Today, the U.S. Senate voted on an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R, KY). The amendment would have limited eligible recipients of benefits in the bill to entities that earn an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $250,000 or less. Unfortunately, the amendment failed to pass by a vote of 15-84. From a press release sent out from the office Senator Rand Paul:
[box]The Farm Bill should not subsidize wealthy landowners and distort the market for land and food. The Paul amendment would ensure the bill only provides limited, means-tested assistance to aid family farmers in times of uncertainty or catastrophe. Furthermore, the amendment will not impact the majority of covered farms. About 91 percent of farms have an AGI less than or equal to $250,000 and collect about 71 percent of commodity payments. Farms with an AGI of more than $250,000 collect 29 percent of commodity payments and represent 9 percent of farms nationwide. The Congressional Budget Office has scored the amendment as saving $7 billion.[/box]
On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul said:
Currently nine percent of farmers are receiving nearly a third of the benefits.
A good question for the Senate might be, what do Scottie Pippen, Larry Flynt, and David Rockefeller have in common? The answer would be that besides being very rich, they’ve all gotten farm subsidies in the past.
I think this should change and that the wealthy shouldn’t be receiving farm subsidies.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R), was one of the 15 votes in favor of the amendment while Sherrod Brown (D) voted against it.
You can watch a short clip of Rand Paul’s speech below. We also recommend that you read a recent article published by the Heritage Foundation entitled The Farm Bill: Harvesting Taxpayer Dollars Since 1933, which explains some of the negative effects of farm subsidies on our economy.