John Stossel

The farm program is repulsive welfare for the rich. The average farmer earns much more than the average American.

And even rich nonfarmers have received subsidies -- among them the late Ken Lay of Enron; Ted Turner, founder of CNN; my ABC colleague Sam Donaldson; and banker David Rockefeller.

And how absurd is this? "After handing out commodity subsidies that pay farmers to plant more crops," Heritage Foundation senior fellow Bruce Riedl notes, "Washington then turns around and pays other farmers not to farm 40 million acres of cropland each year -- the equivalent of idling every farm in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio".

It's time we got over the myth that the government helps the heroic family farm. Riedl points out that "federal farm policies specifically bypass family farmers. Subsidies are paid per acre, so the largest (and most profitable) agribusinesses automatically receive the biggest checks."

Besides all the obvious ones, there's another reason to end farm subsidies. They show us to be hypocrites. How can we preach free trade in talks with developing nations when we subsidize farmers who then dump their crop surpluses in poor countries and wreck their domestic farms?

Give me a break.

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate