Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Money for Nothing

This story raises some questions in my mind (from the WTAX website that has no direct link to the story):
The state and federal governments are asking certain farmers to stop planting in their fields, and they're doing it with $50 million of taxpayer money.

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, or CREP, pays farmers near Illinois rivers and their tributaries to let watershed acreage sit idle.

Jim Ross, a conservation program specialist at the Farm Service Agency, says CREP began in 1997, and this is the second year in a row that state government has funded the program.

$10 million in state money will fund the program. Because of that funding, the federal government will kick in $40 million.

Ross says the goal is to set aside farmland that's near Illinois rivers and tributaries. He says that will reduce soil erosion, make better water and air quality, and encourage better wildlife habitat.So the government is paying these farmers not to pollute.
What other industry gets this incentive? Aren’t most polluting businesses told to stop or face fines or be shut down? I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing to pay the farmers, at least in the short run, but it doesn’t seem to me most polluters can get that deal.


JeromeProphet said...


You need to look up the history of the New Deal.

Remember the Dust Bowl?

Paying farmers to leave certain fields unplanted has saved topsoil, and agriculture for over half a century.

Phosphate run off is killing streams, lakes, and rivers so the program seems sensisible to any thinking person.

It also allows wildlife (hunting) to live in those areas.

A small investment that more than pays for itself.

Let's end the program in the name of ideology!


JeromeProphet said...

The biggest pollutant in history?

Carbon Dioxide.

Anyone doing anything about that?

Not here.


Will said...

Funny how they don't seem to mind other government subsidies to big agribusiness corporations. Its only a problem with them when its going to protect the environment.