Agriculture

What the Wall Street Journal gets wrong about farming in 2017

With the Farm Bill up for reauthorization in 2018 and legislative debate poised to heat up later this year, there’s been a lot of talk about the plight …

Court OKs constitutional challenge to new state law affecting farm industry

A federal appeals court last week took the highly unusual step of finding a U.S. constitutional cause of action in a challenge to a California state law – …

California Legislature’s gaseous impulses

The California Legislature last week received a load of bad publicity because of a new law that attempts to reduce the methane output of dairy cows dramatically — …

Americans don’t benefit from ‘safety nets’ for farmers

Libertarians and small-government conservatives have myriad gripes with U.S. agricultural policy, but many would agree that it’s appropriate to provide a “safety net” for farmers. Arguments for government …

Addressing risk in agriculture

The attached agriculture risk report from the Heritage Foundation was compiled with the advice and edits of an Agricultural Risk Advisory Task Force that included R Street Executive Director Andrew …

The shrinking market of midsized farms

Americans enjoy a sense of collective national pride about the agricultural economy. The notion evokes mental images of proud farmers who provide our “amber waves of grain” and who weathered the …

Down on the farm

From National Review: One particularly bad culprit is the harvest price option (HPO) crop-insurance policy. While traditional crop insurance protects farmers from catastrophic losses, those who can afford higher …

Growing a better farm safety net

Congress is not scheduled to reauthorize the farm bill until 2018, but the farm lobby is already signaling its strong resistance to reform. To combat constant lobbying and …

What the GOP platform gets right about agriculture

Regardless one's thoughts on the 2016 Republican Platform’s planks on international trade, marriage equality, immigration and so many other issues, libertarians and small-government conservatives should be cheered that …

Capping crop insurance subsidies is a long overdue initiative

To hear the agricultural lobby and farm state representatives in Congress tell it, making any cuts to the subsidies farmers receive from the federal government to help them …

Food insecurity and national security

No one would deny that a vibrant and stable agriculture economy is important for national security. Across the globe, unstable food supplies are associated with turmoil, crime and …

Eliminating federal waste means swimming upstream

Advocates for fiscal responsibility often find, when it comes to killing even the most wasteful and unnecessary programs, they must swim upstream. As a case in point, consider …

Farmers feed the world

As the U.S. Senate debated the farm bill in 2012, one of the measure's authors – Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. – took to the floor to defend it …

Some Ag Committee members draw millions in farm subsidies

Who benefits from farm subsidies? R Street long has been critical of our federal farm-support system, a massive boondoggle that disproportionately funnels taxpayer dollars to wealthy agribusinesses rather …

Coalition letter on the USDA catfish inspection program

Dear Senator Ayotte, As organizations that represent millions of taxpayers across the country, we write to support your efforts to repeal the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) catfish …

The mythical ‘savings’ of the 2014 farm bill

Shortly after the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was unveiled, text of the legislation, which promised to raise the nation’s debt limit and set spending levels through September …

Capping premium subsidies won’t kill crop insurance

The federal crop insurance program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA), serves as the largest single source of federal support for farms …

Limiting premium subsidies for crop insurance

One of the most persistent inaccurate claims made by some farm-lobby advocates, not to mention elected representatives with agricultural constituencies, is that any change to the Federal Crop …

Billionaire ‘farmers’ rake in big taxpayer bucks

When it comes to agriculture subsidies, the farm owners who need your money least are the ones getting the heftiest government payouts. Analysis published this week by our friends …

5 environmental topics a new GOP working group should tackle

At what would prove to be the final presidential primary debate in which he'd participate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was asked to respond to Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado’s …

Why are farmers telling kids what to eat?

