Federal Farm Subsidies Are Possible Budget Targets
With a budget axe threatening, Virginia farm interests are hoping to protect their turf as Congress begins to hash out the details of the next Farm bill. Federal payments to farmers continue to be an attractive target for budget hawks. Sara Sciammacco reports from Capitol Hill.
Virginia farmers received 106 million dollars in federal subsidies in 2009. The Obama Administration wants to cut off farmers from the program who gross more than 500 thousand dollars in farm-related income, and 250 thousand dollars in non-farm income. Don Carr is a senior policy and communications advisor for the Environmental Working Group.
CARR: The top 10% of the wealthiest farmers receive 74% of the subsidies, so it’s going to be harder to justify continuing making these payments in a time of tight budgets and large deficits.
Growers of corn, wheat, cotton, rice and soybeans receive the biggest payouts. They argue the system helps keep the prices of American food low, and those lobbying on their behalf have a lot of political clout in Washington.
From Capitol News Connection Sara Sciammacco WCVE News Washington.