House Agriculture Committee Looks to Milk Taxpayers

House Agriculture Committee Looks to Milk Taxpayers

Agriculture  | Research & Analysis
Feb 24, 2017  | 2 min read | Print Article

“The anticipated amount of money that was gonna go out of these programs fell far short of actually what was going out, so it seems to me that there’s some extra money there that had been budgeted that could be used perhaps to provide that relief.”

– Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) discussing the Dairy Margin Protection Program at a House Committee on Agriculture hearing February 15, 2017


Gotta love Congressional accounting.

Agricultural income subsidy programs created by the 2014 Farm Bill are exploding in cost. The most recent estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) place the price tag at $56 billion. That’s $24 billion more than predicted when the programs were created.

Comparing 10-Year Cost Projections for New Commodity Programs
($ in millions)
Subsidy Program Farm Bill Passage January 2017 Taxpayer Loss
Agriculture Risk Coverage $14,108 $21,836 $7,728
Price Loss Coverage $13,124 $24,253

$11,129

Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance $3,674 $8,544 $4,870
Marketing Loans $1,039 $1,384 $345

Total Cost

$31,945 $56,017 $24.072 billion

Yet instead of focusing on common sense efforts to rein in the costs of these entitlements, many members of the House Committee on Agriculture spent time complaining not enough money is being spent on dairy farmers.

Comparing 10-Year Cost Projections for Dairy Program
($ in millions)
Subsidy Program Farm Bill Passage January 2017 Taxpayer Savings
Dairy Subsidies $1,196 $581 $615 million

Only in Washington would someone look at $24 billion in unexpected costs and $600 million in savings and conclude that the savings is the problem.

Taxpayer balance sheet from 2014 farm bill agricultural income subsidy programs

$24.072 billion extra cost – $615 million savings = $23.457 billion in “extra money” leaving the Treasury.

Looks more like taxpayers are the ones in need of relief.


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