March 19, 2015

USDA Gave Insurance Payouts to Billionaire ‘Farmers’

Think the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s program to provide crop insurance to farmers goes to people like, oh, the dust-covered souls featured in “The Grapes of Wrath”? Think again. According to a new Government Accountability Office report, at least four billionaires received payouts from the program. Over the past five years, the government handed out $317 million to thousands of people who make a half-a-million or more per year – and Barack Obama thinks if you make $200,000 or more you’re “rich.” Furthermore, some of the “farmers” who received insurance money didn’t earn most of their salary from the land. The GAO reports, “Some of the highest income participants received income from operating large farms, but others received some of their income from nonfarming sources, according to our analysis. For example, more than 70 of the crop insurance participants we identified as among the highest income during 1 or more years from 2009 through 2013 were managers or professionals, including attorneys, executives, or physicians.” It’s one thing to debate the merits of the government trying to ensure food security. It’s another thing to dish out taxpayer dollars to those who are on the government dole simply because the money is flowing. More…

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