What Grows in a Drought? Government

Heritage Action’s communications director, Dan Holler, has a new column this week about the House considering passing the trillion dollar farm bill just because there’s a drought. But farmers affected by the drought don’t need a trillion dollars worth of food stamps or subsidies, as Holler notes:

“The cost of the emergency legislation – as rumored Friday – is roughly $300 million. In Washington terms, this is a relatively paltry sum of money, the equivalent to just 41 minutes of federal spending. We will surely hear that argument this week, as the legislation hits the House floor. But remember, it is that mentality – it’s ONLY a few hundred million dollars – that has us careening towards $16 trillion in debt.

“More to the point, though, is that the need for emergency legislation is somewhat suspect.

“Even though the country is experiencing its worst drought in decades, farmers as a whole are much less vulnerable. In-depth reporting by Reuters found “U.S. farmers face this drought in their strongest financial position in history, buoyed by less debt, record-high grain and land prices, plus greater production and exports.” The report speculated that thanks to a variety of federally funded insurance programs, ‘some lucky farmers…may even come out ahead of last year.’

“According to the Washington Post, those federally funded insurance programs cover ‘more than 80 percent of farmland planted with major field crops — at least two of which, wheat and cotton, appear pretty much unaffected by the dry weather anyway. Dairy farms are the least likely to be in drought-ravaged areas, the USDA reports. And many of them enjoy federally subsidized insurance against rising feed costs.’”

You can read the full article here.

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