A Hundred Billion Dollar Harvest: How the Federal Government Can Find Major Savings in the Bloated Farm Bill
American Boondoggle Series

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As the deficit crisis looms and the “super committee” scours the federal budget for $1.2 trillion in cuts, farm programs are prime examples of the controversial budget items lawmakers should be looking for: unnecessary and inefficient government spending. By eliminating some programs and restructuring others, AEI research has indicated that lawmakers could achieve over $100 billion in savings. The Farm Bill's subsidy programs cost the American taxpayer between $12 billion and 18 billion a year. Most of these subsidies go to farmers far wealthier than the average U.S. household and who do not need government payments to operate financially successful farm businesses. Dan Sumner, Barry Goodwin and Vincent Smith, co-directors of the AEI 2012 Farm Bill Initiative, will discuss ways that reducing farm subsidies can contribute to federal deficit reduction and debt control and improve the efficiency of American agriculture without affecting the security of the U.S. food supply chain.


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