Government Corporate Farm Welfare Program
Passes the Senate
For Immediate Release.
February 13, 2002 Tragically,
by the Senate’s passage of the Farm Security Act of 2001 (H.R 2646;
Agriculture, Conservation, and Rural Enhancement Act of 2001;
S. 1731) big government once again prevails in Washington
providing payments to many farmers who are least in need of assistance.
was once provided to a dismal failing system of farm subsidies by the
1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (P.L. 104-127) which
was signed into law in April 1996 by former President Clinton.
This will now be abandoned by the passage of the Farm Security
Act. Subsidies, the cornerstones of U.S. farm policy
since the Great Depression, were scheduled to be phased out by this
law which was commonly called “Freedom to Farm.”
This term resulted from the fact that farmers in return for fewer
subsidies would have more control over their planting decisions. Prior to this reform, farmers based planting
decisions more on government policy than market demand. The law’s intent was to allow market forces
to have greater influence over farms and agriculture markets with less
After becoming law
over the next several years, farmers reacted to slight price decreases
in 1998, requesting and receiving between fiscal years 1998-2000 the
first of several “emergency packages” which totaled $24 billion.
Subsidies were set by the law at $ 6 billion annually and then
were set to phase out. Unfortunately,
however rather than weaning farmers from subsidies, the government is
giving them more than ever, sending the so-called “Freedom to Farm”
law off course. For example, government payments provided
only about 18 cents of every dollar farmers earned in the early 1990’s. However, agriculture price supports accounted
for 35 cents of every dollar of farm income over the period 1998-2000.
Federal farm subsidies
are the cause of both unwanted and unintended consequences. For example, they have encouraged overproduction
of crops (that drive prices down) and have driven up land rental costs
that result in increasing farm costs.
Price supports enormously benefit highly efficient commercial
farms that allow them to expand their operations that reduce food prices
even further while others such as family farmers do not receive enough
benefit to remain viable.
“Wrongly, the Farm
Security Act of 2001 that passed the Senate on February 13, 2002, as
well the in the House last year keeps producers dependent on federal
support instead of helping them when unexpected events beyond their
control occur,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American
Voice Institute of Public Policy. “This type of agriculture policy places inordinate
burdens on American taxpayers as well as countering any efforts to stimulate
an economy in recession. These
efforts will result in more
family farmers that have been the back bone of American agriculture for hundreds of years to go under as well as
result in higher taxes and food prices that put an undue burden the
most on poor Americans that every politicians always tries to say they
are trying to help.”
For Interviews Contact:
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
to the American Voice Institute of Public Policy Home Page