Conspicuously Anachronistic Agricultural Subsidies

Many lumbered into work this week still stuffed from their Fourth of July feasts. If that described you Tuesday morning, thank a taxpayer.

As the Charles Koch Institute’s Alison Acosta Fraser wrote in a new op-ed for Town Hall, “From the meat in your burger or hot dog to the buns you put them in, products of the agriculture industry benefit from a wide swath of corporate welfare policies.”

First started as a way to compensate small family farmers with variable sources of income, agriculture subsidies are a conspicuous anachronism today because, as Fraser writes:

“Farm income has grown, farmers have less debt and more equity, and farm failures are quite rare … The typical farming household makes 19 percent more than the rest of the country and has 10 times the wealth.”

Although direct payments were largely eliminated in 2014, agricultural corporate welfare was simply transformed into taxpayer-funded crop insurance programs. Fraser notes, “The taxpayers are absorbing what should be the cost of doing business. This is wrong for any business or industry trying to earn a profit.”

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