House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisconsin) latest budget proposal cuts over $4 trillion from the federal budget in an effort to significantly reduce the federal deficit. Along with cuts to social services, Ryan’s budget significantly reduces farm subsidies, worrying some agricultural groups.
Ryan’s budget would, among other things, reduce direct payment to farmers from the federal government, significantly limiting and reducing grants and direct subsidies. In addition, the budget would greatly reduce crop insurance, shifting that particular burden to agricultural producers rather than the government.
Defenders of the budget say that painful cuts are needed to protect long-term economic growth and that ending crop insurance will put the agricultural industry on par with other major U.S. businesses.
Some agricultural groups have criticized the latest budget proposal. The National Farmers Union, for example, has claimed that the bill is shortsighted and that commodity prices, while currently high, could rapidly fall, leaving many farmers in the lurch.
The NFU also stated that Americans currently pay only 10% of their income on food, a low figure that relies on agricultural support from the federal government. The USA Rice Foundation and 21 other agricultural groups recently wrote Speaker of the House John Boehner to criticize cuts in farm subsidies.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer