From The Washington Times:
The American Farm Bureau Federation said this week that the cost of the average Thanksgiving meal reached its highest amount ever this year, topping $50 for a family of 10. But most Americans might be surprised to know that they also pay for their holiday dinners with their taxes.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just about every staple on a traditional Thanksgiving table — except for the stuffing and turkey — is considered a “specialty crop” that the federal government subsidizes.
Over 300 specialty crops are eligible for federal support under the USDA’s $72.5 million annual Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate, highlighted the grant program in a special edition of his weekly “waste report.”
Most Americans might expect crops that are “rare, atypical, and thus in need of competitive enhancement” to fall under the USDA’s “specialty crop” grant program, Mr. Paul wrote. But, according to the USDA, “just about everything is ‘special.’”
Some of the supported “specialty” crops are apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, sweet corn, potatoes, green beans, peas, broccoli, grapes, almonds, pears, cherries, carrots and Brussels sprouts.
In an April 2014 blog post, Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack wrote, “Specialty crops make up the bulk of what we eat — all of our fruits and vegetables, tree nuts and dried fruits — as well as things like cut flowers.”
For using millions of American tax dollars to subsidize foods that many of us already buy, meddling with the…