Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs
EXPOSÉ on THE JOURNAL: Cash Cows and Cowboy Starter Kits
Expose
Watch Video
Read Transcript
Comment
April 11, 2008

BILL MOYERS JOURNAL teams up with the PBS series EXPOSÉ: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS to follow the trail of WASHINGTON POST reporters who uncovered more than $15 billion in "wasteful, unnecessary, or redundant expenditures" farm subsidies that have flowed from Washington.

THE WASHINGTON POST reporters focused for more than a year on tracking the path of farm subsidies — subsidies which between 2001 and 2006 amounted to more than $95 billion. THE WASHINGTON POST reported: "In 2005 alone, when pretax farm profits were at a near-record $72 billion, the federal government handed out more than $25 billion in aid, almost 50 percent more than the amount it pays to families receiving welfare."

Of course many of these subsidies are not, "wasteful, unnecessary, or redundant expenditures." EXPOSÉ on THE JOURNAL focuses on two aspects of THE WASHINGTON POST investigation:

  • "1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm"
    The largest annual subsidy, called direct and countercyclical payments, is given to farmers regardless of what crops they grow — or whether they grow anything at all. The POST found that, since 2001, at least $1.3 billion was paid to landowners who had planted nothing since 2000. Among the beneficiaries were homeowners in new developments whose backyards used to be rice fields.

  • "No Drought Required For Federal Drought Aid"
    A 2002 program aimed at helping those facing a serious drought gave $635 million to ranchers and dairy farmers who had moderate or no drought. Some ranchers got money because they lived in counties declared disaster areas after debris fell to earth from the space shuttle Columbia.
Find out more from EXPOSÉ, and delve into the current debate over reauthorizing The Farm Bill.

Published on April 11, 2008.

Related Media:
ExposeEXPOSÉ on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL: Mr. Heath Goes to Washington
The broadcast profiles SEATTLE TIMES reporters on the trail of how members of Congress have awarded federal dollars for questionable purposes to companies in local Congressional districts—often to companies whose executives, employees or PACs have made campaign contributions to their legislators.
References and Reading:
"Harvesting Cash," A year-long investigation by the WASHINGTON POST
"How to Spend an Extra $15 Billion: In the past five years alone, the U.S. government has handed out more than $95 billion in agricultural subsidies. POST reporters criss-crossed the country in 2006, identifying more than $15 billion in wasteful, unnecessary and redundant spending."
Also This Week:

CASH COWS & COWBOY STARTER KITS
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL teams up with the PBS series EXPOSÉ: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS to follow the trail of Washington Post reporters who uncovered more than $15 billion in "wasteful, unnecessary, or redundant expenditures" that have flowed from Washington to America's farmers

> MORE FROM EXPOSÉ: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS

THE FARM BILL: DOWN HOME IN CONGRESS
What's in the farm bill? And, what's behind the debate over its passage.

HUNGER IN AMERICA
Why are America's food banks suffering shortages? Find out what you can do to help.

DAVID BECKMANN, BREAD FOR THE WORLD
Bill Moyers talks with the president of Bread for the World about the challenges of combatting hunger.

MOYERS DIGITAL ARCHIVE: Life on the Edge
NOW WITH BILL MOYERS' 2002 broadcast "Life on the Edge" told the stories of families living in Oregon, a state found by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have a high rate of "food insecurity" and hunger.

TALK BACK: THE MOYERS BLOG
Our posts and your comments
OUR POSTS
YOUR COMMENTS
For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ   
SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES AND PODCASTS EMAIL US