A Second Chance for Republicans to Reform Farm Handouts

Published May 29, 2018

Last week, House Republican leaders tried to get a farm bill passed by making changes to the food stamps program. That, they hoped, would give their members enough to justify supporting the terrible farm policy in the rest of the bill.

The House, though, rejected the bill. Now, legislators who voted for the failed bill get a second chance to do the right thing: Stop ignoring the need for reforming out-of-control farm handouts.

Reforming the food-stamp safety net is the right thing to do, but not touching the farm-handout safety net is inexcusable. Legislators should seek to reduce dependence on government. But the farm subsidies provided in the failed bill would have increased dependence on government for many people who, by most measures, would be considered rich.

The current farm handout system benefits a small subset of farmers growing a small number of commodities. Generally, they are the largest and wealthiest farm businesses.

Most farmers don’t even receive subsidies. Only about 16 percent of farms participate in the crop insurance program. The Congressional Research Service reports that 94 percent of farm program support goes to just six commodities: corn, cotton, peanuts, rice, soybeans, and wheat.

[Read the full article at The Hill]