Published on April 14th, 2016 | by GrowWNYAdmin0
Food Advocates’ Voters Guide Issue 4: Farm Subsidies
Senator Cruz is generally opposed to federal subsidies in the agriculture and energy fields. He has repeatedly denounced mandating amounts of ethanol in fuel, as well as large subsidies for large scale corporate farms. He does support providing subsidies for small and low income farms to help them maintain stable food production, and stay afloat during bad seasons.
During Governor Kasich’s tenure in the House of Representatives, he twice voted in favor of amendments that would reduce or eliminate specific crop subsidies. In 1996 he voted to remove price supports for sugar and peanuts. In 1997 he voted to remove subsidies for tobacco farmers. When asked recently about his position on ethanol subsidies he said he didn’t intend to immediately end them, but supported phasing them out over time. Kasich maintained that he generally did not support subsidizing any industry for extended periods of time.
While Trump hasn’t made commodity crop subsidies a large issue during his current campaign, he has shown that he doesn’t have a strong or uniform opposition to subsidies in the agricultural and energy fields. He has endorsed federal regulations that mandate a certain amount of ethanol be put in gasoline. Ethanol rules play a role in the continuation of commodity crop subsidies for corn.
Secretary Clinton has laid out several plans to help rural farmers. She has come out in support of continuing to support the use of ethanol and other biofuels, and advocated for increasing broadband internet access in rural communities. While agricultural subsidies aren’t the most important pillar of her rural economy platform, she has stated that she intends to make sure family farms benefit more from subsidies than large conglomerate farms. During a recent speech in Iowa, Clinton said “I’ll make sure that federal resources like disaster assistance and crop insurance go to farmers and ranchers who need it the most, not those who have the biggest businesses or the best connections.”
Senator Sanders supports sharply reducing subsidies for large conglomerate farms and increasing subsidies for small scale family farms and new farmers. Sanders would also support expanding subsidies and tax credits for farms that lease out space for wind turbines and engage in other green energy practices. However, in 2013 he voted against an amendment that would reduce the amount of crop insurance a farmer or company with an annual adjusted gross income of over $750,00 could receive. So while Sanders firmly opposes commodity crop subsidies to the largest farms, he doesn’t oppose subsidies to all large farming operations.