Cuts to Large Farm Subsidies Considered as Means to Avoid Sequester

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senate Democrats are crafting a proposal that would avoid automatic spending cuts to the federal budget through Sept. 30, 2013. Currently, cuts are slated to take effect on March 1 if Congress and the Administration cannot agree to a plan that saves revenue. The proposal would save money by cutting direct payments funded through the farm bill.

"Typically, direct payments disproportionately benefit high-income farmers and often fail to reach the surrounding rural economies," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "With dangerous cuts to vital safety-net programs looming, hefty payments to large-scale producers cannot be easily justified."

The package is expected to include both tax revenue and spending cuts, totaling approximately $84 billion in savings. Direct payments would cost the United States $4.96 billion in 2013.

"While we support cuts to large farm subsidies, we caution that any further reductions to agriculture-related programs must not increase hunger and poverty," added Beckmann. "Programs like SNAP and international food aid must be protected throughout the budget negotiations." 

Bread's mobilization (in 2008-2009) to shift funding from direct payments to food stamps, food aid, and other positive purposes helped to discredit direct payments.

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World



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