EWG’s analysis found that the “largest and wealthiest U.S. farm businesses received the biggest share of that $33 billion in payments.” And in earlier analyses of the data, it revealed that “thousands of people who live in cities, and some who live on golf courses” have received MFP payments.
The payment limit applies only to individuals, and according to EWG, farms can have many people who get payments, with each individual getting up to $250,000. And these individual recipients don’t even have to be on a farm, as long as they qualify as “active personal management.” According to EWG, all these recipients would need to do qualify under active personal management is “dial in to a few shareholder conferences a year.” These people that are getting these payments can be “city slickers.”
An audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released September 14 (PDF) found that eight of the 25 recipients that received the largest payments in 2019 qualified only through “active personal management.”
As the analysis shows, these farm subsidies – taxpayer-funded welfare programs – like so many subsidies, give crumbs to small entities that might need the subsidies the most, and give the largest operations the lion’s share, whether they needed it or not, with many recipients not even working on a farm but living in big cities around the country.