The Senate has begun consideration of a massive new “Farm
Bill,” S. 3240. Though the media and proponents of the bill have been talking
about all the “reforms” and so-called “spending cuts” they say are in the new
bill, what they aren’t telling you about are the new entitlement programs,
massive subsidies for green energy, and the endless handouts. This legislation
is a slap in the face to farmers and consumers alike; the real beneficiary of
the Farm Bill is big government!
Click here to tell
your Senators: Vote NO on the Farm Bill.
Thanks to high commodity prices
and higher yields, the financial outlook for American farmers has been improving. The Department of Agriculture reports that
productivity has soared in the past 60 years.
Since the 1990s, farm income has trended upward at a much faster pace
than for other U.S. households. In 2010,
the average annual income for a farming household was $84,440, well above the
national mean of $64,000.
Given these developments, it is especially hard to justify several provisions in the Senate’s farm bill, among them the new “Shallow Loss” Program. Designed to be a safety net, this scheme locks in returns on commodities at record-high prices, hedging against most potential revenue losses due to economic fluctuations. This could mean putting taxpayers on the hook for what might be upwards of $7.4 billion – if commodities were to return to price averages reflecting the past 15 years. We need less, not more, government involvement in the farming business. Real reforms would mean clearing away red tape regulations that hamper efficient farming, putting an end to subsidies that are tilted toward big agribusinesses, and getting rid of tax policies that hurt family farmers, the worst of which is the dreaded death tax. Unfortunately, the new Shallow Loss Program is only part of the problem. Three-quarters of the legislation’s funding is devoted to social welfare-type initiatives like the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), which duplicates other USDA efforts and should in itself be reevaluated top-to-bottom.. The bill is also packed with giveaways to the green energy and ethanol industries, with $193 million for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program and another $241 million for the Rural Energy for America Program.
Taken as a whole, this legislation is far from delivering the comprehensive, market-based reforms that will allow the agricultural sector to flourish, give consumers a fair shake, and protect taxpayers from excessive spending. Instead, it is a blueprint that hurts small farmers by driving up land and food prices on the backs of hardworking taxpayers.
Please help! Take
Action today and tell your Senators we need real reforms, not more spending: Vote
No on the Farm Bill.
Thank you for your ongoing support and for taking action on
this important issue.
Your Grassroots Action Team at NTU
P.S. Please consider donating to NTU today to help us keep up the fight against spending and waste.