The attached policy short was published in the March 17, 2016 edition of Politico.   The law governing America’s school lunches is up for renewal this year, and the 210-page …

Free-market and environmental groups to Congress: Support crop insurance reforms in the 2017 Budget

March 3, 2016 Dear Member of Congress, As taxpayer and environmental advocates, we write to express our unified support for the cuts to the federal crop insurance program outlined in …

Coalition urges repeal of USDA catfish inspection program

Shaun DonovanDirectorOffice of Management and Budget725 17th Street, NW Washington, DC 20503 Dear Mr. Donovan, As organizations that represent millions of taxpayers across the country, it is with great concern we …

Transportation bill would undo billions in crop insurance savings

The FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act) is aptly named, but for all the wrong reasons. The process for getting to final passage for the federal transportation …

Free Market Groups to Congress: Support Agriculture Savings through Modifying the Standard Reinsurance Agreement

Oct. 28, 2015 Dear Member of Congress, While each of our organizations' positions differ on the myriad components of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015, we write with one voice …

There’s no good reason to delay conservation compliance

Even as the U.S. Department of Agriculture was reporting a record 98.2 percent of farmers and ranchers have met new "conservation compliance" guidelines required to qualify for federally …

Supreme Court takes on raisins, Spider-Man and hotels, but not marriage and Obamacare…yet

There's only one more SCOTUS "Decision Day" left in June, and it's going to be a big one. On their second-to-last day before skipping town to enjoy their …

California is learning to pay its own way

California is a land of calamity. The ground shakes, it runs dry and, with underappreciated frequency, it catches fire. Surprisingly, the cost of modern life in the Golden State …

How the DMCA is turning ownership into ‘loanership’

The following piece was co-authored by R Street Innovation Policy Director Mike Godwin. During the Great Depression, farm-equipment giant John Deere Co. famously refused to repossess tractors it had …

Oversight needed to get conservation compliance right

Ever since they were first signed into law by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1985, the so-called “conservation compliance” provisions of America’s agricultural support programs have stood as prime …

Coalition urges reform to milk-pricing rules

Dear Secretary Vilsack: As consumer and taxpayer organizations that represent millions of Americans, we are pleased to offer these comments in response to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Notice …

Gwyneth Paltrow takes SNAP challenge, fails miserably

Years ago, in need of some unintentional hilarity in my life, I signed up for Gwyneth Paltrow's "lifestyle email newsletter" called, somewhat unappetizingly, "GOOP." Since then, on a …

Top 5 findings on the environmental harms of crop insurance subsidies

We at R Street do a lot of warning that our nation’s misguided crop insurance supports, in combination with the disastrous Renewable Fuel Standard, are distorting land and …

Why the ethanol mandate is terrible policy

You know the campaign season has started when people start talking about ethanol. Various GOP hopefuls have affirmed or reaffirmed their support for existing ethanol mandates, and while …

Letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee: RFS is broken

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Pallone: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is increasingly recognized as a failed policy in need of attention by the Congress. With the exception …

Addressing the real drivers of the explosion in food stamps

The U.S. House may not be able to agree on much when it comes to the size and scope of federal programs, but one thing has been clear …

A rose ceremony we should tune out

Prime-time television is rarely, if ever, conducive to serious debates about public policy. Yet a recent article by Danielle Paquette on the Washington Post's Wonkblog manages to do …

Lehmann talks extreme weather on NPR’s On Point

With record snowstorms crippling New England, R Street Institute Senior Fellow and Editor-in-Chief R.J. Lehmann was a guest this week on the nationally syndicated public radio program On …

R Street urges lawmakers to support Harvest Price Subsidy Prohibition Act

WASHINGTON (Feb. 12, 2015) – The R Street Institute applauds today’s introduction of the Harvest Price Subsidy Prohibition Act, sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Jeff Flake, …

Support the Harvest Price Subsidy Prohibition Act

Dear Member of Congress, On behalf of the millions of Americans represented by the undersigned organizations, we write to urge your strong support of the Harvest Price Subsidy Prohibition …

You say ‘po-tay-toh,’ I say massive spud fraud

A pair of Cooperstown, N.D. brothers have been convicted in a $2 million scheme to defraud the federal crop insurance program with false claims of loss on their …

Big CRomnibus winners: NSA, hungry kids, farting cows

If there was any good news to come out of this weekend's CRomnibus festivities, it was that you can now make any Democrat immediately cringe by implying that …

Time to shuck the big corn giveaway

By most reasonable measures, America’s corn farmers have had a fantastic year. Their 14-billion-bushel harvest represents the largest yearly haul of any crop by any single country in …

Green Scissors 2.0: Broad coalition launches tool to cut wasteful spending and protect enviornment

