Condemn USDA for Doling Out Subsidies to Dead Farmers


Target: Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: Stop wasting federal dollars on subsidies for deceased farmers and engage in more stringent oversight of fund allocations.

Federal auditors have discovered that over thirty million dollars have been given in the form of farm subsidies to deceased recipients from the United States Department of Agriculture. One non-profit organization, the Government Accountability Office, reports that that the Department of Agriculture relies on an “incomplete version of data” and thus “fails to identify deceased recipients.” According to news outlet RT, this comes at a time when the House and Senate are deliberating over a farm bill that seeks to expand certain farm subsidies.

The Government Accountability Office states that such egregious oversight casts doubt upon the federal government’s ability to “weed out waste, fraud, and abuse.” Futhermore, at a time where austerity measures are increasing in the form of cuts to social service programs such as food stamps, education, and Medicaid, it is offensive to watch the United States government throw money away in the form of subsidies for the deceased. These sorts of oversights indicate that a bureau has grown too big to be properly managed and needs thorough regulation. Tell the United States Secretary of Agriculture,Tom Vislack, to manage his bureau’s affairs properly, and to stop making wasteful payouts in the form of farm subsidies to the deceased.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

Recent attention has been paid to the United States Department of Agriculture’s bloated budget and the harm presented by its antiquated farm-subsidy program. Perhaps most offensive to American taxpayers is the fact that over thirty million dollars in farm subsidies have been granted to deceased farmers due to a clear lack of oversight. Nonpartisan, non-profit agricultural watchdog groups have reported that agencies working for the Department of Agriculture were granting farm subsidies based on incorrect data.

Actions must be taken to correct these sorts of oversights and to ensure that they do not happen again. In an era of increased austerity when education, healthcare, and social-welfare programs are undergoing deep cuts, it is offensive to watch a sizable percentage of federal funds go toward wasteful endeavors. Hold yourself and your department accountable to the American public, and stop granting farm subsidies to non-existent entities.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: DonKeyHotey via Flickr

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