Farmers overwhelmingly supported Obama. [Not]
The biggest difference between previous estimates and the final figures from OMB is crop insurance subsidies. While the sequestration statute exempts “prior legal obligations” of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation from sequestration, OMB opts to exempt nearly all crop insurance subsidies from automatic cuts, reducing the total hit on the farm bill by at least $5 to 6 billion, and possibly more if crop insurance subsidy costs continue to climb.Even with Sen. Thad Cochran in a key position to help Southern interests, the move to an all-insurance type farm entitlement seems to gather momentum. Being protected from an increasingly likely sequestration certainly greases the skids, it seems to me.
This decision to call all future crop insurance obligations “prior” would appear to be a political decision, not a legal one. Indeed, based on personal communications over the course of many months with budget staffers, it appeared to us that the decision on crop insurance premium subsidies had gone the other way during earlier OMB technical reviews. Whether any further explanations will be provided by the Administration remains to be seen, though we tend to doubt anything more will be said or revealed. [More]
I continue to be amazed at how the administration goes to bat for economically perverse farm subsidies when doing the opposite costs them little politically.
Of course, I am equally puzzled by subsidy proponents calling themselves fiscal conservatives.