Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's about time: President Obama proposes slashing farm payments

(How can we have any credibility by saying farm subsidies are needed to save the family farm, when the majority of these payments go to the largest farms? The logic is, "bigger is better" right? So bigger farms should be more efficient, and therefore should get the least government aid.)

WASHINGTON - Big farms that receive large government subsidies would lose some of that money under President Barack Obama's budget.

His proposal would cut government subsidies to farmers, targeting large-scale operations that get the highest payments.

Obama's budget would break from the five-year farm bill that Congress enacted last year, with his support. He proposes eliminating what are known as direct payments - subsidies that are paid to farmers regardless of crop prices or crop yield - for producers with higher sales revenues.

Under Obama's request, agriculture programs would receive $26 billion, almost a 9 percent increase over the 2009 budget year. That does not include the recent economic stimulus or entitlement spending for food stamp programs.

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