The U.S. government has been protecting farmers against unpredictable hardships such as bad weather since the 1930s, when drought and the Great Depression devastated the nation’s agriculture industry.
Today, agricultural subsidies and insurance cost the U.S. taxpayers about $20 billion annually, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. That support has come under great scrutiny in recent years, with opponents complaining that most of the money goes to millionaire farmers and giant agribusinesses, not small family farms seeking to stay afloat.
Congress revamped some agriculture-support programs in 2014, eliminating a controversial system of direct payments to farmers, while providing farmers with more subsidized crop insurance.
But subsidy opponents weren’t satisfied. They say the government is still providing costly income support to an industry that doesn’t need it. Others disagree, saying farm subsidies provide U.S. consumers with necessary protection against food scarcity and high food prices.
CLICK HERE to read both arguments for and against ending farm subsidies
Source: Wall Street Journal