WASHINGTON (Nov. 17, 2014) – Amid congressional conflict over year-end appropriations, the Green Scissors Coalition released a new interactive database that identifies nearly 80 cuts Congress could make …

‘Waters of the United States’ could be most significant EPA rule you’ve never heard of

In 1972, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters." The federal government's legal authority to regulate …

Open letter to Congress: Support amendments to reform crop insurance

June 11, 2014 An Open Letter to the United States Congress: Support Amendments to Reform Crop Insurance Dear Representative, On behalf of the millions of members of the undersigned organizations, we urge …

WORKING PAPER: Conservation in the 113th Congress

With no major storm events and few environmental catastrophes in the United States in 2013 or thus far in 2014, it's been easy for policymakers to lose a …

5 reasons Ronald Reagan’s secret identity was Captain Planet

If we've learned any lessons during the past few decades, perhaps the most important is that preservation of our environment is not a partisan challenge; it’s common sense. …

Congress’ farm bill falls $29 billion short of Obama’s proposed cuts

WASHINGTON (Feb. 4, 2014) – The R Street Institute today called on President Barack Obama to use his veto pen to reject the five-year farm bill approved by …

R Street deeply disappointed by $1 trillion farm bill

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2014) – The R Street Institute expressed deep disappointment at the five-year conference committee farm bill that cuts just 0.11 percent in projected federal spending …

Mike Rogers’ one-half percent

As negotiations in Congress over the so-called "farm bill" continue, Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican representing Alabama's Third District, is seen as a key vote on the small …

Repeal duplicative USDA catfish inspection program in farm bill conference legislation

January 8, 2014 Honorable Debbie Stabenow U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture 328A Russell Senate Office Bldg Washington, DC, 20510 Honorable Thad Cochran U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture 328A Russell Senate Office Bldg Washington, DC, 20510 Honorable Frank …

Sanders on the farm bill

R Street Senior Fellow Lori Sanders discusses the farm bill on 1070 AM WINA in Charlottesville, Va. Click here to download the podcast. …

Eliminate the Corn Ethanol Mandate

Dec. 10, 2013 Dear Congress: Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged with implementing and administering the Renewable Fuel Standard, released its proposal for the amount of biofuels that …

(Un)happy Thanksgiving, from USDA’s family to yours

Every Thanksgiving, our pre-dinner routine is the same. We trek out, mile-long list in hand, to our local grocery store, prepared to fill our buggies with every food …

New energy for the farm bill

I’ve written several times criticizing the efforts of the House on the farm bill, highlighting the myriad ways in which the House’s agriculture supports are far too generous, …

What does it take to be a federally subsidized ‘farm manager’?

I've written before on one of the more egregious aspects of federal farm payments, namely that they frequently go to those who aren't actually farming. I last wrote …

Letter to farm bill conferees

Oct. 28, 2013 Dear Farm Bill Conferee, I write on behalf of the R Street Institute to urge your support for two important crop insurance reforms in any farm bill …

An open letter to the United States Congress: Support efforts to curb crop insurance subsidies!

Dear Representative, On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the undersigned organizations, we write in strong support of a Sense of the House of Representatives instructing farm …

The farm bill: best if used by Sept. 30

Lost in the noise regarding the impending government shutdown is a separate deadline Congress faces on Sept. 30 – the expiration of the farm bill. While there’s been …

Lehmann on farm policy’s impact on duck hunting

R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann sat down this week with our friend Steve Stanek of the Heartland Institute to discuss his recent paper on U.S. Department of …

Support Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act

September 18, 2013 An Open Letter to the House of Representatives: Support Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act Dear Representative, On behalf of the R Street Institute, I write today to express …

The value of conservation compliance to hunters and anglers

In recent years, free-market groups and environmental activists have demonstrated they can work together effectively to root out wasteful federal subsidies that benefit environmentally destructive development. As such …

R Street brief notes farm bill could spell big trouble for hunters

WASHINGTON (Sept. 16, 2014) – Failure by Congress to attach key accountability provisions to federal crop insurance subsidies would have devastating results for hunters and anglers, according to …

Press conference on ending corporate welfare in the Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2013) -- U.S. Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Tom Petri, R-Wis., will join representatives from R Street and groups from across the ideological divide for …

