As Texas Governor Rick Perry moves closer and closer to announcing his plans for a presidential run, his fiscal views are already coming under fire by agricultural interest groups across the country. Perry, a fiscal conservative, has repeatedly criticized deficit spending in Washington, calling it “out of control,” while supporting strict austerity measures. Included in his attack on spending are farm subsidies, which Perry has routinely criticized as wasteful.
It was in the mid 90s, as Perry moved up in state politics, that he began to criticize farm subsidies and farm spending, opposing agricultural programs such as ethanol production and direct farm payments.
However, as Perry moves closer to a presidential run, his personal background could undermine his fiscal positions. When Perry ran for Texas Agricultural Commissioner in 1990, he lauded the farm industry, praising financial support from Washington and praising farm subsidies programs.
Perry himself received over $80,000 in federal agricultural support during his tenure as a Texas farmer between 1987 and the early 1990s, including receiving nearly $10,000 in direct payments to not farm his 40 acres.
This flip-flopping on farm subsidies could cost Perry support in his presidential run. Texas is currently in the midst of a massive drought that has affected roughly 90 percent of the state. Many Texas farmers have been forced to rely on Department of Agriculture emergency loans in order to make ends meet in the midst of severe weather.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer