Unlimited crop insurance subsidies cost the taxpayer billions of dollars a year and overwhelmingly flow to the largest and most successful farm businesses. Unlike other farm subsidies, crop insurance subsidies are not subject to means testing or payment limits. While some farms annually collect more than $1 million in crop insurance premium support, the bottom 80% of policyholders annually collect about $5,000.
The USDA Inspector General’s audit, released earlier this month, found that the heavily-subsidized crop insurance program suffered from an error rate for improper payments of at least 5.23 percent. The audit said the actual number could be higher. And it’s significantly up from last year’s error rate of 4.08 percent.Read More
As Americans finish up their taxes, it’s worth reflecting on how those tax dollars are being spent to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots in farming.Read More
A new bill introduced Wednesday by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) aims to cap crop insurance subsidies, a reform that Environmental Working Group has long advocated.Read More
You might be surprised to learn that a Congressman who considers himself a fiscal conservative and says one of his missions is to provide prudent fiscal management supported a bill that will cost $1 trillion over a decade and expand a federal crop insurance program that allows the richest agribusinesses to reap most of the benefits.Read More
President Obama and Environmental Working Group agree: to reduce wasteful spending, Congress should cut back on egregiously high crop insurance subsidies.Read More
The 2015 federal budget released by the White House this morning includes important and very welcome initiatives to reform the bloated crop insurance program, Environmental Working Group said in a statement.Read More
President Obama signed into law today a farm bill that is bad for taxpayers and bad for the environment, the Environmental Working Group said in a statement.Read More
The nearly $1 trillion farm bill couldn’t have passed Congress without the support of self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives.Read More
Environmental Working Group (EWG) released the following statement in response to the passage of the farm bill in the Senate.Read More
The bill produced by the farm bill conference committee falls far short of the reforms needed to create a federal food and agricultural policy that can meet the challenges of the 21st century, the Environmental Working Group said today.Read More
EWG’s editors asked the entire staff to pick the top agriculture-related stories of 2013, a category that includes the farm bill, farm subsidies, crop insurance, conservation, genetically engineered crops and food and several other related topics.Read More
If the crop insurance proposals in the 2013 farm bill, including STAX, are enacted and their costs are as high as some expect, the United States could be in serious jeopardy of violating WTO trade commitments once again.Read More
By including the most costly components of the farm bills that passed the House and Senate, the bill expected to emerge this month from a House-Senate conference committee could cost taxpayers even more than current farm programs – and ignite a trade war to boot.
Congress could dramatically cut spending on the federal crop insurance program without sacrificing anything other than the political objective of propping up a crop insurance industry that only exists because of taxpayer support. Cutting this spending would not necessarily mean providing farmers with less money, because the freed-up funds could be spent on programs that benefit both farmers and the public.Read More
A new report commissioned by Environmental Working Group finds that the heavily subsidized crop insurance program over-compensated Corn Belt farmers by $7.8 billion during the 2012 drought and lays out ways to cut wasteful spending.Read More
The Obama Administration is ramping up efforts to link crop insurance subsidies with conservation requirements.Read More
If you fast-forward your TV during the celebrity segments on Real Time with Bill Maher, you probably missed an important conversation during the November 15th episode driven by actor Casey Affleck. Affleck plays a veteran in his new movie “Out of the Furnace,” and he has started discussing issues that affect returning veterans, including mental health, homelessness and hunger. During the Bill Maher segment he discussed the farm bill and the House proposal to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
There has long been bipartisan support for conservation compliance by farmers and politicians alike. Now more than ever, those leading the way in reauthorizing the farm bill may hear a growing number of prominent Republicans voicing their support to relink to crop insurance the vital conservation compact between taxpayers and farmers.Read More
EWG’s latest analysis of billionaires who reaped federal farm dollars seems to have hit a nerve with folks who – unsurprisingly – benefit from these same government handouts.Read More