2013 Farm Bill: Farm Subsidies in direct payments and crop insurance, food stamps gutted

May 9, 2015

[NOTE]: First source for this Zinger came from a NYTimes article (cited just below) that Frankie read in mid July. The author takes the majority of his information from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The following stats are from the EWG web database. James B. Stewart, "Richer Farmers, Bigger Subsidies." New York Times, July 19 2013; http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/20/business/richer-farmers-bigger-subsidi... From the EWG Web Database: [NOTE]: The database is very comprehensive, it allows one to search subsidy recipients by state, by crop and by business. General Farm Subsidies stats: $292.5 billion in subsidies 1995-2012. $177.6 billion in commodity subsidies. $53.6 billion in crop insurance subsidies. $38.9 billion in conservation subsidies. $22.5 billion in disaster subsidies. 62 percent of farms in United States did not collect subsidy payments - according to USDA. Ten percent collected 75 percent of all subsidies. Amounting to $178.5 billion over 18 years. Top 10%: $32,043 average per year between 1995 and 2012. Bottom 80%: $604 average per year between 1995 and 2012. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What follows are excerpts of an editorial written by the senior vice-president Scott Faber of the EWG regarding the 2013 Farm Bill: "It increases unlimited crop insurance subsidies and provides budget-busting price guarantees for major crops like cotton and rice. Much of the (meager) savings predicted by the Congressional Budget Office come from gutting conservation programs, not reining in subsidies." "As a result, the nation’s largest and most profitable farm businesses will still collect more than $1 million a year in federal subsidies ¬– while the bottom 80 percent get less than $5,000 apiece, and most farmers offering to help protect the environment get turned away." "Amid the caterwauling about dividing the bill into a “farm-only” bill and a separate “food stamp” bill, you might have missed an even more nefarious “reform” that would make supercharged commodity and crop insurance subsidies permanent – but kills off dozens of programs designed to promote renewable energy, research, rural development, and conservation. They will all expire." "An equally cynical “reform” would plow most of the savings from ending widely discredited “direct” payments – subsidies paid regardless of whether a landowner grows a crop – into other subsidies. In particular, the bill increases the farm income guarantees provided by government-backed crop insurance, creates a separate and more generous insurance program for cotton farmers, and fixes price guarantees just below or even above the record prices farmers have been enjoying in recent years." "It might come as a bit of shock that House Republicans overwhelmingly voted to pass a bill that increases government-backed insurance subsidies by nearly $10 billion" Scott Faber, "Worst. Farm Bill. Ever." Politico July 16 2013 [online] http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/worst-farm-bill-ever-94358.html?hp=l6


.Source: Environmental Working Group, "The United States Summary Information," http://farm.ewg.org/region.php?fips=00000 More than one source embedded in text [verified 4/15/14]

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