US Subsidizes Brazilian Cotton Farmers

from Americans For Prosperity Blog…

It’s bad enough that the U.S. spends $3 billion every year on subsidies to prop up American cotton farmers. Such payments enrich agri-businesses at taxpayer expense, hurt consumers while causing cotton prices to rise, and stand in the way of free trade and the free market.

But did you know that the U.S. also spends nearly $150 million of your taxpayer dollars each year to pay off Brazilian cotton farmers? It’s all part of an absurd scheme detailed in our recent blog post: U.S. Pays Off Brazilian Cotton Farmers to Prop Up U.S. Cotton Industry

Special handouts to cotton farmers—both abroad and here at home—are just a few of several examples of wasteful subsidies that should be on the chopping block, and fortunately Congress will get a chance to take a swing at them summer.

Every five years Congress reauthorizes the various farm subsidies paid out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in one giant bill—a grab bag of handouts to big agri-businesses and special interests. Given that the last “Farm Bill” was enacted in 2008, debate over the next one will be heating up on Capitol Hill in the coming months.

Eliminating ill-conceived farm subsidies not only takes the government’s heavy hand out of our economy, but it can also save significant amounts of taxpayer money. One proposal by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) would cut back on these special handouts and save $136 billion over the next decade, all while maintaining a safety net for farmers.

Whether it’s in “green” energy or in agriculture, picking winners and losers has never proven to be a wise use of taxpayer dollars. Keep an eye on Congress as they debate the Farm Bill this year—voices like yours demanding an end to wasteful subsidies could make a huge difference.

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