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


| 11/21/2007 2:50:43 PM


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