Tag Archives: Farm subsidies

Who Got the $33 Billion in Farm Subsidies for the US-China Trade-War and Coronavirus Payments? by Wolf Richter

As is often the case, government subsidies have ended up in the pockets of those who don’t need them. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

Individual recipients don’t even have to work on a farm; people getting these payments can be “city slickers.”

Unlike food stamps and other welfare programs that are strictly controlled and limited by income, farm subsidies place few such obstacles on the folks that receive them. “Many recipients never have to set foot on the farm or ride in a tractor to get paid,” according to an analysis by EWG of Department of Agriculture records that it had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The analysis covers the $33 billion spread across two farm subsidy programs: The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) created to offset the effects of the trade war against China, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

EWG’s analysis found that the “largest and wealthiest U.S. farm businesses received the biggest share of that $33 billion in payments.” And in earlier analyses of the data, it revealed that “thousands of people who live in cities, and some who live on golf courses” have received MFP payments.

The Market Facilitation Program (MFP).

The purpose of the MFP is to compensate farmers for the effects of the US-China trade war during which China reduced its purchases of US agricultural commodities. Under this program, the US government paid farmers $23 billion from 2018 through June 30, 2020, not including crop insurance premium subsidies.

The administration set the maximum a person could receive under the MFP for 2018 at $125,000. But for 2019, this per-person limit was doubled to $250,000, which, according to EWG, “sent an extra $519 million to the largest farms.”

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Food Is Freedom: How Washington’s Food Subsidies Have Helped Make Americans Fat and Sick, by ammo.com

Examine most social ills and you’ll find the government’s fingerprints. Food woes like obesity are no exception. From ammo.com:

Farm subsidies are perhaps the ultimate, but secret, third rail of American politics. While entitlements are discussed out in the open, farm subsidies are rarely talked about – even though they are the most expensive subsidy Washington doles out.

All told, the U.S. government spends $20 billion annually on farm subsidies, with approximately 39 percent of all farms receiving some sort of subsidy. For comparison, the oil industry gets about $4.6 billion annually and annual housing subsidies total another $15 billion. A significant portion of this $20 billion goes not to your local family farm, but to Big Aggie.

(Note that this $20 billion annual farm subsidy figure doesn’t take into account the 30+ years of ethanol subsidies to the corn industry nor export subsidies to U.S. farmers issued by the USDA.)

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Trump’s Farm Bailout Flows To “City Slickers,” a D.C. Lobbyist and ‘Farms’ on Golf Courses, by Tyler Durden

Anybody who is surprised by the above headline, or thought that it wouldn’t happen under Trump, probably shouldn’t be on this website. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

About 9,000 “city slickers” living in luxurious neighborhoods of the nation’s largest cities received a farm bailout from the Trump administration to minimize the impact of the trade war with China, an updated Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of Department of Agriculture data shows.

The EWG analysis of USDA data revealed that “many recipients live not in farm country but in the nation’s 50 largest cities or in other decidedly nonrural locations.”

Urban recipients of the bailout include members of farm families, landowners, and investors. These people provide land, capital, or equipment for farms and make high-level decessions for operations.

EWG said bailout recipients include 70 people in San Francisco, 65 residents in New York City, 63 residents in Los Angeles, 61 residents in Washington, D.C., and 19 Miami.

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