How wise are farm subsidies?

Every January I get a check from the government for $500. I get it for not raising tobacco on my farm in Tennessee. I haven’t  farmed in over 30 years. Understanding the horrible consequences of tobacco, I think I deserve at least $5,000 per year for not growing it.

Dumb is the best word to describe what the government gives me for not growing a crop. However, I will take any money and increases the government wants to provide. This is a small part of the billions that the government dishes out to farmers, and worse, agriculturally related corporations every year. So much for “free” market.

There are several reasons that subsidies are awarded.

  • Supplement income
  • influence cost of farm products
  • manage supply of commodities

And there are obvious indirect reasons such as buying votes. Can you imagine being a politician in Iowa and voting against subsidies? It would be career ending.

What would happen if there were no more farm subsidies? The American people would save billions of dollars. Most recipients, like me, would not really suffer. Farms could be encouraged to grow what they wanted and be motivated by profit rather than handouts. The government could buy the surplus crops (corn, wheat, and 2 dozen commodities) to keep prices up and donate it to the hungry throughout the world.

The fact that large corporations are getting these handouts is criminal. They should be immediately stopped.

I read that David Letterman received $8000 in 2007. He did give it to charity. Many of the rich and famous who own farms get the cash. With healthcare, wars, and trillions in debt is this really the best way to spend tax dollars? No, eliminate agriculture subsidies.

Our politicians need less caviar and more common sense. Too bad farmers can’t grow wisdom, Washington needs some.

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