“CAGW members are an iconoclastic bunch skeptical about politicians' promises.” - National Journal

CAGW ISSUES SPENDING CUT ALERT ON MARKET ACCESS PROGRAM

For Immediate Release
November 17, 2010

 

Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

CAGW ISSUES SPENDING CUT ALERT ON MARKET ACCESS PROGRAM

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) issued a spending cut alert for the Market Access Program (MAP) managed by the Department of Agriculture. The MAP aims to help agricultural producers promote U.S. products overseas; however, this corporate welfare program simply funnels millions of dollars to large corporations. President Obama’s Terminations, Reductions and Savings for the Fiscal Year 2011 federal budget, which “identifies programs that do not accomplish their intended objectives, are not efficient, or that replicate efforts being completed by another initiative and recommends these programs for either termination or reduction,” identified MAP as a potential spending cut.

President Obama’s Debt Commission Report also listed the MAP among its $3 billion in recommended agriculture program reductions.

“CAGW has been critical of the MAP for many years, in particular how it provides taxpayer subsidies to profitable companies,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “In these tough financial times, President Obama and Congress could begin to exercise fiscal restraint by not just reducing, but eliminating corporate welfare programs like MAP.”

On March 10, 2010 the House Republican Study Committee Sunset Caucus criticized the program as wasteful: “The Market Access Program spends millions of taxpayer dollars annually for advertising and promotion to profitable, private companies. Taxpayers should not be forced to pick up the check for this kind of corporate welfare. . . Amongst other egregious funding, the MAP program has provided funding to the USA Poultry and Egg Expert Council (which includes such profitable companies as Butterball, Tyson, Wampler and Perdue), the U.S. Grains Council (which includes Monsanto), and the MAP granted $2.1 million to Sunkist Growers, Inc. which had over $860.5 million in revenues in 2009.”

The Market Access Program is one of CAGW’s top targets for spending cuts and is included in CAGW’s Prime Cuts database, a compendium of 763 waste-cutting recommendations that would save taxpayers $350 billion in the first year and $2.2 trillion over five years. The elimination of this program would save taxpayers $231 million over a five-year period.

“While Prime Cuts is not the only answer, it will help reduce the $1.3 trillion deficit, the $13.7 trillion national debt, and keep more money in the hands of individuals and small businesses that can more directly address the stubborn 9.6 percent jobless rate,” said Tom Schatz. “The spendthrifts in Washington should read and adopt every recommendation in the 2010 Prime Cuts,” Schatz concluded.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement, and abuse in government.