Source: University of Illinois

Thirty-seven programs in the 2008 farm bill will expire in a couple years because there is no guaranteed funding after September, 2012. Should they expire like a worthless option at the Board of Trade, or should there be an effort to fund them at any cost?

As the political winds threaten to keep a tighter grip on the U.S. Treasury purse strings, there will be many programs in the federal government that will disappear for lack of funding. And at least three dozen of those may quickly be identified in the USDA budget. The Congressional Research Service has identified the programs, which cost the taxpayer between $9 billion and $10 billion to operate. The CRS report says the 37 programs had received mandatory funding for the life of the 2008 Farm Bill, but there is no budget baseline that carries them beyond 2012, such as public feeding programs, direct payments or crop insurance. Their cost is about 4 percent of the $283 billion five year Farm Bill, or 11 percent of the cost if the $100 billion nutrition title is removed. 

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