Reforming America’s farm supports without hurting midsized farms
“Nostalgia and sentimentality help to explain the generally broad public support for federal agriculture subsidies,” Sanders writes. “That same support presents a tough uphill climb for those who would like to rein in the ballooning costs of these programs and end their market-distorting effects.”
Examples of waste that has cropped into the program include the expansion of crop insurance eligibility from a handful of staple commodity crops to more than 130 today and the consistent propping up of industrial-scale farms, with the top 20 percent of farms in America receiving 73 percent of premium-support payments.
Sanders concludes: “It’s time to shake the view that farm supports, as currently structured, exist mainly to support small and midsized farms and to place more reasonable restrictions on farm-support programs.”