Gov’t Pays Dead Men to Farm

From the Washington Post:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed $1.1 billion over seven years to the estates or companies of deceased farmers and routinely failed to conduct reviews required to ensure that the payments were properly made, according to a government report.

In a selection of 181 cases from 1999 to 2005, the Government Accountability Office found that officials approved payments without any review 40 percent of the time.

The report cited a 1,900-acre soybean and corn farm in Illinois that collected $400,000 on behalf of an owner who lived in Florida before his death in 1995. The company did not notify the government of the death but certified each year that the dead shareholder, who owned 40 percent of the company, was “actively engaged” in managing the farm.

Paying dead men to farm is about as odd as paying farmers not to grow something. I remember a comedy routine from several years ago by Brian Regan about this: A guy asks a farmer what he does for a living. The farmer replies, “Well, I don’t grow corn.”

This is just one of the many reasons we need to move away from this government-run Marxist-style farming system and get back to a free market system. The fraud, waste and abuse is staggering.

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