50 billionaires receive unnecessary farm subsidies
These billionaires also receive large annual crop insurance payments subsidized by taxpayers.
Using the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in the U.S., the Environmental Working Group has announced that 50 billionaires also received $11.3 million in farm subsidies since 1995.
And while a billionaire making on average a little more than $13,000 over 17 years might not sound like news, most of the billionaires making the list do not farm professionally, nor do they need the government assistance they receive. Yet "food stamp" benefits serving 47 million people were cut by $5 billion last Friday and Congress is debating billions of dollars in further cuts.
To add insult to injury, these billionaires also receive large annual crop insurance payments subsidized by taxpayers, but current law does not allow the USDA to disclose the identity of crop insurance policyholders. Over the same 17 year period, $44 billion in federal insurance subsidies were paid out to those growing corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and sorghum.
A "means test" used to weed out those farmers who make over $500,000 a year in off-farm income is currently in place for some crop subsidies. But no such test exists for those collecting insurance for crops.
According to the report, those who made the list of crop subsidized billionaires include:
- Paul Allen (Net worth: $15.8 billion)
Co-founder of Microsoft (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money)
- Charles Ergen (Net worth: $12.5 billion)
Co-founder of DISH Network
- S. Truett Cathy (Net worth: $6 billion)
Founder of Chick-fil-A
- Leslie Wexner (Net worth: $5.7 billion)
CEO of L Brands Inc., which owns Victoria's Secret
- David Rockefeller, Sr. (Net worth: $2.8 billion)
Former chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Bank
- Penny Pritzker (Net worth: $2.2 billion)
U.S. Secretary of Commerce
An earlier analysis of USDA crop insurance records found that in 2011 alone, more than two dozen farms received insurance payments of more than $1 million. While tax payers subsidized insurance to the tune of $1.5 billion in 2002, that number had swelled to $7.4 billion in 2011.
More from Forbes
Blame the Dems, blame the GOP. It is irrelevant who you blame, the rich will keep getting richer while the rest of us fight like dogs over the scraps they through to us. Working class, middle class and upper middle class are separated by only a few thousand dollars, chump change to the 1%. Yet we continue to divide ourselves by race, ethnicity, age, etc., etc. Get a clue and stop hating each other and get together to change how the government is run.
Take action in any positive way you can. First get accurate information and participate by signing petitions, contribute to political awareness organizations, make your voice heard for change. This is certainly better than posting insults to other readers on this site.
Hate and gloom only sickens you and those around you. I'm on my way to a community meeting now, I have no more time for whining.
It's obviously more important to give billionaires millions of dollars in farm subsidies by cutting food stamps for the most vulnerable such as the disabled, starving children and low income families.
This country is just becoming like a third world country more and more so.
The hypocrisy is with all of you who blame the Democrats or Republicans as the problem. The problem is the Republicans AND the Democrats who are there because of an ignorant apathetic electorate.
The entire group in Washington are there for their individual gain. Every bipartisan fight is an opportunity for them to yell for more campaign funds and PAC funds to further their agendas. Until THE PEOPLE band together and quit pointing blame at the other citizens expect more of the same.
It is one big extortion game!
Vote GOP/TP OUT of our Congress!
Perhaps someone should write a book...Serving The Rich: A Cook Book.
Seems the wealthy are well fed, why not take advantage of that?
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