One of the more controversial provisions the Senate bill [a farm bill that will cost $955 billion if passed] covers is crop insurance. In the past, farmers have been able to purchase an insurance safety net if their crops fail. Under the bill, the government would kick in another $5 billion of insurance per year—bringing the total to $12 billion a year—which would cover the deductibles and cushion the blow farmers would have to pay.
The House version spends more money on crop insurance, but less for food stamps and conservation efforts.
No, the farm bill needs to eliminate the crop insurance aspect altogether (I’m ignoring here the food stamp wastage), not increase it or even maintain it. Government has no business interfering with the private market, or protecting any business—including farmers—from the consequences of their decisions. If the farmers want a safety net against crop failure—an eminently reasonable desire—they should be free to buy it on the open market from crop insurers competing for their business.
Americans, either as taxpayers or as farm customers, should not be forced to pay for farmers’ decisions except through market effects.