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GAO Report: USDA Subsidizing Dead Farmers

July 30, 2013 by  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture paid our more than $32 million in crop insurance and soil and conservation payments to farmers who are dead between 2008 and 2012, according to the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office Report.

GAO said the payments were made because the USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Environmental Working Group failed to check master lists compiled by the government to assure payments go only to living recipients.

The GAO said of the findings : “USDA spends about $20 billion annually on federal programs that support farm income, conserve natural resources, and help farmers manage risks from natural disasters, benefiting over 1 million participants. Given their cost and continuing nationwide budget pressures, these programs have come under increasing scrutiny. One concern has been the distribution of benefits to ineligible participants, including potentially improper payments to deceased individuals, which, as GAO and others have reported, may call into question whether these farm safety net programs are benefiting the agricultural sector as intended.”

This isn’t the first time GAO has discovered USDA payments being made to dead farmers. A 2007 GAO report listed $1.1 billion in farm payments over six years to people who were not living.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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