By Chris Edwards and Randal O’Toole
U.S. farmers don’t need support from U.S. taxpayers, either directly or through legislation that restricts the supply of a commodity to raise its price.
First, many people seem to believe that farmers, like the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” are poor, when in fact the average farm household enjoys an income that is about 15% higher than that of the average nonfarm family. What’s more, the 10% to 15% of farm families that receive more than 85% of all farm subsidies—amounting to millions of dollars a year in a few cases—have annual household incomes many times as large as those of the average U.S. taxpayer. Some estimates suggest that the farmers who receive the bulk of all subsidies—many of whom mainly raise corn, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans and wheat—are worth somewhere between $6 million and $10 million on average.
The other night, I talked with my new friend Jack about the Economy, Taxes, and eventually Social Security. I explained that the unfunded liability for Social Security was far beyond what was possible to meet, and that somewhere down the road, Social Security would default.
By Chris Edwards – Re-Bloggd From http://www.Cato.org
The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributes between $10 billion and $30 billion in cash subsidies to farmers and owners of farmland each year..1 The particular amount depends on market prices for crops, the level of disaster payments, and other factors. More than 90 percent of agriculture subsidies go to farmers of five crops—wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.2 More than 800,000 farmers and landowners receive subsidies, but the payments are heavily tilted toward the largest producers.3