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Down on the Farm



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Have a look at the map of Manhattan below (used recently by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in a speech). The red dots indicate people who live in Manhattan (and so clearly are neither hurting for money nor tilling the soil on the family farm) but receive agricultural subsidies from the federal government.

NYC Farm Subsidy Map

The larger red blobs mark people receiving more than a quarter of a million dollars in farm subsidies annually.

The farm bill passed by House Democrats in July would continue giving millionaires farm subsidies (setting the income threshold for payments at $1 million a year, and keeping loopholes in place that allow some making much more to qualify). The Bush administration has proposed sharply reducing the income threshold to $200,000 a year and ending many of those loopholes. That would reduce the number of subsidy recipients by less than 40,000 (of the current million or so recipients)—though I suppose it might put some rooftop gardens on Park Avenue out of commission.



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