At one time in the 1990s it seemed as if the USA might lead the way in reducing farm subsidies. Not any more. A new version of the US Farm Bill, just approved by the Senate's Agriculture Committee, has been attacked by acting US farm secretary, Chuck Conner. The long-awaited Senate version of the Bill, which follows one from the House of Representatives in August, provides plenty of goodies for American farmers for the next five years. For example, there would be a permanent $5bn 'disaster' fund.
Mr Conner said bluntly that the draft Bill offered 'no reform at all'. The lack of a meaningful cap on payments would allow millionaires to continue to participate in farm programmes. Just how widespread this practice is has been illustrated by our friends at CAP Health Check by superimposing the number of beneficiaries on a Google map of New York City. Other wealthy areas in cities like Los Angeles also contain their fair share of sofa farmers.
It's a story all too familiar in Europe: take away money from taxpayers and consumers on average incomes or less and give to wealthy landowners.