Iowa’s federal politicians tell us that capping farm payments is a good first step toward closing an abused loophole that has been open too long.
But actually closing that loophole is another matter, especially with a divided government in Washington. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, last week introduced an effort to impose hard caps on farm payments of $50,000 on commodity benefits. The proposal was met with a mixed reaction.
Specifically, Grassley’s idea is to cap farm payments above $50,000 (marketing loan payments would be different) because the farm payment system has become too abused by large farms that are taking up too much of the federal payout. He says the bill would “make the system more reasonable.”
The issue is separate from direct payments. The Senate-passed bill last year already ended that practice, but because the House wouldn’t accept the Senate version of the bill and instead simply passed a nine-month extension, direct payments have continued. Grassley said this week the Senate will keep trying to end direct payments.
Do you think commodity payments to farmers should be capped?