April 7, 2009

Farm subsidy reform tossed

Obama's plan to reform the farm bill so subsidies don't reach those with receipts above $500,000 got tossed out of the budget; The senate and congress approved highlights released thursday don't mention them.

Redirecting subsidies to local sustainable farming seems reasonable to me especially when you look at the largest recipients of the subsidies, which you can, on the Farm subsidy Database, The top "farm" was National rice with 7.7 million in subsidies.

But Obama's reform wasn't to include those to commmodity farmers, perhaps because their output is essential to foreign policy (shaping agricultural policies in the developing world). Without US soy, corn, rice, where would the trade deficit be?
And large commodity farms are essential to the biotech pr machine.

As the Tom Laskawy at the Grist points out,

"But we’d still have a system that encourages the overproduction of corn and soy and the underproduction of fruits and vegetables".

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