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Farm Bill: The Big Government Shell Game

June 18, 2012
Dr. Susan Berry, Breitbart News
6/17/2012

In her keynote address at the RightOnline Conference in Las Vegas, former Gov. Sarah Palin urged members of the new conservative media to continue to hold all members of the political class accountable, regardless of who wins in November.

Perhaps we could heed Gov. Palin’s advice right now…with the new Farm Bill legislation that is now being debated in Congress, and will set farm policy in the country for the next five years.

For many Americans who are not farmers, hearing about debate on a Farm Bill draws a yawn. The current farm legislation has been around since 1933, and most of its programs have not changed since then, despite dramatic changes in agriculture in the country.

Heritage Foundation’s Diane Katz states that the number of farms in the U.S. has decreased from 6.8 million in 1935 to 2.2 million in 2010. However, the fact that the amount of land in farms has only decreased by 13 percent suggests that, while farms are larger, they are fewer in number. Because farm subsidies, up until this point, have been distributed primarily based upon farm production, the larger farms have been the biggest winners of taxpayer-funded subsidies.

A second point to remember is that farm policy in the U.S. has allowed food production in this country to avoid the free market. Because the current policies limit the quantity of crops farmers are permitted to produce, food prices are then artificially inflated.

As a result, for the past 80 years, big government has held tightly onto the reins of America’s food production and, of course, taxpayers, by subsidizing larger farms and imposing limits on food supply. Katz sums up nicely how the Depression-era farm legislation has been another example of big government whacking taxpayers. She says, “Americans are taking a double hit:  Tax revenues are used to subsidize producers, and production limits raise the cost of products.” In fact, farm bill subsidies have cost American taxpayers $284 billion over the last five years.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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