food stamps. Farmers are dealing with, among other things, a severe drought, and this bill will do nothing to end the drought. Instead, it is loaded with goodies.

Realizing this, a coalition of conservative organizations, including Heritage Action, sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urging him not to pass the trillion dollar farm bill due to pressure from the drought:

“We write urging you to resist special interest calls to use the current drought to lock taxpayers into a trillion dollars worth of bad agriculture policy. As you accurately noted recently, passing a new Farm Bill filled with special interest entitlements is not needed to address the drought facing many of our nation’s farmers.

“The challenging, yet predictable, drought conditions across much of the country must not be misused to expand an overly-generous federal role in agriculture. Agriculture already has a more than adequate safety net in the gold-plated federal crop insurance program in which taxpayers pick up, on average, 62% of the premium costs for crop insurance. These policies allow businesses to guarantee up to 85% of their expected revenue. Crop insurance cost taxpayers more than $11 billion last year. With more than half of the country in moderate to severe drought, taxpayer costs for this generous program will easily be double, triple, or more in 2012.

“Agriculture is an inherently risky business, and as you said in your July 19th press conference, most producers already have subsidized federal crop insurance policies. Those that do not enroll in the highly subsidized program have a multitude of private sector options available for managing risk, including hedging, forwarding, diversification, contracting, and many other unsubsidized options. Taxpayers cannot afford to bail out producers who chose not to purchase subsidized crop insurance or to avail themselves of the many private sector options for managing their normal business risk. Taxpayers simply cannot afford to bear all the risks for any business sector, including agriculture.

“The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) passed by the House Agriculture Committee is not needed to address the current drought conditions. In fact, nearly 80% of the bill’s $957 billion price tag is not even directed at producers, but on social welfare spending programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Regardless of whether a Farm Bill is passed, crop insurance will continue to quickly compensate producers for the bulk of their losses. ...[This] bill obligates nearly 60% more than the last Farm Bill, creates three new taxpayer-paid “shallow loss” programs, and does nothing to rein in, and in fact expands, taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance.

“... Even with the drought, America’s agricultural economy remains strong. This strength and the glaring weakness of the federal budget -- $15 trillion in debt and trillion dollar deficits for the next decade -- make it even more essential that Washington’s role in agricultural policy be reduced. Now is the time to roll back wasteful and market distorting taxpayer subsidies. FARRM does the exact opposite.

“Using the current drought as a pretext to bail out yet another sector of the U.S. economy while expanding the federal government’s role in the business decisions of agricultural enterprises is something taxpayers and our free-market economy cannot afford.

“Again, we urge you to resist special interest calls to misuse the current drought to lock taxpayers into a trillion dollars worth of bad agriculture policy.”
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Your Opinions and Comments

Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
July 27, 2012 10:55am
I am not a racist. I am sick and tired of paying for those who take these benefits as an entitlement and who are too lazy to make their own way. At some point in time, and we certainly may be there now, some logic must be applied ... More ›

The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
July 27, 2012 10:45am
Publius some would say you are a racist!

Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
July 27, 2012 10:43am
Our entire welfare program needs to be revampted. All those receiving benefits should be means tested and those violating the rules should be prosecuted and not with just a slap on the wrist, I'm talking jail time. Benefits ... More ›

Elaine K.  
July 26, 2012 10:52am
New post.

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