More on the Political Economy of Agricultural Subsidies

From an article in the Wall Street Journal:

“The Department of Agriculture no longer serves as a lifeline to millions of struggling homestead farmers. Instead, it is a vast, self-perpetuating postmodern bureaucracy with an amorphous budget of some $130 billion — a sum far greater than the nation’s net farm income this year.

This year [the USDA] will give a record $20 billion in various crop ‘supports’ to the nation’s wealthiest farmers — with the richest 10 percent receiving over 70 percent of all the redistributive payouts. Free-market conservatives don’t dare touch the Department of Agriculture, given the senatorial clout of Midwest farm states. Don’t expect left-wing Democrats to object either. In a brilliantly conceived devil’s bargain, the Department of Agriculture gives welfare to the wealthy on the one hand, while on the other sending more than $70 billion to the lower income brackets in food stamps.”

Here is more from the same author.