When Congress returns from its August recess, one of the first items it will take up is the 2012 farm bill, which proposes to spend almost $ 1 trillion over the next decade.
Over the past year, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) experts led by scholars Vince Smith and Henry Olsen have examined the farm bill and have authored numerous research papers and articles which explain that by eliminating some programs and restructuring others, taxpayers could save over $100 billion over the next 10 years without affecting the security of the US food supply chain.
Today AEI is launching www.AmericanBoondoggle.com, a one-stop shop for AEI research on the farm bill. Bringing together research papers, interactive maps, and a new two-minute video, the site explains why reform is necessary and charts a comprehensive path forward.
- Fact: 80% of farm subsidies go to only 15% of farmers, most of whom are wealthier and more secure than the average American. (2010 farm household net worth: $576,745—up from $534,727 in 2007; 2010 media household net worth: $77,000—down from $126,400 in 2007)
- Fact: Average crop insurance policy is subsidized $3,591 by taxpayers. Americans do not expect their neighbors to pay for the auto insurance, why should taxpayers pay for their neighbor’s crop insurance?
- Fact: Americans pay $147 million per year to Brazilian cotton producers, so we can continue to subsidize American cotton producers. To avoid trade sanctions for subsidizing US cotton farmers in violation of WTO commitments, the US government also subsidizes Brazilian cotton producers.
These startling examples are indicative of a broader fact: the farm bill is unfair and in need of reform. Visit www.AmericanBoondoggle.com to learn more.
AEI experts are available for interviews on reforming the 2012 farm bill. Please contact Jesse Blumenthal ([email protected] / 202.862.4870) for more information.