Thursday, March 13, 2008

Picking Taxpayer Pockets: Farmers Do It Best

When it comes to picking taxpayer pockets, no one -- not the trial lawyers or even AARP -- has it over the farm lobby. How's this for clout? Though last year was one of the best ever for farm incomes -- up 50% to $88.7 billion (according to USDA, see chart above) -- farmers are about to score the most lavish subsidies in American history.

The House and Senate are now ironing out differences between their bills, and it's all but certain that farmers will get about $26 billion over the next five years in subsidies. Soybean and wheat farmers are slated to receive higher price supports, though bean prices hit a 34-year high last year and wheat prices have soared to a new record (see chart above).

Corn producers will get subsidies of $10.5 billion over five years, which is on top of the deal of a lifetime these farmers were handed when Congress expanded ethanol subsidies. The handouts make growing corn so profitable that last year some 15.3 million acres were converted to new corn production, according to the USDA. That has a cascading effect on other prices, as farmers convert bean acreage to more lucrative corn fields and feed prices for meat producers climb.

Read more of today's WSJ editorial "Amber Waves of Green

Reminds me of the old joke:

Q: How do you starve a farmer?

A: Weld his mailbox shut.


At 3/13/2008 1:18 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

And yet the American public remains oblivious to this:

They will blame the supermarket for higher food prices before they blame the farmers.

They will blame US oil companies for the high gas prices before they blame OPEC.

They will blame pharmaceutical and insurance companies for high healthcare costs instead of blaming hospitals and doctors.

Its much easier to blame the faceless corporations for the high costs instead of farmers, our Arab "friends" and doctors.

At 3/13/2008 5:33 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, as greedy as the farmers might be I think the more formable grasper of the nation's productivity are those extorting for SS, medicare, and medicaid...

Then there are these clowns...


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