By: Dan Charles
The government estimates that American taxpayers will pay about $24 billion in subsidies to farmers this year; that’s a record. Critics, and they include some farmers, say taxpayers should not pay for surpluses of corn or cotton. They think public money should only pay for things that benefit the public, like cleaner water, a healthier environment. Dan Charles has the first of three reports on programs that pay farmers not to grow food but to care for the land.
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