Budget Hawks Decry Farm Subsides

Budget hawks and fiscal conservatives across the country are calling on Congress to reject the 2012 Farm Bill, insisting that the country cannot afford major farm subsidies and that agricultural spending is often wasteful and inefficient.

With the current farm bill set to expire at the end of the month and farm bill negotiations still ongoing, the political discourse in Washington is getting heated. While farmers point to the latest string of bad weather as proof that major farm supports are still needed, some fiscal conservatives are dismissing those claims.

Groups like the National Taxpayers Union, the Heritage Institute, and other conservative think tanks have recently come out against increasing farm subsidies as a wasteful boondoggle. Some groups, like the Heritage Institute, point to record farm profits, even in the midst of a major drought, as proof that subsidies are unnecessary. Groups like the National Taxpayers Union have emphasized the gradual growth of the cost of each farm bill. They argue that reforming tax policy and ending government regulation will better serve the farm community.

These arguments have filtered up to lawmakers in Congress. Part of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s reluctance to bring the farm bill to a vote is his fear that fiscal conservatives in Washington will vote down the farm bill, handing him an embarrassing defeat going into the 2012 election.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer