Agricultural subsidies

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Overheads with excerpts from 2009 study by Chris Edwards of Cato Institute on Agricultural Subsidies. www.downsizinggovernment.org/agriculture/subsidies

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  • This slide show leaves out the bigger part of the farm bill, leading then to misunderstandings and incorrect solutions. See my slide shows to fix the myths.
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  • Agricultural subsidies

    1. 1. Economics & Entrepreneurship Searchers, Planners & the Free Society Agricultural Policy ReformSaturday, November 12, 2011 • 9 am to 4 pm • $25/student (13 and older) $10/sibling, parents free. Registration at the door.Beaverton: Southwest Hills Baptist Church, 9100 SW 135th Ave., Beaverton, ORQuestions: Ray Engel <salemdebate@juno.com>The Resolution for the 2011-2012 CCNW Team Policy Debate Season is:Resolved that the United States Federal Government should substantially reform or abolish its policies covered by theCommodities, Nutrition and/or Crop Insurance Titles of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.Join us for this Economics & Entrepreneurship Workshop introducing students and parents to market
    2. 2. Agricultural Subsidies Notes from article by Chris Edwardswww.downsizinggovernment.org/agriculture/subsidies
    3. 3. www.downsizinggovernment.org/agriculture/subsidies
    4. 4. Cash Subsidies
    5. 5. Cash Subsidies• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) distributes $10 billion to $30 billion in cash subsidies to farmers and owners of farmland each year.
    6. 6. Cash Subsidies• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) distributes $10 billion to $30 billion in cash subsidies to farmers and owners of farmland each year.• The amount depends on market prices for crops, the level of disaster payments, and other factors.
    7. 7. Cash Subsidies• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) distributes $10 billion to $30 billion in cash subsidies to farmers and owners of farmland each year.• The amount depends on market prices for crops, the level of disaster payments, and other factors.• More than 90 percent of agriculture subsidies go to farmers of five crops—wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.
    8. 8. Cash Subsidies• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) distributes $10 billion to $30 billion in cash subsidies to farmers and owners of farmland each year.• The amount depends on market prices for crops, the level of disaster payments, and other factors.• More than 90 percent of agriculture subsidies go to farmers of five crops—wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.• More than 800,000 farmers and landowners receive subsidies, but the payments are heavily tilted toward the largest producers.
    9. 9. New evidence of crop circles (taken from recent Seattle to Houston flight)...
    10. 10. Aliens are likely cause of crop circles like these. That is“alien” subsidies and interventions in markets that artificially boost grain prices and/or subsidize water projects...
    11. 11. www.downsizinggovernment.org/agriculture/subsidies Other Federal Agricultural Programs • USDA provides subsidized crop insurance, marketing support, and other services to farm businesses. • The USDA also performs extensive agricultural research and collects statistical data for the industry. • These indirect subsidies and services cost taxpayers about $5 billion each year, putting total farm support at between $15 billion and $35 billion annually.
    12. 12. www.downsizinggovernment.org/agriculture/subsidies History of Federal Agricultural Programs •Morrill Act of 1862 (land-grant colleges) •Hatch Act of 1867 (federal funding of agricultural research) •Smith-Lever Act of 1914 (agricultural education) •Federal Farm Loan Act, 1916 (creates cooperative “land banks”)
    13. 13. Expansion of FederalAgricultural Programs
    14. 14. Expansion of Federal Agricultural Programs•Agricultural Marketing Act, 1929 (federal effort to “stabilize” commodity prices by stockpiling production).•After spending $500 million, abolished in 1933.•Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1933• Beginning of New Deal agricultural programs: commodity price supports and production controls, marketing orders to limit competition, import barriers, and crop insurance.
    15. 15. 1930s to 2010s
    16. 16. 1930s to 2010s• Since 1930s, continuation of New Deal agricultural policies with ever shifting subsidies and regulations. Most of New Deal was repealed.
    17. 17. 1930s to 2010s• Since 1930s, continuation of New Deal agricultural policies with ever shifting subsidies and regulations. Most of New Deal was repealed.• In 1996, Congress enacted pro-market agriculture reforms under the Freedom to Farm law, allowing farmers greater flexibility in their planting decisions. Greater reliance on market supply and demand.
    18. 18. 1930s to 2010s• Since 1930s, continuation of New Deal agricultural policies with ever shifting subsidies and regulations. Most of New Deal was repealed.• In 1996, Congress enacted pro-market agriculture reforms under the Freedom to Farm law, allowing farmers greater flexibility in their planting decisions. Greater reliance on market supply and demand.• However, the law did not end up cutting farm subsidies, as Congress expanded support in a series of large supplemental farm bills in the late 1990s.
    19. 19. 1930s to 2010s• Since 1930s, continuation of New Deal agricultural policies with ever shifting subsidies and regulations. Most of New Deal was repealed.• In 1996, Congress enacted pro-market agriculture reforms under the Freedom to Farm law, allowing farmers greater flexibility in their planting decisions. Greater reliance on market supply and demand.• However, the law did not end up cutting farm subsidies, as Congress expanded support in a series of large supplemental farm bills in the late 1990s.• When the 1996 law was passed, subsidies were expected to cost $47 billion in total from 1996 to 2002, but ended up costing $121 billion.
    20. 20. Eight Types of Farm Subsidies1. Direct Payments: cash subsidies for producers of 10 crops: wheat,corn, sorghum, barley, oats, cotton, rice, soybeans, minor oilseeds, andpeanuts. cIn most years, direct payments are the largest source of subsidiesto farmers at more than $5 billion annually.Direct payments are decoupled from current production.A substantial amount of these payments are made to owners of land thatis no longer even used for farming.The Washington Post estimated that between 2000 and 2006 the USDAhanded out $1.3 billion in direct payments to people who don’t farm. Thousands of acres of land previously used for rice growing in Texas.The land is now used for suburban housing and other purposes, but thelandowners continue to receive federal farm subsidies.
    21. 21. Eight Types of Farm Subsidies2. Marketing Loans. A price-support program and part of the farmsubsidy system since the New Deal. Originally a short-term loan program,today give large subsidies by paying guaranteed minimum prices for crops.The marketing loan program encourages overproduction bysetting a floor on crop prices... Covers the same crops as thedirect subsidy program—wheat, corn, sorghum, barley, oats, cotton, rice,soybeans, minor oilseeds, and peanuts.In addition, the 2002 farm law expanded eligibility to producers of wool,mohair, honey, dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas. Payments under thisprogram have ranged from about $1 billion to $7 billion annually.Under the program, farmers take “nonrecourse” loans from the USDAusing their crops as collateral, which allows farmers to default on the loans
    22. 22. Eight Types of Farm Subsidies3. Countercyclical Payments. While the 1996 farm law moved awayfrom traditional price guarantee subsidies, the 2002 farm bill reversedcourse and embraced them with the addition of the countercyclicalprogram. ...4. Conservation Subsidies. USDA conservation programs dispenseabout $3 billion annually to the nation’s farmers. The largest conservationsubsidy program is the Conservation Reserve Program, which was createdin 1985 to idle millions of acres of farmland. Under CRP, farmers are paidnot to grow crops, but to cultivate ground cover such as grass or trees onretired acres. A large share of land idled under the CRP is owned byretired farmers, thus one does not even have to be a working farmer toget these subsidies.
    23. 23. Eight Types of Farm Subsidies5. Insurance. The Risk Management Agency runs the USDA’s farminsurance programs. Both “yield” and “revenue” insurance are available tofarmers to protect against adverse weather, pests, and low market prices.The RMA describes its mission as helping farmers “manage their businessrisks through effective, market-based risk management solutions.” TheRMA has annual outlays of about $4 billion, employs about 550 people, andits activities are far from “market-based.”Federal crop insurance policies are sold and serviced by 16 privateinsurance companies, which receive federal subsidies for theiradministrative costs and insurance risks. The firms operate like a cartel,earning excess profits from the high premiums they charge. They get awaywith that because the government provides large subsidies for insurancepremiums: farmers pay only about one-third the full cost
    24. 24. Eight Types of Farm Subsidies5. Insurance. In 2007, USDA crop insurance programs were criticizedat a rare oversight hearing of an agriculture program by a non-agriculturecommittee in Congress. The chairman of the House Oversight andGovernment Reform Committee, Henry Waxman (D-CA), called USDAinsurance “a textbook example of waste, fraud, and abuse infederal spending . . .  over $8 billion in taxpayer funds havebeen squandered in excess payments to insurers and othermiddlemen.”146. Disaster Aid. Over the decades, Congress has repeatedly expandedcrop insurance programs in order to reduce farmers’ dependence onemergency bailouts.
    25. 25. Eight Types of Farm Subsidies7. Export Subsidies. The USDA operates a range of programs to aidfarmers and food companies in their foreign sales. ... Another program, theForeign Market Development program, hands out $35 million annually togroups such as the American Peanut Council, the Cotton CouncilInternational, and the Mohair Council of America.8. Agricultural Research and Statistics. Most American industriesfund their own research and development programs. The agricultureindustry is a notable exception. The USDA spends about $3 billion annuallyon agricultural research, statistical information services, and economicstudies. The USDA carries out research in 108 different locations andprovides subsidies to the 50 states for research and education.
    26. 26. Eight Types of Farm Subsidies7. Export Subsidies. The USDA operates a range of programs to aidfarmers and food companies in their foreign sales. ... Another program, theForeign Market Development program, hands out $35 million annually togroups such as the American Peanut Council, the Cotton CouncilInternational, and the Mohair Council of America.8. Agricultural Research and Statistics. Most American industriesfund their own research and development programs. The agricultureindustry is a notable exception. The USDA spends about $3 billion annuallyon agricultural research, statistical information services, and economicstudies. The USDA carries out research in 108 different locations andprovides subsidies to the 50 states for research and education.
    27. 27. Agricultural Production,Population, and Representation Across the United States
    28. 28. Corn for Grain 2010 Harvested Acres by County for Selected States Acres Not Estimated < 10,000 10,000 - 24,999 25,000 - 49,999 50,000 - 99,999 100,000 - 149,999 150,000 +U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service
    29. 29. Senate
    30. 30. If the Fifty U.S. States Had Equal Population...
    31. 31. Six Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies
    32. 32. Six Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies 1. Farm Subsidies Redistribute Wealth. Farm subsidies transfer the earnings of taxpayers to a small group of fairly well-off farm businesses and landowners. ...The largest 10 percent of recipients have received 72 percent of all subsidy payments in recent years. ... It is landowners, not tenant farmers or farm workers, who benefit from subsidies.2. Farm Subsidies Damage the Economy. In most industries, market prices balance supply anddemand, profit levels signal investment opportunities, market downturns lead to cost cutting, andentrepreneurs innovate to provide better products at lower prices. All of those market mechanismsare blunted or nonexistent in government-controlled agriculture markets.3. Farm Programs Are Prone to Scandal. The Government Accountability Office found that asmuch as half a billion dollars in farm subsidies are paid improperly or fraudulently each year.4. Farm Subsidies Damage U.S. Trade Relations. Global stability and U.S. security are enhancedwhen less developed countries achieve stronger economic growth.5. Farm Programs Damage the Environment. Federal farm policies are thought to damage thenatural environmental. Florida sugar provides a good example. Large areas of wetlands have beenconverted to cane sugar production because of artificially high domestic sugar prices. populationcontinues to rise.31 The solution is to move water into the free market and allow prices to rise toefficient and environmentally sound levels.6. Agriculture Would Thrive without Subsidies. Producers of most U.S. agricultural commoditiesdo not receive regular subsidies from the federal government. [These crops and farmers do fine.]
    33. 33. Six Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies 1. Farm Subsidies Redistribute Wealth. Farm subsidies transfer the earnings of taxpayers to a small group of fairly well-off farm businesses and landowners. ...The largest 10 percent of recipients have received 72 percent of all subsidy payments in recent years. ... It is landowners, not tenant farmers or farm workers, who benefit from subsidies.2. Farm Subsidies Damage the Economy. In most industries, market prices balance supply anddemand, profit levels signal investment opportunities, market downturns lead to cost cutting, andentrepreneurs innovate to provide better products at lower prices. All of those market mechanismsare blunted or nonexistent in government-controlled agriculture markets.3. Farm Programs Are Prone to Scandal. The Government Accountability Office found that asmuch as half a billion dollars in farm subsidies are paid improperly or fraudulently each year.4. Farm Subsidies Damage U.S. Trade Relations. Global stability and U.S. security are enhancedwhen less developed countries achieve stronger economic growth.5. Farm Programs Damage the Environment. Federal farm policies are thought to damage thenatural environmental. Florida sugar provides a good example. Large areas of wetlands have beenconverted to cane sugar production because of artificially high domestic sugar prices. populationcontinues to rise.31 The solution is to move water into the free market and allow prices to rise toefficient and environmentally sound levels.6. Agriculture Would Thrive without Subsidies. Producers of most U.S. agricultural commoditiesdo not receive regular subsidies from the federal government. [These crops and farmers do fine.]
    34. 34. Six Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies 1. Farm Subsidies Redistribute Wealth. Farm subsidies transfer the earnings of taxpayers to a small group of fairly well-off farm businesses and landowners. ...The largest 10 percent of recipients have received 72 percent of all subsidy payments in recent years. ... It is landowners, not tenant farmers or farm workers, who benefit from subsidies.2. Farm Subsidies Damage the Economy. In most industries, market prices balance supply anddemand, profit levels signal investment opportunities, market downturns lead to cost cutting, andentrepreneurs innovate to provide better products at lower prices. All of those market mechanismsare blunted or nonexistent in government-controlled agriculture markets.3. Farm Programs Are Prone to Scandal. The Government Accountability Office found that asmuch as half a billion dollars in farm subsidies are paid improperly or fraudulently each year.4. Farm Subsidies Damage U.S. Trade Relations. Global stability and U.S. security are enhancedwhen less developed countries achieve stronger economic growth.5. Farm Programs Damage the Environment. Federal farm policies are thought to damage thenatural environmental. Florida sugar provides a good example. Large areas of wetlands have beenconverted to cane sugar production because of artificially high domestic sugar prices. populationcontinues to rise.31 The solution is to move water into the free market and allow prices to rise toefficient and environmentally sound levels.6. Agriculture Would Thrive without Subsidies. Producers of most U.S. agricultural commoditiesdo not receive regular subsidies from the federal government. [These crops and farmers do fine.]
    35. 35. Six Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies 1. Farm Subsidies Redistribute Wealth. Farm subsidies transfer the earnings of taxpayers to a small group of fairly well-off farm businesses and landowners. ...The largest 10 percent of recipients have received 72 percent of all subsidy payments in recent years. ... It is landowners, not tenant farmers or farm workers, who benefit from subsidies.2. Farm Subsidies Damage the Economy. In most industries, market prices balance supply anddemand, profit levels signal investment opportunities, market downturns lead to cost cutting, andentrepreneurs innovate to provide better products at lower prices. All of those market mechanismsare blunted or nonexistent in government-controlled agriculture markets.3. Farm Programs Are Prone to Scandal. The Government Accountability Office found that asmuch as half a billion dollars in farm subsidies are paid improperly or fraudulently each year.4. Farm Subsidies Damage U.S. Trade Relations. Global stability and U.S. security are enhancedwhen less developed countries achieve stronger economic growth.5. Farm Programs Damage the Environment. Federal farm policies are thought to damage thenatural environmental. Florida sugar provides a good example. Large areas of wetlands have beenconverted to cane sugar production because of artificially high domestic sugar prices. populationcontinues to rise.31 The solution is to move water into the free market and allow prices to rise toefficient and environmentally sound levels.6. Agriculture Would Thrive without Subsidies. Producers of most U.S. agricultural commoditiesdo not receive regular subsidies from the federal government. [These crops and farmers do fine.]
    36. 36. Six Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies 1. Farm Subsidies Redistribute Wealth. Farm subsidies transfer the earnings of taxpayers to a small group of fairly well-off farm businesses and landowners. ...The largest 10 percent of recipients have received 72 percent of all subsidy payments in recent years. ... It is landowners, not tenant farmers or farm workers, who benefit from subsidies.2. Farm Subsidies Damage the Economy. In most industries, market prices balance supply anddemand, profit levels signal investment opportunities, market downturns lead to cost cutting, andentrepreneurs innovate to provide better products at lower prices. All of those market mechanismsare blunted or nonexistent in government-controlled agriculture markets.3. Farm Programs Are Prone to Scandal. The Government Accountability Office found that asmuch as half a billion dollars in farm subsidies are paid improperly or fraudulently each year.4. Farm Subsidies Damage U.S. Trade Relations. Global stability and U.S. security are enhancedwhen less developed countries achieve stronger economic growth.5. Farm Programs Damage the Environment. Federal farm policies are thought to damage thenatural environmental. Florida sugar provides a good example. Large areas of wetlands have beenconverted to cane sugar production because of artificially high domestic sugar prices. populationcontinues to rise.31 The solution is to move water into the free market and allow prices to rise toefficient and environmentally sound levels.6. Agriculture Would Thrive without Subsidies. Producers of most U.S. agricultural commoditiesdo not receive regular subsidies from the federal government. [These crops and farmers do fine.]
    37. 37. Six Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies 1. Farm Subsidies Redistribute Wealth. Farm subsidies transfer the earnings of taxpayers to a small group of fairly well-off farm businesses and landowners. ...The largest 10 percent of recipients have received 72 percent of all subsidy payments in recent years. ... It is landowners, not tenant farmers or farm workers, who benefit from subsidies.2. Farm Subsidies Damage the Economy. In most industries, market prices balance supply anddemand, profit levels signal investment opportunities, market downturns lead to cost cutting, andentrepreneurs innovate to provide better products at lower prices. All of those market mechanismsare blunted or nonexistent in government-controlled agriculture markets.3. Farm Programs Are Prone to Scandal. The Government Accountability Office found that asmuch as half a billion dollars in farm subsidies are paid improperly or fraudulently each year.4. Farm Subsidies Damage U.S. Trade Relations. Global stability and U.S. security are enhancedwhen less developed countries achieve stronger economic growth.5. Farm Programs Damage the Environment. Federal farm policies are thought to damage thenatural environmental. Florida sugar provides a good example. Large areas of wetlands have beenconverted to cane sugar production because of artificially high domestic sugar prices. populationcontinues to rise.31 The solution is to move water into the free market and allow prices to rise toefficient and environmentally sound levels.6. Agriculture Would Thrive without Subsidies. Producers of most U.S. agricultural commoditiesdo not receive regular subsidies from the federal government. [These crops and farmers do fine.]

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