PIA National is unhappy with President Trump’s 2020 budget. He’s proposing a 15% cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The budget cut slashes funding for the federal crop insurance program by close to $26 billion over the next decade.
These are just part of huge cuts in Trump’s proposed budget. The president wants to reduce domestic discretionary funding by $4.7 trillion for fiscal 2020. At the same time, he is upping defense spending and is adding $8.6 billion for the wall along the Southern border.
These are the largest domestic spending cuts — ever.
The USDA budget cut is $3.6 billion and leaves it at $20.8 billion for the year. PIA National is concerned about three parts of the cuts:
• The first reduces the average premium discount for producers to 48%
• It is currently 62%
• Second, the budget has the target rate of return at 12%
• Third, it limits crop insurance eligibility to farms with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $500,000
The Trump budget statement says the cuts are needed and it “proposes that USDA responsibly and efficiently use taxpayer resources by making targeted reforms to duplicative programs and overly generous subsidy programs.”
Gene Paul of the National Farmers Organization was one of the first to complain about the budget cuts. “We are very disappointed that the president takes the position that he does, but many of these cuts were discussed in the ag committees of both the House and the Senate when they put together the farm bill, and they were rejected,” he said.
He is also in agreement with PIA National on the importance of crop insurance and is deeply concerned about the cuts to the program. “Crop insurance is probably more important now than ever because of lower farm incomes and tariffs put in place by the president.”
He then added, “The president just doesn’t get it.”’
PIA National agrees. In a statement, the association said, “Crop insurance is the cornerstone of the farm safety net. During a time of depressed prices in rural America, now is not the time to slash the federal crop insurance program, which so many farmers and ranchers rely on to stay afloat. This budget proposal would make crop insurance unaffordable and unavailable for many people. Furthermore, a 5-year Farm Bill with strong support for crop insurance was just signed into law in December.”
PIA National said it will work with the House and Senate to make sure the cuts do not make it through Congress.
“We urge Congress to reject these cuts and to support a strong federal crop insurance program that recognizes the vital role that independent insurance agents play in the delivery of the program,” PIA National added.
Source links: PIA National, Carrier Management