Though getting government spending under control often is seen as a Democrats vs. Republicans battle, some of the most egregious waste gets bipartisan support.
“Farm support” spending is a good example. Taxpayers pay out about $30 billion a year in various agriculture subsidy programs. Originally created to help small family farms and otherwise ensure this country produces enough food, the spending too often benefits big agri-corporations and rich investors, not farmers.
About $5 billion a year is sent out in direct payments to alleged farmers. But the Government Accountability Office has revealed that during the past five years, such payments went to about 2,300 farms that have grown nothing except their bank accounts. Another report was that 18,000 recipients of such payments live in cities, not on farms.
It can’t be that difficult to devise a system that is needs based, that can help real farmers through difficult years when prices and markets are down, a system that won’t send big checks to wealthy landowners and investors.
But both Republican and Democrat lawmakers vote to continue the handouts, year after year. It is long past time they were plowed under.