Making farmers rich at taxpayers' expense

  • Article by: Editorial , Washington Post
  • Updated: February 19, 2013 - 12:49 PM

Farmers are wealthy, the U.S. food supply is not remotely at risk - and yet the government still piles on the subsidies.

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horsefeatherFeb. 19, 1312:59 PM

Holy Cow did we have a discussion at coffee this morning about the farm bill. Here are some of the things that said: Martin said when you depend on the Federal Government you ARE addicted to Federal Government! Farmers are subsidy addicts! They are just like drug addicts that can’t live without their supplier! And the farm state Senators and Representatives become their enablers! Talk about a dependency problem! Sally said we TeaPublicans must do an ADDICTION INTERVENTION on our farmers! George said its time true Republicans stopped being government handout enablers to these farm, ethanol and wind farm subsidy addicts! All of the coffee group agreed that it’s time for conservative farm States to elect Republican Senators and Representatives who will stand up for free markets and the ending of all subsidies! It’s time for them to STAND UP FOR AMERICA! It’s time for conservative legislators to quit talking about being conservative and start BEING A CONSERVATIVE! It’s time to stop being subsidy enablers! America is waiting for you to show courage! We are waiting!” We TeaPublicans WILL take back America in 2014 and 2016…and we WILL take back that subsidy addicting farm bill too! Yes it was a good discussion….and the sausage/egg/cheese biscuits was good too! Hahahahaha!

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beebee82Feb. 19, 13 1:27 PM

You can point out the absurdity of farm subsidies to wealthy agriculture businesses without calling all farmers a bunch of junkies. You can put forth a credible argument on welfare reform without calling everyone on assistance lazy, good-for-nothings.

Reason #99 TeaPublicans are losing their credibility.

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gandalf48Feb. 19, 13 1:34 PM

The farming industry doesn't need government subsidies. Perhaps the solution would be to limit the payouts, as suggested in the article, per individual or single business...that way the individual family can still get a significant boost while the corporation getting the same deduction/credit for a much larger area and farm will not see much of a benefit from that payout.

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nonewtaxesFeb. 19, 13 1:37 PM

The federal government subsidizes tobacco growers, and turns around spending funds to discourage it's use! End all farm subsidies. We have more than enough food.

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naseth12Feb. 19, 13 1:44 PM

Wealthy farmers indeed: the richest county in Minnesota per capita is Renville County, deep in the heart of farm country and home to the world's largest sugar beet plant (think Crystal Sugar).

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member11Feb. 19, 13 1:45 PM

Michelle Bachmann's father-in-law's farm, in which she had a substantial stake, took in more than a quarter million dollars in farm subsidies. She adamantly has denied it, and since assuming office has railed against farm subsidies. The walking, talking definition of a hypocrite.

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augsburg54Feb. 19, 13 1:56 PM

The CRP and other subsidies need to go the way of the dinosaur. My grandfather accepted it for land he never intended on utilizing, instead the government made his land payments and he ended up with free land. Most farmers I know do the same thing....and as for taxpayer money. Let's change the article to read Farmers getting rich on the 53%....for it's only 53% that pay income tax...the other 47% get a free ride.

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spillguyFeb. 19, 13 3:27 PM

If you have a cap, you have to make it so the farm doesn't abuse it. It has to be made so it stops at $125k or $250k if the spouse is included. If John Doe farms consists of mom, dad, their 3 sons and their wives, they all can't get subsidies. Personally I think subsidies should go away but that will never happen.

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owatonnabillFeb. 19, 13 3:38 PM

"Notwithstanding a major drought, net farm income for 2012 reached $112.8 billion, according to the Agriculture Department, down only slightly from the previous year’s record of $117.9 billion in 2011." ............ Huh? Down only "slightly"? Name ONE other multibillion dollar industry in America where an 8% drop in profits from one year to another would NOT be looked upon as Reason #1 to hit the panic button. As far as being rich? Lots of farmers around here are "rich" on paper but when just about all your money is tied up on land, critters equipment and loans/mortgages, "rich" is a pretty meaningless term. Add to that the 12-hour days with "vacation time" being a foreign term and one can begin to see that farming is far from riding the gravy train that this particular piece seems to suggest. There is a lot wrong with the farm subsidy programs. But they can be addressed without distorting facts and misrepresenting situations.

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jaccolaFeb. 19, 13 4:12 PM

Farm subsidies are how we pay for the cheap food we enjoy in this country. The prices we pay for groceries do not, in many cases, cover the cost of production if not for farm subsidies. That's why the produce you see at the Farmers' Markets are is priced somewhat higher. Those small vegetable farmers are not subsidized.

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