Fifty of America’s richest citizens are set to rake in millions of dollars in farm subsidies — thanks to a bill that simultaneously wiped out $40 billion in food stamps funding.
The Environmental Working Group compared the recipients of farm subsidies between 1995-2012 with the Forbes list of the 50 richest American citizens. These are just some of the super-rich Americans who have benefited over the years:
Paul Allen (Net worth: $15.8 billion)
Co-founder of Microsoft
Charles Ergen (Net worth: $12.5 billion)
Co-founder of DISH Network
Philip Anschutz (Net worth: $10 billion)
Owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group and co-founder of Major League Soccer
Leonard Lauder (Net worth: $7.6 billion)
Son of Estee Lauder and former CEO of the Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
Richard DeVos (Net worth: $6.8 billion)
Co-founder of Amway and Republican candidate for governor of Michigan in 2006
Jim Kennedy (Net worth: $6.7 billion)
Chairman of Cox Enterprises
S. Truett Cathy (Net worth: $6 billion)
Founder of Chick-fil-A […]
Along with the other members of the Forbes 50, these citizens have a combined worth of $316 billion. In the years 1995-2012 these 50 people received $11.3 million in farm subsidies. So, as millions of the poorest and most vulnerable Americans are set to slip further and further into fuel and food poverty, the Republican-controlled Congress has seen fit to grant a tiny minority at the top a huge financial windfall.
According to Daily Kos:
[P]roposed changes adopted in both the House and Senate versions of the bill will likely allow these billionaires to bank millions more in premium subsidies. Both bills would shift subsidies from programs currently subject to means testing to the more generous crop insurance program. Unlike traditional farm subsidies, crop insurance premium subsidies are not currently subject to means testing, payment limits or conservation requirements.
Crop insurance is one of the most egregious forms of corporate welfare in America today. It is overwhelmingly skewed toward the richest one percent of farm businesses. They received $227,000 in crop insurance premiums in 2011 alone. Meanwhile the lower 80% of farmers received a mere $5,000 each.