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Stop Subsidizing Risk on Farms

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop explains how federal crop insurance is flooding the heartland in her latest column on RealClearPolitics.com.

Interesting that in the intense budget talks in Washington so little is being said about this bizarre transfer of wealth to farmers, which will cost $90 billion over the next 10 years, according to Congressional Budget Office projections. But wait, there's more.

The agriculture committee leaders are proposing to add another layer of federalspending -- a whole new generation of farm subsidies that pick up a larger share of the deductible on federally subsidized crop insurance. Both the House and Senate versions include three such deals, tailored to specific crops. These new revenue subsidies would add between $25 billion and $35 billion to the $90 billion.

Last spring, the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, expressed his determination to keep the new layer: "Anyone that wishes to offer an amendment to harm this agreed-upon product will be taken to Dodge City, Kan., and hung by the neck until they are dead."

So then, why not build your beach mansion on the shifting sands? Why not plantcorn on parched land? After all, Uncle Sugar is guaranteeing you, flood or drought -- unless the taxpayers get fed up enough to stop the game.

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Americans for Prosperity, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Environmental Working Group, R Street, U.S. PIRG, and American Enterprise Institute will hold a joint press conference next week to call on lawmakers to stop a “secret farm bill” from being attached to any legislation designed to straighten out the nation’s finances.

Table Scraps:

The Cedar Rapids Gazette makes the case again for tying environmental requirements to heavily subsidized crop insurance.

Nebraska Wildlife Federation pens an op-ed on what it thinks a five-year farm bill should look like.

The Claims Journal reports University of Rhode Island has been given a $206,000 federal grant to get information to growers about crop insurance.

Tweet of the Day:

@bethfoodtech What to get your foodie friends and family for ‪#christmas ? Seven great ideas in ‪@Forbes ‪http://ow.ly/fQHJ7 ‪#socialgood

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