Another Reason For Americans To Fear The End Of The Year: The ‘Agriculture Abyss’…(Got Food??!!)
Dec 8 2012
This week’s print edition has an article discussing another reason for Americans to fear the end of the year: the “agriculture abyss.”
Farm subsidies cost America’s government tens of billions of dollars each year, even though many farmers are earning more than ever thanks to high commodity prices. Little surprise, then, that with Congress desperate to avoid painful tax increases and spending cuts, both Republicans and Democrats are prepared to eliminate direct payments to growers.
Despite that bipartisan consensus, the last farm bill, passed in 2008, expired on September 30 with nothing to take its place. In June, the Senate passed a bill with bipartisan support that would eliminate direct payments to farmers and trim spending on conservation programmes and food stamps. These measures would save $23 billion over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The House Agriculture committee’s version would save about $35 billion over the next ten years.