Small to mid-size farmers will likely suffer greatly under US Senate tax bill

For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction:

In this season of giving, the U.S Senate is rushing to pass a tax bill next week that would overwhelmingly benefit corporations and the richest households. If passed, this tax plan would not only raise the tax load on millions of low- and middle-income families, it would also mean the elimination of vital programs that help many Americans get by every day. The reason: Math.

By increasing the U.S deficit by more than $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, Congress would have to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 alone by a total of $136 billion due to spending rules.

Before we look at some of the specific agricultural support programs that are vulnerable under this plan, I'll go ahead and answer your inevitable question, "Why would Republicans intentionally go after their solid base (rural farmers) when they could probably find these cuts elsewhere?" Because US Senate contests are state-wide, not really fitting the profile of "representative." While individual Congressional districts might be particularly hurt by these cuts, Senators will not feel the adverse effects of that. Here are some of the programs at risk:

“Farm Price-Support Programs. This program funds the Commodity Credit Corporation Fund, which stabilizes, supports, and protects farm income and prices; helps maintain adequate and balanced supplies of agricultural commodities; and facilitates the distribution of commodities in an orderly way.

Farm Security and Rural Investment Programs. These programs provide funding for critical conservation efforts on private lands, including critical wetlands, grasslands, forests, and farm and ranch lands.

Funds for Strengthening Markets, Income, and Supply. This program encourages the exportation of agricultural commodities and products; encourages domestic consumption of agricultural products; and re-establishes farmers’ purchasing power by making payments in connection with the normal production of any agricultural commodity for domestic consumption.

Commodity Assistance Program. This program provides food donations to help the elderly and low-income populations, among others.

Regardless of how you feel about farm subsidies, these dollars generally go right back into the local economies. Yes, there are some wealthy landowners who game the system, but overall, these programs are critical in sustaining millions of families who would otherwise fall into (or deeper into) poverty.

Tags: