Corporate Green Acres is the place to be. It seems the free shit army isn’t just occupying West Philly. They are crawling all over the Midwest farmbelt. It’s not your small family farm. It’s the giant corporate farms that have big time lobbyists and congressmen in their pockets. These bloated bills are nothing but handouts to corporations. Why should corporate farms be guaranteed a profit even if they don’t produce a crop? Why should I pay so that corporate fat cat farmers have no risk if their crops fail? Why should milk prices be controlled? Why should government be spending almost $100 billion per year of our tax dollars to promote and subsidize farmers in any way? Since the SNAP food stamp program falls under this bloated bill, maybe the West Philly FSA can join forces with the Iowa FSA to lobby for this bill.


Farm Bill Redux

Tuesday, June 12,2012

THE U.S. SENATE is poised this week to take up the crucial 2012 Farm Bill. This inordinately complex legislation is projected to cost $969 billion over the next 10 years, about $24 billion less than the cost of extending the soon-to-expire existing farm bill.

Big agriculture and its deep-pocketed lobbyists support the new bill, having accepted deep cuts in direct crop subsidies in exchange for legislators “protecting and strengthening” crop insurance programs. Industry considers the latter its safety net against adverse weather and unpredictable fluctuations of global commodities prices.

It’s less of a safety net than a security blanket that shifts risks to taxpayers and guarantees farmers substantial profits. That must change; otherwise, the cost of the new insurance programs could greatly exceed Congressional Budget Office estimates, leaving the federal government on the hook for billions of added dollars each year.

In a particularly cruel twist, the bill pays for these new programs in part by taking food out of the mouths of poor children.

Farm bills are the long-time home of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps. The proposal strips $4.5 billion from the SNAP program over 10 years, even as the struggling economy has record numbers of Americans seeking food stamps to help feed their families. The reductions would eliminate about $90 worth of groceries a month from the kitchens of low-income families. According to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who is introducing an amendment to restore the SNAP funds, half of those who benefit from the program are children.

The Obama White House is supporting the bill, S. 3240, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. The administration opposes the SNAP reductions, however, and wants the cost of crop insurance reduced.

MEANWHILE, AN odd amalgamation has emerged to oppose the bill. The liberal Environmental Working Group used U.S. Department of Agriculture data to reaffirm that corporate and very large individual agriculture operations — not small and mid-sized family farms — enjoy the vast majority of the insurance benefits. Last year in Missouri, for example, 74 percent of the $267 million in benefits went to 20 percent of recipients. In Illinois, the top 20 percent received 72 percent of $518.5 million.

From the right comes the American Enterprise Institute with its “Field of Schemes” report. It’s part of a broader AEI project called “American Boondoggle: Fixing the 2012 Farm Bill.” In “Schemes,” AEI experts focused on the bill’s proposed ‘shallow losses” insurance. Such insurance would cost far more than the direct crop subsidy programs being dropped and “create incentives for the wasteful use of economic resources,” the report says.

EXISTING CROP insurance programs already are out of whack. If crop yields fall short of projections, farmers collect from the government. If harvest prices fall short of projections, farmers collect. To make sure that farmers can afford the insurance premiums, the government pays an average of 60 percent of the cost. To make sure private companies offer the insurance, the government pays their commissions and administrative costs.

Expanded shallow-loss coverage would distort the system even further. As one Minnesota farmer told “The New York Times” last week, “I can farm on low-quality land that I know is not going to produce and still turn a profit.”

The farm bill needs a lot of work before it merits the support of the American people.

— The St. Louis Post-Dispatch


  1. If you want to see who in your area gets what in farm subsidies go here:

    In our area we have bankster millionaires who grow only trees getting subsidized by the tens of thousands of dollars.
    These are the Generals in the FSA…they make the food stamp crowd look like pikers.

  2. James, I am the last one to defend republicans, and I won’t here, but the D-R pie is completely misleading. There aren’t too many farms in the inner cities whree the Dem scum reside. There are plenty of farms in the rural areas where Rep scum reside. Both parties suck! The pie chart is merely a demographic chart, not indicitive of one party sucking from the gov’t teat more than the other.

  3. A great website my wife found… Check who’s sucking up your tax dollars in your County. Funny thing, one of our Repub County commissioners and career politicians is #1 in our County. He’s also a big fan of “carbon credits”. Asshole!

    Micheal R Baker received payments totaling $83,584 from 1995 through 2010
    Year Conservation Subsidies Disaster Subsidies Commodity Subsidies Total USDA Subsidies
    1995 $3,500 $5,712 $1,850 $11,062
    1996 $0 $0 $1,384 $1,384
    1997 $0 $0 $2,768 $2,768
    1998 $0 $0 $11,415 $11,415
    1999 $0 $0 $9,615 $9,615
    2000 $0 $0 $11,385 $11,385
    2001 $0 $0 $4,328 $4,328
    2002 $0 $0 $4,032 $4,032
    2003 $0 $0 $2,683 $2,683
    2004 $0 $0 $3,005 $3,005
    2005 $0 $0 $3,666 $3,666
    2006 $0 $0 $2,082 $2,082
    2007 $0 $0 $2,329 $2,329
    2008 $0 $1,127 $2,329 $3,456
    2009 $0 $0 $2,281 $2,281
    2010 $5,812 $0 $2,281 $8,093
    Total $9,312 $6,839 $67,433 $83,584

    Crop Summary for Micheal R Baker
    Crop Payments 1995-2010
    Barley Subsidies** $45,111
    Oat Subsidies** $10,407
    Corn Subsidies** $7,349

  4. Hey, them city slickers are making out pretty well also…

    According to the Environmental Working Group’s updated 2011 Farm Subsidy Database, the government sent $394 million in farm subsidy payments in 2010 to residents of U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 or more: Cities with populations of 100,000 or more.

    In bucolic Chicago, 734 farm subsidy recipients pulled in a total of $2,173,344.
    In pastoral New York City, 290 residents got $800,887 in subsidy checks.
    In agrarian Miami, 203 individuals collected $2,472,071 in farm payments
    In Phoenix, 486 residents banked $3,216,958 in subsidies.
    In rustic Los Angeles, 199 locals received $421,717 in all
    In the pastures of Washington D.C., 195 residents cashed $475,214 in farm payment checks.
    In the fruited plains of Denver, 1,146 people collected $3,394,550 in subsidy payments.
    In Seattle, 564 individuals got $2,275,300.
    And amid San Francisco’s amber waves of grain, 179 folk got $1,094,172.

    The issue of city dwellers cashing in on farm payments isn’t new. EWG has been calling attention to this abuse since 1995, when it produced its “City Slickers” report. Back then, EWG’s researchers reported that 1.6 million subsidy checks worth more than $1.3 billion had been paid out to urban residents over a ten-year period.

    1. Avalon has been succesfully growing lettuce in our back yard this year. If we promise to destroy our crop can I get a subsidy from the USDA for protecting the California lettuce growers association?

  5. admin- I know several multimillionaires who grow crops only to be paid by the Federal government to destroy it.
    All farm subsidy recipients in my county are Republicans by default and most have retired from political office or the state government.
    All the rich people I know are government retirees of some from or another.Old family money always goes into politics.The good ole’ boy system is alive and well.They just let a few women who can stand up to pee in.

    But those on the dole getting 400 a month are looked down upon by the Generals of the FSA…

    Ain’t no justice in this land.


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