Taxpayers Turn U.S. Farmers Into Fat Cats With Subsidies

 Monday, September 9, 2013

 Bloomberg

A Depression-era program intended to save the nation’s farmers from ruin has grown into a 21st-century crutch enabling affluent growers and financial institutions to thrive at U.S. taxpayer expense. Federal crop insurance encourages farmers to gamble on risky plantings in a program that has been marred by fraud and that illustrates why government spending is so difficult to control.And the cost is increasing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture last year spent about $14 billion insuring farmers against the loss of crop or income, almost seven times more than in fiscal 2000, according to the Congressional Research Service. The arrangement is a good deal for everyone but taxpayers. The government pays 18 approved insurance companies to run the program, pays farmers to buy coverage and pays the bills if losses exceed predetermined limits.
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