Farm Subsidies & Food Stamps: Stuffing the rich, starving the poor

CAFO hogs
(CAFO hogs by USGS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

If you operate a wealthy “mega farm” in Wisconsin or anywhere else in the nation, some lawmakers in Congress are working hard to make sure you keep receiving unlimited federal subsidies; in fact, they are willing to make small dairies and people on food stamps wait longer for milk price supports and food stamp legislation while they work on it.

Not that the food stamp money is much worth crowing about, as the proposed farm bill cuts $9 billion from the food stamp program over ten years. House Republicans wanted to cut $40 billion from food stamps, so cutting a mere $9 billion is a victory of sorts, unless you’re hungry. Some estimate as many as a million Americans may soon have less access to food stamps if this bill passes.

So very rich agribusiness types collect federal entitlements (farm subsidies) as the truly needy are told to need less. Wisconsin ranks 15th of the 50 states for receiving federal farm subsidies, and since 1995, 10% of Wisconsin farms have collected 64% of the subsidies. Talk about living high on the hog. Or just plain hogging.

UPDATE (1/29)– The farm bill passed by the House today is better than expected, but still cuts food stamps and provides insurance subsidies for wealthy farmers.

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