Monday, October 24, 2011

Usefulness of EWG's Database Impaired

A time or two I've noted that using crop insurance instead of direct payments has the effect of hiding the increases in governmental liability (assuming prices and/or yields rise over time) and getting around the payment limitation provisions.  Another side effect is noted in this language in a Grist post:
EWG's Cook is concerned about another potential problem with the proposed new subsidy. With the current set of farm payments, groups can track exactly how much government support individual farmers receive (as EWG does with its Farm Subsidy Database). But with the "shallow loss" plan, says Cook, "the subsidy lobby" is creating a new "income-guarantee entitlement aimed at the biggest commercial operations" that will likely be "totally opaque to the public." Which means no more tracking who gets how much.
I assume there will be no tears shed in the farming community over this.

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