Crop insurance isn’t the only “free stuff” for farmers, compliments of U.S. taxpayers (a Mitt Romney quote). I remember my twice-weekly visits to a northeastern wheat farming town in Washington during the early 1980s while working for the Area Agency on Aging. Many of the farmers were receiving substantial payments from the Conservation Reserve Program, and it was quite revealing listening to those usually reticent gentlemen talking openly about how they were investing their generous checks from you and me – some as much as $80,000 per year – for growing nothing.
I also remember during that era talking with an agricultural economist about this subsidy and others, such as the many heavily subsidized housing projects for farm laborers being built in Washington, and the community health centers to care for these workers.
The fact is that in the scheme of public welfare programs, one will find that farmers are its greatest beneficiary.
Robert C. Boynton