Utne Blogs > Politics

Old MacDonald Bought the Farm, but Still Got His Subsidy Check

by Staff


Tags: farm subsidies, farm bill, agricultural subsidies,

As the farm bill writhes in congressional death throes, Reason magazine reports that more than 170,000 deceased farmers received subsidies between 1999 and 2005. The total cost of these post-mortem outlays? More than $1 billion. Though official policy checks off on subsidies for up to two years after a farmer’s death (if the farm is still operational), a substantial portion of the payments were distributed beyond the time limit. The research originated in a July report by the Government Accountability Office (pdf). Then the shrugging commenced. —Michael Rowe