Urban ‘farmers’ reap taxpayer dough

Many pundits and analysts have framed the farm bill, with its ever-growing spending on farm programs and nutritional assistance (or SNAP, previously known as "food stamps") to be …

R Street’s Andrew Moylan on the Gary Nolan Show

Talk show host and erstwhile candidate for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination Gary Nolan -- syndicated by 93.9 The Eagle in Columbia, Mo. -- caught up with our …

August recess closes without closure on farm bill front

August is the one time the concerns of outside-the-beltway Americans are heard consistently in Washington, as major news outlets relay messages from congressional town hall meetings across the …

Senate moves to make its ag reform intentions clear

The future of the farm bill may be in limbo, but fortunately, unlike their House counterparts, the Senate is using this waiting period to push for further agriculture …

House members who receive farm subsidies vote against cutting them

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., released a report yesterday illustrating the latest Republican hypocrisy. The report profiles 14 Republican congressmen who receive federal agriculture subsidies. Each member voted for …

How computerized work affects immigration

In 1900, 41 percent of the U.S. workforce was employed in agriculture. One hundred years later, that share had declined to 1.9 percent. Over that interval, the jobs …

Farm Bill fiasco: Big Ag’s big subsidies

With this month’s passage of a farm bill that doles out tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to agribusiness interests, the Republican-controlled House has signaled that the …

Farm Bill folly: The real way the bill harms the poor

A long line of representatives from the Congressional Black Caucus came to the floor July 11 to stand in opposition to the House's agriculture-only Farm Bill, which passed …

Republicans back agribusiness with the farm bill

This week, House Republicans passed a farm bill that reauthorizes and expands a wide range of federal subsidies for the agricultural sector. The bill, which is expected to …

U.S. House blows opportunity for real agriculture reform

WASHINGTON (July 11, 2013) – The R Street Institute today expressed deep disappointment that the U.S. House approved a five-year "split" Farm Bill without any opportunity to consider …

The farm bill fiasco

The Farm Bill is on the House floor right now and rumors are flying as to who's voting for it and what's been promised to them. I thought …

An open letter to the House of Representatives: Farm Bill is bad process, worse policy

July 12, 2013 Dear Representative, On behalf of the R Street Institute, I write today to urge your opposition to H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act. …

Open letter to Speaker Boehner: Ensure open process on ‘farm-only’ Farm Bill!

July 9, 2013 Dear Speaker Boehner, On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the undersigned organizations, we write to commend you for separating the agriculture and nutrition …

Do House Republicans really want reform?

As much as I never like to question anyone’s intentions, I finally find myself asking this week, do House Republicans really want to reform Washington? Perhaps it was naïve, …

Top 7 farm amendments House won’t be allowed to vote on

News broke earlier today that the House will proceed with consideration of a "farm only" Farm Bill this week after deciding to split the agriculture and nutrition portions. …

Conservative groups urge open process on agriculture bill

WASHINGTON (July 9, 2013) – The R Street Institute today joined with 20 other conservative and libertarian groups to urge U.S. House Speaker John Boehner preserve an open …

To pass farm bill, GOP leadership needs to allow serious cuts to farm programs

Hands are wringing all over Capitol Hill now that the House farm bill failed to pass. Much ink will be spilled trying to figure out how and why …

R Street urges House consider improvements after failed Farm Bill vote

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2013) –- The R Street Institute welcomed today's 195 to 234 U.S. House vote defeating a proposed $940 billion Farm Bill, and encouraged lawmakers to …

R Street urges House consider improvements after failed Farm Bill vote

For Immediate Release Contact Information: R.J. Lehmann, Public Affairs Director Office: 202.525.5717 Email: rlehmann@rstreet.org WASHINGTON (June 20, 2013) –- The R Street Institute welcomed today’s 195 to 234 U.S. House vote defeating a …

Lies, damn lies and crop insurance

The fact that outlandish misinformation flies around Capitol Hill as various groups fight to keep their subsidies is nothing new. But sometimes, the misinformation is so misleading and …

Fiscal conservative organizations outraged at Farm Bill process

June 19, 2013 Dear Representative: On behalf of the millions of members our organizations represent, we are outraged at the process surrounding the consideration of the Federal Agriculture Reform and …

