Since 1995, GOP Congresspeople Have Received More Than $5 Million in Farm Subsidies

Democrats have received less than a tenth of that. But the debate over farm subsidies is complicated.

Farm subsidies are one of the most hotly debated issues in national food policy. Some critics, such as Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute, call for their complete elimination, others, such as journalists Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman, advocate their radical reform, blaming them for exacerbating our national obesity crisis and encouraging unsustainable industrial agriculture. Still others, including prominent lawmakers, economists, and agribusiness leaders, defend their valuable role in maintaining national security and supporting family farms.

In fact, the only thing that's not up for debate in this whole morass is that the questions of agricultural subsidies is incredibly divisive—it's an issue that can crush the most sanguine observer's dreams of clarity and consensus.

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