Over the last decade, the farm bill has cost more than $168 billion. This program uses loans, price support and payments to protect family farmers. The program is to maintain a stable price and food supply.
In practice, the program keeps food prices high, costing consumers billions, while funneling most of its aid to giant agribusinesses and wealthy farmers. About 75 percent of total subsidies go to the biggest 10 percent farming companies, including Riceland Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., and Archer Daniels Midland. Among the “farmers” who gets federal subsidies are Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and President Jimmy Carter and billionaire media mogul Ted Turner. The typical farmer has literally millions of dollars.
The farm lobby has immense power in Washington, thanks to its contribution to congressional campaigns and political parties, and a large number of legislators from farm states, most of them Republicans from ‘Red’ states, number one being the great conservative State of Texas. The Democrats have also supported the farm bill because of food stamps. In ending direct payment, the legislation channels $8.9 billion into an a expanded crop insurance, which already ballooned from $1.5 billion in 2002 to $7.4 billion in 2011, it’s hard to understand how anyone in the House who called himself a conservative could support this. They’re locking in a historically high commodity prices at taxpayers expense.