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 subsidized crop insurance.

Though direct payments have symbolized the most absurd aspect of the federal government’s expensive and misguided farm policy, they have historically been tied to smart provisions that shield taxpayers, including transparency and “conservation compliance” requirements. Unfortunately, while last year’s House and Senate farm bills expanded already over-generous crop insurance subsidy schemes, they both failed to include such basic provisions.

As Congress works to achieve savings in agriculture policy this year, it should ensure that five common sense limitations are applied to make federally subsidized crop insurance more accountable to taxpayers.

Though many other efforts to trim the cost of agriculture programs are necessary, any credible reform to crop insurance must contain these five policies to make the program more limited and accountable.

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