Thursday, August 30, 2007

Get rich or farm trying...

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I have a two window boxes with flowers in them at home, but live miles away from a farm. If I add seeds to grow squash and corn, can I get a $1 million annual subsidy too? Sure seems like it.

Take a look at the map of Manhattan above (used recently by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in a recent speech). The red dots indicate people (individuals, not corporations) who live in Manhattan (and so clearly are neither hurting for money nor tilling the soil on the family farm) but receive agricultural subsidies from the federal government.

The larger red blobs mark people receiving more than a quarter of a million dollars in farm subsidies annually.

The farm bill passed by House Democrats in July would continue giving millionaires farm subsidies (setting the income threshold for payments at $1 million a year, and keeping loopholes in place that allow some making much more to qualify).

The Bush administration has proposed sharply reducing the income threshold to $200,000 a year and ending many of those loopholes. That would reduce the number of subsidy recipients by less than 40,000 (of the current million or so recipients)—though I suppose it might put some rooftop gardens on Park Avenue out of commission.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are your tax dollars at work.

3 comments:

Corey Keith said...

I need to plant some flowers in my front yard... but I can't afford the seeds because of my high property taxes..

KennonPurdy said...

I say.. Pimp the system b4 it pimps you.

Kensilo said...

This is a two- fold argument. It would be understandable to reduce the sudsidys to a certain limit for everyone. If that is done it would hurt the "Actual Farmers" whom life line comes from the produce that they sell. And by reducing the subsidy to a certain limit ($200,000) it could nearly destroy the survival for true farmers nation wide.
The House needs to come up with a way to add on to the bill not redraft a new one to limit millionaires who are not farmers to a certain limits on subsidy's. To be for real they should not be able to receive it at all!

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