R Street urges fiscal responsibility in House Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (June 19, 2013) – As the U.S. House begins deliberations today on H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, the R Street Institute encourages …

Letter to House Rules Committee on Farm Bill

June 17, 2013 The Honorable Pete Sessions Chairman, Committee on Rules United States House of Representatives H-312 The Capitol Washington, DC 20515 Dear Chairman Sessions, On behalf of the R Street …

PRESS BRIEFING: Farm subsidy programs in House Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (June 14, 2013) -- Representatives from Environmental Working Group, American Enterprise Institute, R Street Institute, Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers for Common Sense, National Black Farmers …

Three reasons not to pass the Farm Bill

Next week, the latest iteration of the Farm Bill will head to the floor of the U.S. House. This is the usual bundle of legislation that includes dozens …

Expect the Farm Bill to cost a lot more than advertised

With pressure in the Senate to pass the Farm Bill this week (they approved cloture this morning) and showmanship killing any consideration of further amendments, things aren’t looking …

R Street welcomes House crop insurance accountability bill

WASHINGTON (June 5, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today lauded introduction of H.R. 2260, the Crop Insurance Accountability Act of 2013, which would require farmers who receive …

Landrieu’s attempt to gut flood reforms she voted for spikes Farm Bill improvements

The U.S. Senate ground to a halt yesterday amid a hailstorm of objections to various Farm Bill amendments, both germane and non-germane to the legislation. Roll Call had …

Oppose Landrieu Farm Bill Amendment #1113: Gutting flood insurance reforms

June 3, 2013 Dear Senator, On the heels of increasing the insolvent National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority by $9.7 billion as part of the Superstorm Sandy supplemental spending package, …

What Farm Bill reforms are still possible?

The Senate’s Farm Bill deliberations should wrap up next week, with final approval coming after this week’s recess. That makes this a good time to take stock of …

No one has a ‘right’ to be subsidized

In a new blog post, our friend Daren Bakst at the Heritage Foundation argues against returning to the Reagan administration policy of linking federally subsidized crop insurance to …

Some rare good news on crop insurance reform

I wrote earlier this month about the record high losses taxpayers incurred due to the 2012 drought, highlighting an excellent study by Bruce Babcock that showed how premium …

SAVE THE DATE: May 30 panel on the 2013 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (May 20, 2013) -– R Street Institute Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan will join representatives of the Cato Institute, Environmental Working Group and Taxpayers for Common Sense for …

Our massive sugar subsidy is not so sweet for consumers or most farmers

Imagine a market where the government controls both the price of goods and how much producers can sell, and where excess goods are bought up by the government …

Watch the Heritage bloggers’ briefing on the Farm Bill nightmare

Watch live streaming video from heritagefoundation at livestream.com Watch R Street Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan with Heritage's own Daren Bakst on the $1 trillion abomination that is the Farm …

Support the bipartisan Assisting Family Farmers through Insurance Reform Measures Act (AFFIRM)

May 15, 2013 Dear Representative, The undersigned organizations urge you to support the Assisting Family Farmers through Insurance Reform Measures (AFFIRM) Act recently introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and …

Farm policy: The “terrible twelve” (that actually relate to farming)

Washington’s Farm Policy is a nearly trillion dollar tangle of agriculture subsidies, welfare payments and environmental patronage. There is tremendous need for reform. Current subsidy programs are rooted …

Despite SNAP cuts, House Farm Bill is not a ‘fiscally responsible’ option

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2013) – The U.S. House version of the 2013 Farm Bill, which the Agriculture Committee will begin marking up tomorrow, includes increases in taxpayer-financed crop …

Senate Farm Bill draft fails to move toward real reform

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2013) – The R Street Institute today noted the draft Farm Bill the Senate Agriculture Committee will begin marking up tomorrow once again fails to …

American sugar: A not-so-sweet deal

With the Farm Bill renewal debate rapidly approaching, one undeniable candidate for pruning is the federal sugar program. Currently, the federal government controls almost every aspect of sugar …

‘Shallow Loss’ is a loser of a program

Buried deep inside the $950 billion farm bill soon to come before the House and Senate agriculture committees is a policy proposal that easily ranks among the most …

