Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Reducing Payment Acreage

This bit from Farm Policy raises a possibility I missed earlier: reducing payment acreage.
Congress may also wish to consider reducing the portion of a farm’s acres eligible for direct payments. In 2009, GAO reported that reducing the portion of eligible acres to 80 percent from 83.3 percent might save millions of dollars annually. Further reducing the portion of eligible acres to 75 percent could save millions more each year. Such an across-the­ board reduction would affect all recipients. Moreover, Congress may wish to consider terminating the payments. Some agriculture organizations, including the National Farmers Union and the Iowa Farm Bureau, have recommended phasing out or terminating the payments altogether and using the savings to bolster other farm programs.”
This would perpetuate a device Congress first use way back in history: achieving budget savings by reducing the payment acreage and/or payment yield formulas.  Instead of being obvious what they're doing, they do it the sneaky way.  Never underestimate the capacity of a politician to be sneaky.

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