ByAnna Casey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office released a report that outlines its proposal for how the government can improve the crop insurance program’s delivery and reduce costs to the taxpayers who help fund it without passing those costs on to the farmer.
The federal government has taken steps aimed at reducing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a serious health threat that sickens an estimated 2 million people in the United States each year. But nobody knows if those steps — many focused on monitoring the antibiotics given to cattle, hogs and chickens raised for food — are working.
The effects of climate change on agriculture could cost the federal government as much as $4.2 billion more annually in crop insurance subsidies by 2080, a report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office found.
Withholding pay, stealing documents and under-reporting hours are all common examples of employe abuses when it comes to migrant labor. A recent Government Accountability Office report highlighted areas where the U.S. visa system can be improved. It mainly focused on better keeping tabs on employer information, as the multiple federal departments that monitor migrant labor and visas do not work together.
Taxpayer money funding the federal crop insurance program, a main safety net for farmers, has more than doubled in just over a decade. As the country's budgetary problems grow, critics continue to label the insurance program as inefficient and expensive.
The amount of money that the government spends on expensive crop insurance subsidies has long come under criticism. This month, a federal report found that small cuts to premium subsidies could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. The findings come as the national debt soars near $17 trillion, but farmers say the cuts would hurt business.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as "SNAP," takes up about 80 percent of the 2014 Farm Bill, a chunk worth between $70 and $80 billion a year. While the program helps provide groceries to tens of millions of Americans, a recent report found that the program may be susceptible to fraud.
A government report from last month revealed that most experts foresee water shortages within the next decade. Yet, studies show that countless of gallons of water are currently wasted every day by an aging and inefficient infrastructure.