Coalition letter to senators on the sugar program

Dear Senator, Over the next several weeks, policymakers in the House and the Senate will be marking up provisions for the 2013 Farm Bill. This year, greater attention will …

Budget watchdogs lay out principles for crop insurance reform

WASHINGTON (May 9, 2013) – As both the House and Senate agriculture panels prepare to mark-up their respective versions of a five-year Farm Bill next week, the R …

2012 crop insurance payouts were more than double farmers’ losses

The verdict is in – crop insurance, as currently structured, results in massive overspending on the part of the federal government. Just how much overspending? According to a recent …

R Street policy statement on crop insurance reform

As Congress returns for a second attempt at crafting fiscally responsible food and farm policy, it should ensure that basic limitations to taxpayer liability are applied to federally …

Farmers with benefits

American farmers did well in 2012, to say the least. They benefited from record-high commodity prices, burgeoning organic produce markets and high sale prices for farmland. As they …

Why don’t we eliminate farm subsidies?

The 2014 White House budget includes some real cuts in farm subsidies, including to the absolutely absurd Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program. As Justin Green points out, this …

Time to open fire on farm subsidies

President Barack Obama, quite rightly, has been derided as the "food stamp president." While serving in office, the 44th president has presided over continued, massive expansions of the …

Support Begich-Flake Amendment #254

Dear Senator, The undersigned organizations urge you to support Begich-Flake amendment #254 to the Senate Budget Resolution to bring transparency to the federally subsidized crop insurance program. Federal taxpayers spent …

R Street welcomes introduction of Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act

WASHINGTON (March 5, 2013) -- New legislation introduced today in both chambers of Congress would scale back massive federal subsidies for crop insurance, representing a major victory for …

R Street, EWG host Hill briefings today on crop insurance reform

WASHINGTON (March 5, 2013) – The R Street Institute and the Environmental Working Group will be hosting a pair of Capitol Hill briefings today to discuss the case …

Saving the earth, saving tax dollars: The case for conservation compliance

This piece was co-authored by Larry Schweiger, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. Whether they've inherited historic family farms, are setting out to grow crops …

Bipartisan bill tackles federal subsidies that destroy America’s prairies

WASHINGTON (Feb. 15, 2013) -- Bipartisan legislation introduced this week would cut $200 million in wasteful federal subsidies that currently encourage farmers to cultivate that native sod and …

Harvest real savings by reforming agricultural policy

February 14, 2013 Dear Representative, On behalf of the millions of Americans represented by the undersigned organizations, we write urging you to take common sense steps to reform federal supports …

Fiscal Cliff deal extends current Farm Bill, keeps wasteful direct payments

WASHINGTON (Jan. 2, 2013) – As part of the U.S. House’s 257-167 vote to approve legislation averting the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Congress has extended for nine months statutory …

Taxpayers won’t harvest farm bill savings

December 7, 2012 Dear Member of Congress, It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility to include a five-year reauthorization of agricultural programs as part of a deficit reduction package to …

Press conference to stop the ‘secret’ Farm Bill

Washington (Dec. 6, 2012) –- R Street Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan will join representatives from a politically diverse group of organizations in a Dec. 10 press conference to …

The ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the Fiscal Cliff

With the end of the year fast approaching, the conversation about how Congress should address the “fiscal cliff” is heating up. If Washington fails to act, the New …

R Street offers ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for lame duck Congress

WASHINGTON (Dec. 3, 2012) –-There’s any number of legislative avenues down which the ongoing negotiations in Congress to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” could ultimately proceed, but some …

Record drought leads to…lower crop insurance premiums?

The Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency, the entity which administers crop insurance for farmers across the country, just released word that premiums are actually going down for a …

Eli Lehrer featured on the Insurance Journal podcast

R Street President Eli Lehrer was interviewed by Andy Simpson of Insurance Journal for IJ's podcast about the results of the 2012 elections and how they bode for …

Free-market groups oppose lame duck consideration of $1 trillion Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (Nov. 13, 2012) -– As federal lawmakers prepare for a seven-week lame duck session of Congress, the R Street Institute and a coalition of 13 other conservative, …

R Street hosts Nov. 9 presentation on conservation compliance in the Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2012) – With the U.S. House potentially set to take up the Farm Bill in the “lame duck” session that will follow the Nov. 6 …

