Taxpayer Group Applauds Sen. Lugar's Agriculture Alternative | Citizens Against Government Waste

Taxpayer Group Applauds Sen. Lugar's Agriculture Alternative

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Philippa Jeffery  
October 18, 2001(202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. - Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) President Tom Schatz today released the following statement:

"CCAGW applauds Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) for introducing farm legislation that would provide real reform of crop subsidy programs.  It is encouraging to see that at least one U.S. Senator is willing to object to the “stampede to subsidize” that resulted in an unwise, unsound piece of legislation being adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives.

"CCAGW believes that it is premature to consider the farm bill.  It does not expire until next September.  The Senate should dismiss the irresponsible actions of the House and take the time to allow a thoughtful, thorough approach to developing a farm bill that not only assists all American farmers, ranchers and producers to compete in the global marketplace, but also considers the farm bill’s impacts on American consumers,  taxpayers, and the environment as well.

"While the 1996 Farm Bill had finally, after 60 years, begun the process of moving toward dismantling depression-era agriculture programs, the recent House passage of H.R. 2646, the Farm Security Act of 2001, represents a dramatic backward step in farm policy.  It completely abandons the concept of ending the agriculture sector’s dependency on the largesse of the U.S. taxpayer that was to be accomplished by “freeing America’s farmers.”

"H.R. 2646 not only continues to subsidize the same old products through so-called market transition payments, but in addition to those subsidies, it brings back the old target price/deficiency payment system eliminated in the 1996 Farm Bill, and calls these “countercyclical” payments.  Although the House authors may call it by a different name, it is the same old thing.  In addition, H.R. 2646 restores other subsidies Congress had actually managed to eliminate in the past and also creates new subsidies for products that have never before been subsidized.

"The farm bill passed by the House adds another $73 billion in subsidies ¾ a 65 percent increase ¾ to the already existing $95 billion 10-year base.  Senator Lugar’s proposal is still quite generous, adding $25 billion in new farm spending over a five-year period.  Most importantly, Senator Lugar’s proposal keeps farm reform on track by phasing out crop subsidies and replacing them with risk management programs that are fair to all agricultural producers.

"CCAGW encourages the U.S. Senate to take the time to do a better job of passing a sound farm bill than was done in the House.  They couldn’t possibly do worse.  By using Senator Lugar’s proposal as the starting point, they could be off to a good start." 

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest taxpayer advocacy group with over one million members and supporters nationwide.  It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.


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