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Farm Bill Fiasco Gets Worse (Guest: Daren Bakst)

April 30, 2018

Federal farm subsidies and other policies are bad for consumers, taxpayers, the environment, and even farmers themselves. Why are congressional Republicans making bad policy worse by increasing farm subsidies?

Daren Bakst, research fellow in agricultural policy at the Heritage Foundation, says the farm bill developed by the House Committee on Agriculture takes a bad policy and makes it worse. Rather than reforming and reducing farm subsidies, opening farmers up to competition in the marketplace, this Republican bill actually increases subsidies, especially for a relatively small subset of already wealthy farmers. Bakst recommends ending sugar subsidies, costing consumers more than $4 billion a year in higher priced goods, and making farmers pay more of their own premiums for crop insurance.  Taxpayers currently pay 62 percent of the farmers’ premiums.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
Daren Bakst is the Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy at the Heritage Foundation and policy advisor for The Heartland Institute. @darenbakst