“Farm bills can take two weeks or a year and half which happened to me in 96. We don’t want that now. We have a Sept. 30 deadline, farmers and ranchers and lenders—especially lenders—are getting nervous.”
~Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
For all of the constant b.s. in the air about socialism this and socialism that….support free markets…Reagan was a god born on Mount Olympus etc – people don’t seem to connect the dots from B to S. Below are just five examples of socialism for corporate or wealthy interests that Republicans support without conflict:
Politico explains the farm bill and it’s subsidies HERE:
Divisions remain with Southern rice and peanuts producers— unhappy with the bill as now drafted. But Roberts said he and Stabenow are still open to some compromise that will improve the safety net for these commodities.
“The chairwoman and I are working with rice and peanuts as we speak,” Roberts said. “We have done so and we will continue to do so.”
Always acerbic, he laughed off any suggestion that he still bears a grudge from those 1990’s farm bill battles with the same Southern interests. “I love everybody,” Roberts said. “There is nothing but love in my heart for producers of crops no matter what region.”
“And for this man here,” he then added, directing his smile to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who has been the point man for Southern farmers.
The Environmental Working Group suggests big changes to our current program HERE:
In March, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that taxpayers will spend $90 billion over the next 10 years on the highly subsidized insurance program – far more than the $66 billion it projected will be spent on traditional farm subsidies.
What is surprising is the lack of discussion of why any public money should be spent on a new “safety net” when the existing federal crop insurance program already costs so much and provides farmers with such extravagant protection. If the current system of crop insurance isn’t working, why not abolish it along with direct payments and redirect the $13 billion in combined annual savings to shrink the deficit and create a truly cost-effective program? Since 2001, the current crop insurance program has cost taxpayers about $50 billion, but only half –$25 billion – has found its way into farmers’ pockets. The other $25 billion wound up in the coffers of crop insurance companies and in commissions paid to insurance agents. It strains credibility to claim that a program that costs $2 to deliver $1 of benefits is a wise use of taxpayer funds.
The NY Times adds HERE:
The crop insurance subsidy, according to the G.A.O. report, ballooned to $7.3 billion last year from $951 million in 2000, or about $1.2 billion adjusted for inflation. A Congressional Budget Office study cited in the report estimates that the premium subsidy will cost $39 billion from 2012 to 2016, about $7.8 billion a year.
Unlike other farm programs that have income or payment limits, crop insurance payments have no such restrictions, so farmers can get millions in subsidies regardless of their income. The G.A.O. said a cap last year would have affected about 4 percent of farmers in the program, who accounted for about a third of the premium subsidies and were mostly associated with large farms.
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