News Release


Matt Orchant,

What do Obama and Glenn Beck agree on?

Cutting subsidies to Big Agribusiness.
For Immediate Release

A consumer protection group released a new video today juxtaposing President Obama and conservative TV show host Glenn Beck on agricultural subsidies. The big takeaway? Two men, who rarely seem to agree on anything, agree that the agricultural subsidies program is misguided and flawed. If the powerful House and Senate Agricultural Committees have their way, many of those subsidies will be eliminated.

The video released by the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) shows Beck on his former Fox News program stating that “70% of the money coming through (the USDA), 70% are going to the largest 10% of corporate farms”. President Obama is then shown answering a question at a town hall meeting; “very big profitable combines are getting a lot of money from taxpayers, even though they’re generally pretty profitable”.

Today, the House and Senate Agricultural Committees are expected to send their recommendation for spending cuts to the deficit super committee; the recommendation is reported to include billions in cuts to the very programs both Beck and Obama deride in the video. 

This recommendation is not yet law, the super committee must choose to accept the recommendation, and then Congress as a whole must pass the proposed legislation.

“If Barack Obama and Glenn Beck can agree that billions in subsidies to companies like Monsanto and Cargill are wasteful, there is no reason that the deficit super committee cannot agree to end this corporate welfare program” said Matthew Orchant, OSPIRG associate.

OSPIRG recently released a report, Apples to Twinkies, which showed since 1995, the federal government has spent $17 billion on subsidies for junk food ingredients.

“Throwing money at corn means that we’re spending billions of tax dollars on unhealthy additives like corn syrup, all while fresh fruits and vegetables can barely get a bite of the apple,” continued Orchant. “With our country facing tough budget choices, this is the last thing we should be doing.”

OSPIRG sent the video to over 25,000 people who have signed up for their email list, with a link to a page on OSPIRG’s website that lets people send an e-mail to their Congressman, calling to end the subsidies.

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