Fiscal Conservatives: Taxpayers Won’t Harvest Farm Bill Savings

Fiscal Conservatives: Taxpayers Won’t Harvest Farm Bill Savings

Agriculture  | Quick Takes
Dec 7, 2012  | 2 min read


Taxpayers Won’t Harvest Farm Bill Savings

December 7, 2012

Dear Member of Congress,

It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility to include a five-year reauthorization of agricultural programs as part of a deficit reduction package to avert the so called fiscal cliff. History shows that like used car dealers, Congress low balls the price tag to get a Farm Bill off the lot. So that speculative $35 billion in savings coming from the nearly $1 trillion Farm Bill under consideration is likely a budgetary mirage that is really deficit spending.


CBO Score

Actual Cost

2002 Farm Bill

$451 billion

$588 billion

2008 Farm Bill

$604 billion

$913 billion

2012 Farm Bill

$958-$970 billion

$?? trillion

As you can see the Congressional Budget Office isn’t exactly the Farmer’s Almanac when it comes to predicting the cost of Farm Bills. After the dust settles, the last two Farm Bills will have exceeded their CBO score by more than $400 billion. There is no reason to believe this dismal track record will be improved.

Despite the fact that the policies in this bill will expire at the end of FY2017, more than half of the CBO projected savings will occur in the five years after expiration, when another Farm Bill will be law of the land.

The full House hasn’t even considered a Farm Bill. Amendments will not be allowed. Only in Washington can a more than 500 page, $1 trillion bill be called deficit reduction and slapped onto legislation to deal with the real budgetary challenges of sequestration and tax hikes.

Budget gimmicks and back room legislating is part of what got the country into this fiscal mess. Taxpayers deserve a simple and transparent solution to the fiscal cliff, not a bloated, over priced Farm Bill that writes a blank check from the Treasury to a sector experiencing its two most profitable years in a generation.

For more information please contact Joshua Sewell, Taxpayers for Common Sense at 202-546-8500 x116 or josh at


American Commitment
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Cost of Government Center
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
National Taxpayers Union
R Street
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Just the Facts About the 2014 Farm Bill Income Entitlements