CCAGW Joins Coalition to Oppose Lame Duck Farm Bill | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Joins Coalition to Oppose Lame Duck Farm Bill

Press Release

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2012


Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

CCAGW Joins Coalition to Oppose Lame Duck Farm Bill

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, joined several fiscally conservative organizations in urging members of Congress to oppose passing a new five-year Farm Bill during the ongoing lame duck session. Mr. Schatz appeared at a press conference at 10:00 AM at the National Press Club along with representatives from National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, R Street, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Cost of Government Center, and American Committment.

“The version of the Farm Bill currently being considered by Congress has been projected by the Congressional Budget Office to cost taxpayers as much as $970 billion over the next ten years,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “If history is any indication, that estimate is almost surely too low. The CBO’s estimates for the 2002 Farm Bill and the 2008 Farm Bill were low by a total of more than $400 billion. Its savings over current law, estimated by CBO to total $35 billion in the coming decade, represent just 3 percent of projected Farm Bill outlays.

“The Farm Bill is a cornucopia of outdated, wasteful, often silly programs, many of which should be allowed to die. Its subsidies, quotas, and mandates often work at cross purposes in ways that distort food markets and line the pockets of prosperous, industrial-scale farmers. And a farm bill passed during the lame duck session would be passed without the opportunity for amendments to be added and without ever having been considered by the full House of Representatives. No piece of legislation as important as the Farm Bill should be pushed through Congress at the last minute in order to save a paltry sum before the end of the calendar year,” Schatz concluded.

The Farm Bill also fails to alter many of the Department of Agriculture’s most misguided programs. Left intact is the absurd Market Access Program (MAP), which could more accurately go by the name Corporate Welfare Access Program. MAP hands out taxpayer dollars in the form of advertising subsidies to successful firms like Butterball, Tyson, Monsanto, and Sunkist Growers, Inc. to help them promote their wares abroad.

The dairy industry’s already arcane and convoluted set of laws and allowances will be further muddled by the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), under which farmers will periodically be financially penalized for exceeding government milk production “quotas.” Under DMSP, milk prices and the cost of groceries for families who buy dairy products like cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and pizza will be artificially inflated. The sugar program, which has been criticized by CAGW many times for inflating the price of sugar and benefiting the wealthiest one percent of sugar farmers at the expense of consumers, will be left intact.

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.