Slate takes note of conservation compliance

Slate's Daniel Imhoff has taken a look at the 700-page monstrosity that is the Farm Bill and noticed some of the same things we have -- notably it's …

Farm Bill needs stronger protections for taxpayers and the environment

WASHINGTON (Oct. 29, 2012) -- As U.S. lawmakers prepare to complete work on the 2012 Farm Bill following the Nov. 6 election, a new paper from the R …

Conservation compliance: The obscure environmental provision key to protecting taxpayers and privatizing crop insurance

The overwhelming majority of American farms receive federal subsidies of some sort. These payments are controversial and, in the opinion of many who favor smaller government, ought not …

Eli Lehrer on the Farm Bill at HuffPost Live

R Street President Eli Lehrer takes part in a panel discussion at HuffPost Live on the 2012 Farm Bill, which Congress failed to pass before the existing bill's …

‘Everyone in here is a millionaire’

That headline comes us by way of “Grandpa” Straub, a farmer from Fairbury, Ill. who also serves as the star of the latest edition of National Public Radio’s …

Kill the farm bill

The Farm Bill is now stalled in the U.S. House as members head back to their districts for their traditional break. This is a good thing. The measure, …

What is insurance, anyway?

A friend involved in the crop insurance industry recently wrote to me taking issue with a reference I had made proposed shallow loss “insurance”  (my words) program in …

Save the earth! Shrink the state!

America has some good things to show for its more than 40 years of intense environmental activism: the air and water are cleaner than they were and the …

Farmers, farms and the GOP’s brand of client politics

I'm a Republican, but on a handful of issues -- gay marriage, the earned income tax credit and some types of environmental laws -- my own views are …

Rep. Peterson: Millionaires need safety nets, too

In what was not at all a surprise, the House Agriculture Committee passed by a 35-11 margin its mammoth $957 billion Farm Bill early this morning, without any serious consideration given …

R Street, taxpayer groups seek real reform in $1 trillion Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (July 11, 2012) -- Ahead of today’s House Agriculture Committee mark-up of the $957 billion Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, the R Street Institute has …

House GOP freshmen failing the Farm Bill test

They took office 18 months ago full of piss and vinegar, the 84 freshmen Republicans who rode a wave of tea party invective about out-of-control government spending into …

House Farm Bill cuts don’t go nearly far enough

WASHINGTON (July 6, 2012) -- Much of the $35 billion in federal savings proposed in draft Farm Bill legislation unveiled this week by the House Agriculture Committee could …

Green Scissors 2012 finds ending environmentally destructive federal programs would save nearly $700 billion

Left-Right coalition identifies practical steps Congress could take to slash deficits, save natural resources WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 26, 2012 — Congress could move a long way toward solving …

Green Scissors 2012

PDF Download Text Green Scissors 2012 recommends nearly $700 billion in cuts to wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. It is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for …

U.S. Senate misses chance to help taxpayers, environment with Farm Bill vote

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) - The R Street Institute today expressed its disappointment that the U.S. Senate has voted to approve S. 3240, a $969 billion boondoggle commonly …

R Street welcomes amendments to pare down $1 trillion Farm Bill

The R Street Institute this week urged U.S. Senate members to pay heed to the destructive fiscal and environmental impacts that would flow from S. 3240, the Agriculture …

Letter from Washington: Finance and insurance predictions for 2012

Happy New Year! It’s time to take down the holiday decorations, finish the eggnog, and get back to work. It’s also time for some predictions about what’s going …

FIRE Podcast- R.J. Lehmann: Capitol Hill update

[podcast]/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE111711.mp3[/podcast] In this week’s edition of the FIRE Podcast, I offer updates on major insurance issues brewing on Capitol Hill, including delays in getting a Senate floor vote on …

Letter from Washington: Why we’re no longer supporting optional federal charter

Some forthcoming comments from the Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate to the newly created Federal Insurance Office are going to include a public reconsideration of a …

Agri-business backs making crop insurance boondoggle even bigger

Even as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – the so-called “Super Committee” – moves toward its Nov. 23 deadline to come up with at least $1.5 …

Green Scissors 2011

PDF Download Text This report, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued in August 2011 as a joint project of the Heartland Institute, Friends of the …

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