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Obama Announces Deficit Reduction Plan

September 23, 2011


On Monday, September 19, President Obama unveiled a new deficit reduction plan that will reduce the deficit by an additional $3 trillion over the course of the next 10 years through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

You can find the full report, “Living Within Our Means and Investing in the Future-The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction” here.

The plan emphasizes that we can live within our means as a country while still making investments in job creation, infrastructure, education, and innovation-all the essential components of a prosperous nation.

The plan would pay for the President’s proposed American Jobs Act and produce a net savings of $3 trillion over the next decade, on top of the $1 trillion in spending cuts from future appropriations bills the President already signed into law in the Budget Control Act last year.  The net result, therefore,  according to the White House, would be over $4 trillion in savings over the next 10 years, bringing the Nation to a point where, “current spending is no longer adding to our debt and where our debt is no longer increasing as a share of our economy.”

The president’s plan includes $1.5 trillion in new revenue generated largely from tax increases targeting the wealthy. The proposal also includes $1.1 trillion in savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In regards to agriculture, the President’s plan proposes to:

  • Eliminate direct payments – The proposal would eliminate direct payments that do not vary with prices, yields, or producers’ farm incomes, but then allow farmers the option of enrolling in the Average Crop Revenue Election or ACRE program instead.  Elimination of direct payments would result in a nearly $50 billion savings over ten years, but with the ACRE election, the net decrease in government cost is estimated by the White House as $31 billion.
  • Cut  crop insurance program costs – Crop and revenue insurance subsidies currently cost the taxpayers approximately $8 billion a year and that figure goes up over time.  The President proposes to reduce payments to crop insurance companies by $6.3 billion (in addition to a $6 billion reduction made administratively in 2010) and $2 billion by lowering the taxpayer share of the farmer premiums by 2 percent.
  • Cut conservation programs  – The Administration proposes to reduce conservation funding by $2 billion over 10 years by “better targeting conservation funding to the most cost-effective and environmentally-beneficial programs and practices.”
  • Extend mandatory disaster assistance to strengthen safety net for farmers- The Administration proposes to extend the permanent disaster assistance program, established for the first time in the 2008 Farm Bill, for the 2012 to 2016 crops.

NSAC comments on the President’s proposals were issued in a press release that also announced NSAC’s farm bill budget recommendations for the new congressional Super Committee tasked with coming up with a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction package by November.


Categories: Budget and Appropriations, Conservation, Energy & Environment, Farm Bill


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