Congressman [Mark] Meadows deserves credit for standing up for taxpayers and against special interests in the Farm Bill. The SNAP debate around expanding work requirements and job training for able-bodied adults overshadows a giant loophole that rewards “Facetime farmers.”
Currently, you can claim “active management” and get subsidies — up to $125,000 annually, double for married couples — without ever stepping foot on a farm. Management can simply be deciding what to plant, securing financing or even navigating USDA subsidy paperwork. In 2015, absentee managers received $260 million. The most egregious operation qualified 25 members plus 10 spouses as “managers” to gobble up $3.7 million in farm subsidies.
Rep. Meadows wants to close this loophole so that only those actually working on the farm qualify for subsidies, while limiting operations to no more than one “farm manager.” The Senate bill includes this amendment, but House leaders refused to even allow a debate.
Congressman Meadows understands that business-as-usual farm bills are no longer an option, and that starts with work requirements for everyone. This isn’t a partisan perspective, it’s simple commonsense. At a time when that seems in short supply, District 11 constituents should be proud their congressman has some.
— Joshua Sewell, Taxpayers for Common Sense
Nan Swift, National Taxpayers Union