Rob Inglis argues that Obama's ag cuts are largely toothless:

...the new White House budget contains a proposal to end "direct payment" subsidies to commodity-crop farmers who have more than $500,000 per year in sales.

As I noted in an earlier post, it’s a good proposal, but it only marks a small step in the right direction on farm subsidies. Because direct-payment subsidies go out to farmers whether or not they produce a crop, they don’t really affect farmers’ decisions on how much to grow, which means that ending them isn’t going to do much solve the problems associated with corn and other commodity crops being overproduced and hence artificially cheap.

He also says that big farmers have found ways around existing farm-subsidy payouts. His suggestion:

Given that direct payments were established in 1996 as a supposedly temporary program, why not simply decide that the time has come to get rid of them altogether?

Seconded.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.