The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Agriculture

Congress Fails Farmers and Taxpayers with its Farm Bill

President Nixon’s secretary of agriculture, Earl Butz, once said in 1973, “get big or get out.” He enthusiastically urged farmers to buy up their neighbors’ land. Since then, American agriculture policy has enabled big industrialized farm businesses to triumph over smaller family farms. Big businesses usually receive larger subsidies, so the most powerful farming operations are rewarded.

Congress is Tricking Taxpayers to Pay More for Treats

As people eat their leftover Halloween candy, they may want to think about how much they paid for all those treats. Raw sugar in the United States regularly costs double or triple the world average, and this hurts food companies and leads to high prices for consumers at the grocery store.

FCC Commissioner Offers Commonsense Advice to Rural Utilities Service

Publicly-funded broadband overbuild is an ongoing problem across the country.  It is far easier to deploy new services alongside existing infrastructure than to build-out to those who remain in unserved areas. 

President Trump tweeted this week that "Tariffs are the greatest!" Farmers disagree.

The federal government will soon dole out around $12 billion in "temporary relief" to farmers adversly affected by President Trump's tariffs and trade war, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Tuesday. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters that amount was "in line" with the estimated impact from retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agriculture exports. 

The aid will be awarded to cotton, corn, dairy, hog, and soybean farmers as well as possibly others. It is scheduled to go into effect on Labor Day. 

Senate Farm Bill helps largest 10% of farm operations

Despite the election year rhetoric about fiscal discipline and deficits, as well as  advancing free-markets and trade, many lawmakers have sided with the influential farm lobby to continue doling out multi-millions of dollars to corporate agribusinesses instead of protecting taxpayers and the small and medium farms that make up rural America. 

Americans Continue to Pay More for Sugar

As people eat their leftover Easter candy from last weekend, they may want to think about how much they paid for all those treats. Raw sugar in the United States regularly costs twice or triple the world average, and this hurts food companies and leads to high prices at the grocery store.

Organic Food: A Healthy Alternative or a Waste of Money?

Organic food is better for you, right?  Think again.  I listened to the John Batchelor radio show Monday night and was fortunate to hear a former colleague of mine, Henry Miller, MS MD, discuss organic foods.  Dr.

Seeing Double: Yes, Even More Duplication!

As part of a continuing series, CAGW is providing you with examples of duplication and overlap within the federal government that has been researched by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  In the 2011 GAO annual report, “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue,” the agency offers 81 suggestions on where cost-saving ideas could be implemented.  Here is another example from the report.

It is None of Their Damn Business!

Last month the New Jersey Comptroller released a report on widespread fraud in their state’s school lunch program.  More than 100 people on public payrolls, or members of their family, lied about their income in order to get their children on the free school lunch program.  One school board member did not report any of her substitute teaching salary as required when filling out an application form to participate in the program.  In response when asked why, she told investigators “It is none of their damn bu

Heard It Through the Grape Vine

What would you think of a government that believes too many raisins are being grown and harvested in a particular year so it decides to confiscate a portion of the crop?  Even worse, more often than not, the government will not pay the farmer for the portion of the crop it has taken.  Sounds almost Soviet-esque doesn’t it?  But it happens here in the United States and has been in existence for 64 years.  It was created during the Truman Administration and is called the National Raisin Reserve.  The sole “raisin d’être” is to control how many raisins reach the market-place. 

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