David Frum

04.10.13

Obama Wants to Cut Farm Subsidies: Good!

Obama's budget seeks to cut direct payments to farmers in light of record profits. This is a good thing:

Net farm income is forecast to increase 13.6% this year to $128.2 billion, the highest inflation-adjusted amount in 40 years, according to administration. Its proposal would cut $37.8 billion in farm subsidies over 10 years.

Most of the savings would come from cutting the direct payment subsidy program that sends checks to farmers regardless of their need for the money. The administration also said it wants to reduce crop insurance subsidies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture pays out about $5 billion per year in direct payments to owners of land that is historically tied to the subsidy program. About 1 million farmers on 260 million acres of land collect direct payments, according to the USDA.