CAGW Assesses the Administration’s Farm Bill | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Assesses the Administration’s Farm Bill

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseDaytime contact: Alexa Moutevelis: (202) 467-5318
February 1, 2007After hours contact: Tom Finnigan: (202) 253-3852


Washington, D.C. – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its assessment of the Bush Administration’s farm bill.  The proposal is a mixed bag of good and bad policy, with much room for improvement.

Cheers.  For acknowledging that present agriculture policy is both inequitable and costly to taxpayers, a modest step in the direction of reform.

Cheers.  For attempting to tighten payment limitations, particularly by eliminating payments to those individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $200,000 or more, and by eliminating the three-entity rule that allows some subsidy recipients to triple-dip.  These proposals are good signs that the administration recognizes the need for reform of a system in which the top 10 percent of farm subsidy recipients collect 72 percent of total subsidies.

Jeers.  For not eliminating payments to those with an AGI in excess of $100,000 – still 50 percent higher than the average American household.  Furthermore, the administration proposal fails woefully by not proposing to lower the overall payment limitation from the present excessive level of $360,000. 

Jeers.  For claiming that the proposal, as a component of the President’s deficit reduction plan, spends $10 billion less than was spent over the previous five years.  In fact, it spends $5 billion more than would be spent with a simple extension of the 2002 farm bill, the most costly farm bill in history. 

Jeers.  For failing to move away from the traditional outdated subsidy programs and instead maintaining the current farm program structure.  In fact, the administration brings back a supply control mechanism by reinstating marketing allotments for sugar and provides virtually no reform of the archaic dairy program.  The administration should have started by completely discarding the failed policies of the past, including all of the existing product-specific income and support programs.

“The administration could have done much better, such as returning to the 1996 farm bill’s more reform-minded policies.  Unfortunately, for taxpayers, Congress is likely to do much worse,” CAGW President Tom Schatz said.      

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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