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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk - Discussion Board

Reply to OP ED on farm subsidy-long post

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Posted by Larry NEIL on December 11, 2012 at 11:36:21 from (

I'd like to reply to this lopsided view that is full of misleading infances in a FACTUAL and to the point way. Froma Harrop is known for Her liberal slant on all subjects. Not trying to start arguments, just need the true facts, thanx.
As global warming causes more serious and frequent shoreline flooding, indignation rises over federal programs helping owners of beach properties rebuild in places the ocean wants to take back. Superstorm Sandy was a lollapalooza in terms of waterfront damage and demands on the FEMA recources.
But while asking why taxpayers must subsidize waterfront devlopment in areas of increasing threat from climate change, we should ask why weather-related questions stop at the shoreline.
The Federal Government spends a fortune protecting Farmers' incomes in drought prone tregions that are going to get hotter and dryer. That encourages people to grow thirsty crops where they shouldn't.
"The Federal crop insurance program is far worse in many ways than the the flood insurance in the incentives it gives farmewrs to do things that are risky," Craig Cox, who covers farm policy at the Enviromental Working Group, told me.
Consider the case of Seth Baute, a farmer in Bartholomew County, In.. Thanks largely to the taxpayers, he actually made more money after losing 60% of his corn crop to drought than he would have had the rainfall been adaquate. (for growning corn, that is)
How did thjis happen? The story begins in 2000, when Congress replaced a more modest farm support program(paying out if drought, hail or flood substantially reduced the average yeild) with an immodest program actually guaranteeing a farmer's income. Taxpayers on average pick up two-thirds of the premium.
When the Federal insurance policy is written in the spring, the crop is covered at the projected price. But if the price of corn goes up in the growing season, so does the insured price. Thanks to the revenue protecdtion program, even farmers whose crops withered into dust were paid according to the inflated price of corn.
As explained by Marcia Zarley Taylor on The Progressive Farmer Website, the Baute family combined their federally subsidized 85 percent revenue protection policy with some private insurance. The result was that the family made 110 percent of what it expected before the drought, though it lost over half the crop.
Interesting that in the intense budget talks in Washington so little is being said about this bizarre transfer of wealth to farmers, which will cost $90 billipon over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office projections. But wait, there's more.
The arirculture committee leaders are prop[osing to add another layer of federal spen ding-a whole new generation of farm subsidies that pick up larger share of the deductable on federally subsidized crop insurance. Both the House and Senate versions include three such deals, taylored to specific crops. These new revenue subsides would add between $25 billion and $35 billion to the $90 billion.
Last spring, the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Pat Roberts of Ks., expressed his determination to keep the new layer:"Anyone that wishes to offer an amendment to harm this agreed-upon product will be taken to Dodge City, Ks. and hung by the neck until they are dead."
So then, why not build your beach mansion on the shifting sands? Why not plant corn on parched land? After all, Uncle Sugar is garaunteeing you, flood or drought-unless the taxpayers get fed up enough to stop the game.
(gritting my teeth as I copy this)


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