COGC Urges Congress to Resist Using Drought as an Excuse for Bloated Farm Bill
Today the Cost of Government Center joined a coalition urging Members of the House of Representatives to resist using recent drought conditions to lock taxpayers into a trillion dollars of bad agriculture policy. Taxpayers already pay upwards of $11 billion per year on gold-plated crop insurance programs.
The presence of $750 billion in welfare spending, about 80% of the farm bill’s total cost, only makes it more clear that the latest House Farm bill is little more than a bloated welfare plan. The farm bill can’t cure the drought, but it can commit taxpayers to years of bad agriculture policy and a trillion dollars in spending the nation can’t afford.
From the letter:
July 24, 2012
Dear Speaker Boehner,
We write urging you to resist special interest calls to use the current drought to lock taxpayers into a trillion dollars worth of bad agriculture policy. As you accurately noted recently, passing a new Farm Bill filled with special interest entitlements is not needed to address the drought facing many of our nation’s farmers.
The challenging, yet predictable, drought conditions across much of the country must not be misused to expand an overly-generous federal role in agriculture. Agriculture already has a more than adequate safety net in the gold-plated federal crop insurance program in which taxpayers pick up, on average, 62% of the premium costs for crop insurance. These policies allow businesses to guarantee up to 85% of their expected revenue. Crop insurance cost taxpayers more than $11 billion last year. With more than half of the country in moderate to severe drought, taxpayer costs for this generous program will easily be double, triple, or more in 2012.
The letter is also signed by American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, National Taxpayers Union, R Street, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
For a pdf of the full letter, click here.