by Marion Nestle
Jan 29 2014

More on the politically corrupt farm bill, not yet passed

Brad Plumer, the WonkBlogger at the Washington Post did some homework on the farm bill based on cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

The grand total: $956.4 billion over 10 years.chart_1

Whether the total cuts (“savings”) from the previous bill amount to $16 billion (the CBO estimate) or $23 billion (the congressional estimate) depends on how they do the calculations, but all estimates agree that the big cuts over ten years come from three areas:

  • Farm programs: -$18.4 billion
  • Conservation: -$6.1 billion
  • SNAP: -$8 billion

ProPolitico Morning Agriculture points out that President Obama’s speech last night did not mention the farm bill.  Really, it’s too awful to talk about in public.

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  • hereatlast

    I read this blog post last night and have been stewing about it since I came home from DC. Frankly, it is all well and good to call the Farm Bill “too awful to talk about in public” but the cold hard reality is that many of us who work in sustainable ag are damn glad the thing is now almost certain to become law. It is far from perfect, but there are some stranded programs that are going to get funded. There’s a deep commitment to BFR programs, rural development and veterans programs. And, dammit, that MEANS something. It means something that crop insurance is changing for organic farmers. It means something that the people we work with at USDA have a decent idea of what the next 5 years looks like. The bill is far from perfect, but it is a sight lot better than operating under a CR.

  • TR

    I haven’t been keeping up with the progress or lack of of the farm bill but I would like to know why its considered corrupt.

  • Lorraine Lewandrowski

    We NEED discussion on the farm bill and what result it will have. Here in NY, some 7.2 million acres of farmland is impacted…this is an area larger than the Adirondack Park. In NY environmental circles, anything related to the Adirondack Park sparks intensive discussions, calls for involvement and study of issues down to the finest details. But, when it comes to the working countryside…the landscape that helps feed NYC, we see food interested people throwing up their hands saying they don’t care to engage in talking. We need details, data and most of all diversity in discussing how this Farm Bill will impact New York going forward.

  • toomuchguvmint

    How many decades have we had of politicians targeting the largest and wealthiest farmers in the country with cash and insurance benefits of the greatest value. These mindless government farm programs have been a major factor in depopulating rural America of smaller farmers. In order to level the playing field for all farm businesses, all farmers are equally deserving of government benefits of comparable value. It is time for politicians to stop harming smaller farmers by depriving them of the government benefits they award the wealthiest and most profitable farms. Stop taking money from the taxpayer and better yet give all farmers the same equal benefit of $0. Removing masses of smaller farmers from rural America and replacing them with just a few monster farm operations is not a step in food security for the nation. Politicians pontificate how government farm programs are all about food security for the nation, but choose to ignore those financially harmed by this mindless government targeting of the largest benefits to the wealthiest and most profitable.

  • Hilda

    It’s the same bill that provides the subsidies for the terrorist organization, The Muslim Brotherhood.