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August 2nd, 2013 11:48 am
‘Vital’ Agriculture Programs Pay Millions to the Dead
Posted by Print

If you followed the recent debate in Congress over the farm bill, you know that the associated programs were often sold as vital to preserving a way of life in rural America. To cut one red cent anywhere would be to betray the nation’s farmers. So we were told, anyway.

Well, it turns out that there are at least a few beneficiaries who will probably be able to get by without the federal handout. From James Grieff at Bloomberg View:

It’s bad enough that the U.S. government showers billions of dollars a year in subsidies and handouts on the nation’s farmers, a group that as a whole is much better off than most Americans. Now the Government Accountability Office says in a new report that many of the recipients of that federal largess aren’t even alive.

The agency determined that thousands of dead farmers have received as much as $36 million in payments for crop insurance, disaster aid and conservation programs. The report doesn’t say how dead farmers received the checks or who went to the banks to cash them — but never mind, since that wasn’t the GAO’s assignment.

These are the same people, keep in mind, who think that government can make health care less expensive than the private sector. Count me skeptical. In fact, I’m guessing that experiment will play out like an exaggerated version of the scenario above: with more money wasted and a higher body count.

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