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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
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Archive: Harvesting Cash

Obama Targets Farm Subsidies As 'Wasteful'

President Obama clued in on about $5 billion in farm subsidies as an example of government's "wasteful spending" during his first national address to a joint session of Congress last night.

By Derek Kravitz | February 25, 2009; 05:43 PM ET | Comments (2)

GAO, Obama Hit Farm Subsidy Abuse

Farmers who annually made more than $2.5 million income cut-off for farm subsidies received $49 million in payments for which they were not eligible.

By The Editors | November 25, 2008; 03:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

Ethanol Is Boon for Lobbyists

The fight over federal subsidies for ethanol is shaping up as a lobbying bonanza.

By The Editors | November 19, 2008; 11:54 AM ET | Comments (3)

Obama vs. Rich Farmers?

Next year, Democrats are very likely to push for cuts in agricultural programs, including farm subsidies, if they redo their budget priorities to save money, congressional sources say.

By The Editors | November 6, 2008; 04:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Friend Of Catfish Farmers

The Post's Jeffrey H. Birnbaum reports today that U.S. catfish farmers were one of the winners in the recently brokered $300 billion farm bill, thanks in large part to Thad Cochran, a ranking Mississippi Republican on the appropriations committee. Under the a provision in the bill proposed by Cochran, the...

By The Editors | May 13, 2008; 04:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Farm Bill Update: Veto Threatened

A final agreement brokered by congressional leaders on a nearly $300 billion farm bill still faces a significant hurdle, with the Bush administration saying it would likely veto what it called a "massive, bloated" measure, The Post's Dan Morgan reports today. It is likely the bill will reach the House...

By The Editors | May 9, 2008; 04:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Farm Bill Update: Farms to Nowhere?

To round up enough votes to override a threatened veto of the farm bill, House and Senate negotiators have been dropping in plums for almost everybody. So it's no big surprise that there may be some last-minute money in it for a few hundred farmers in Alaska, reports Dan Morgan....

By The Editors | May 7, 2008; 07:36 PM ET | Comments (6)

Farm Bill Update: Taxing Matters

Back in 2002, then House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas) helped engineer tens of billions of dollars in new spending for agriculture in a massive new farm bill that was denounced by fiscal conservatives. Combest's pivotal role in outflanking a reform faction and bringing President Bush on board for...

By The Editors | April 16, 2008; 06:03 PM ET | Comments (3)

A Sweeter Farm Bill For Sugar?

As Congress gets set to finalize a farm bill, lobbyists for the U.S. sugar industry are working behind the scenes to sweeten the legislation, reports Dan Morgan. The lobbyists want to attach a proposed U.S.-Mexican side agreement that would set limits on sugar trade between the two countries and protect...

By The Editors | January 18, 2008; 03:58 PM ET | Comments (96)

New Disclosure on Farm Programs

The Washington Post reported last month that a Department of Agriculture loan program created to spur rural development had cost taxpayers at least $1.5 billion in losses, created few new jobs, undercut some existing businesses and suffered from a lack of oversight. But the department refused to release the...

By The Editors | January 16, 2008; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Death of a Farm Program Reform

In advance of this year's farm bill debate, The Washington Post reported that 16 private crop insurance companies made $3.1 billion in profits from the heavily subsidized program over the past eight years while the government lost $1.5 billion. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), citing findings of the Government Accountability...

By The Editors | December 18, 2007; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (16)

Southern Farm Interests Prevail Again

Southern farm interests flexed their political muscle in the Senate today, blocking an attempt to slash limits on what one farm family can collect in federal subsidies from $360,000 to $250,000 a year. It was the second defeat this week for lawmakers seeking to reshape the nation's farm programs,...

By The Editors | December 13, 2007; 02:27 PM ET | Comments (1)

Responding to a Critic

Economist Dean Baker, who blogs for The American Prospect, takes issue with last week's installment in The Post's ongoing Harvesting Cash series. (Read today's editorial about the Post series and former President Jimmy Carter's op-ed piece about farm subsidies.) Baker argues that the article indicts the Agriculture Department's loan...

By The Editors | December 10, 2007; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (1)

Still Not Sweet on the Senator

Last month, The Post reported that American Crystal Sugar Co., a huge Minnesota beet refining cooperative, has rewarded pro-sugar lawmakers with nearly $1 million in campaign contributions this year. The company has also punished one lawmaker, Sen. Norman Coleman (R-Minn.), who went against its wishes on a crucial trade vote...

By The Editors | December 7, 2007; 05:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Investigating the 'Bank for Rural America'

Since the 1970s, a little-known loan program from the Agriculture Department has endured nearly $1.5 billion in losses -- while backing almost $14 billion in guarantees to private banks. That's the latest finding in The Post's ongoing investigation of waste, fraud and abuse in the nation's farm support programs....

By The Editors | December 5, 2007; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Coming Soon: Our Next Farm Investigation

What do snowmobile clubs, movie theaters, water parks and alligator hunters have to do with the U.S. Department of Agriculture? They are beneficiaries of a little-known federal program intended to create jobs and encourage development in rural areas. In the next installment of the Harvesting Cash investigation of farm spending,...

By The Editors | November 30, 2007; 04:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Curtains for 'Cowboy Starter Kits'

The Senate is moving to shut down a loophole, first exposed in The Post's "Harvesting Cash" series, that has allowed some non-farming residents of suburban subdivisions to collect federal farm subsidy payments. The series detailed how new owners of small plots carved out of former rice fields near Houston...

By The Editors | November 29, 2007; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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