The Post's Dan Morgan, Gilbert M. Gaul, and Sarah Cohen continue to expose some serious flaws with the 2002 Farm Bill today in three articles deatiling different aspects of farm subsidy waste. Today's three articles build on the authors' July 2nd and 3rd pieces Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm and Growers Reap Benefits Even in Good Years
In all, the Livestock Compensation Program cost taxpayers $1.2 billion during its two years of existence, 2002 and 2003. Of that, $635 million went to ranchers and dairy farmers in areas where there was moderate drought or none at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post. None of the ranchers were required to prove they suffered an actual loss. The government simply sent each of them a check based on the number of cattle they owned.
One of the more unusual offshoots of Congress's drought-relief efforts was a $34 million assistance program for catfish farmers. Under the 2003 Catfish Feed Assistance Program, announced in August of that year, commercial catfish farmers in Mississippi, Arkansas and a handful of other states got government credits for feed equal to $34 per ton. All they had to do was apply at their local feed mill. The amount they received was based on how much feed they had purchased at the mill in 2002 -- not any actual losses.