A message from National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson:
Welcome to the new National Farmers Union blog. I hope that you will join us in the dialogue about Farmers Union events throughout the country, education and outreach, our members, cooperative development and issues that impact U.S. family farmers, ranchers, fishermen and their communities. NFU has been working for America’s family farmers since 1902. We intend to keep the content of this blog fresh and exciting, so check back often for the most up-to-date posts.
Amid the long list of federal projects costing taxpayers far more than predicted, one policy stands alone by coming in billions of dollars under budget.
From 2007 to 2011, this policy trimmed taxpayer spending 31 percent when compared with the same four-year period a decade earlier. It even found room to contribute to deficit reduction in recent years at a time when others searched for additional funds.
I’m talking about the farm safety net, and if you’re surprised, it’s understandable.
To read most urban newspapers or listen to elitist think tanks, you’re left with the impression that farm budgets are bloated and that farm policy is a financial sinkhole for the country. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A Farm policy safety net represents just one-quarter of one percent of federal spending, yet it inevitably finds itself in the cross hairs of budget hawks long before more deserving targets do.
Instead of tearing holes in the farm safety net, lawmakers should celebrate farm policy for its fiscal sensibilities and for working just as it was designed. The bulk of the safety net only kicks in when most needed — when crop prices are in a free fall or Mother Nature strikes.
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