Forbes Fat Cats Billionaires Collect Taxpayer-Funded Farm Subsidies (1995 to 2012)

Forbes Fat Cats Billionaires Collect Taxpayer-Funded Farm Subsidies 1995 to 2012

- By Alex Rindler, The Environmental Working Group Policy Associate - Thursday, November 7, 2013

The federal government paid out $11.3 billion in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies to 50 billionaires, or farm businesses in which they had an interest between 1995 to 2012, and changes to the farm bill being weighed by Congress could well increase their take. The billionaires profiting from farm subsidies were identified by matching EWG’s Farm Subsidy Database with the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

The billionaires who received farm subsidies between 1995 through 2012 have a collective net worth of $316 billion, based on the Forbes magazine estimates. They include:

* David Rockefeller, Sr. (Net worth: $20.8 billion) Former chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Bank

* Paul Allen (Net worth: $15.8 billion) Co-founder of Microsoft

* Charles Ergen (Net worth: $12.5 billion) Co-founder of DISH Network

* Philip Anschutz (Net worth: $10.3 billion) Owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group and co-founder of Major League Soccer

* Leonard Lauder (Net worth: $7.6 billion) Son of Estee Lauder and former CEO of the Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

* Jim Kennedy (Net worth: $6.7 billion) Chairman of Cox Enterprises

* S. Truett Cathy(Net worth: $6 billion) Founder of Chick-fil-A

* Leslie Wexner (Net worth: $5.7 billion) CEO of L Brands Inc., which owns Victoria's Secret

* Charles Schwab (Net worth: $5.1 billion) Founder of brokerage firm Charles Schwab Corporation

* Stewart & Lynda Resnick (Net worth: $3.5 billion) Owners of POM Wonderful, Fiji Water and Teleflora

* Penny Pritzker (Net worth: $2.2 billion) U.S. Secretary of Commerce

See the full list of the criminal billionaires who have been receiving farm subsidies below

Many of these same criminal billionaires may have also receive crop insurance subsidies, but taxpayers have no way of knowing because current law prohibits the disclosure of the identities of crop insurance policyholders.

According to the Environmental Working Group's analysis, more than 40 billionaires own properties that grow crops that are among the most likely to be insured through the federal crop insurance program, including corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and sorghum. From 1995 to 2012, these five crops account for nearly $44 billion in premium subsidies - about 82 percent of total crop insurance subsidies and more than two-thirds of all acres enrolled in the crop insurance program.

A congressional conference committee is currently meeting to come up with a new farm bill, and proposed changes adopted in both the House and Senate versions of the bill will likely allow these billionaires to bank millions more in premium subsidies. Both bills would shift subsidies from programs currently subject to means testing to the more generous crop insurance program. Unlike traditional farm subsidies, crop insurance premium subsidies are not currently subject to means testing, payment limits or conservation requirements.

In 2008, Congress created a means test that was designed to deny some subsidies to individuals with annual off-farm income of more than $500,000. The year before, Bloomberg News published a report highlighting some of the billionaires who had been receiving subsidies. But, lawmakers specifically declined to apply it to crop insurance, which has become the primary government support for farm business income.

The farm bill conference committee is debating whether to include a modest crop insurance means test that would reduce premium subsidies for the largest one percent of farm businesses – a provision that twice passed the Senate and was endorsed last month by a non-binding resolution in the House.

On average, taxpayers cover 62 percent of the cost of crop insurance premiums. In 2011 alone, some 26 policyholders received more than $1 million each in premium support, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data analyzed by EWG. More than 10,000 policyholders received more than $100,000 each in premium support that year. In 2012, the USDA's Risk Managment Agency reported the crop insurance program cost taxpayers $14.1 billion.

Like other farm subsidies, crop insurance subsidies overwhelmingly flow to the largest and most successful farm businesses. According to data the Environmental Working Group compiled from USDA, the largest one percent of farm businesses received about $227,000 a year in crop insurance premium support in 2011 – while the bottom 80 percent received only about $5,000 apiece.



 

Forbes Fat Cats Billionaires Collect Taxpayer-Funded Farm Subsidies: Forbes 400 Subsidy Recipients (1995 – 2012)

November 7, 2013

The billionaires profiting from farm subsidies were identified by matching the Environmental Working Group's Farm Subsidy Database with the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

* Paul Allen (Net worth: $15.8 billion, #26 on Forbes 400 Kona Residence Trust, received $144,429 in barley subsidies from 1996 to 2006

* Philip Anschutz, Net worth: $10.3 billion, #38 on Forbes 400 Clm Company, received $553,323 in cotton, wheat, sorghum, corn, oat, barley and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003. -- Plus Equus Farms, received $53,191 in livestock subsidies in 2002.

* John Arrillaga, Net worth: $1.8 billion, #314 on Forbes 400 Peery & Arrillaga, received $59,711 in wheat, sorghum, corn, barley, safflower and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2006

* Lee Bass, Net worth: $2.1 billion, #260 on Forbes 400 Panther City Cattle Company, received $823,129 in cotton, wheat, corn and sorghum subsidies from 2000 to 2007. -- Plus El Coyote Ranch, received $297,950 in wheat, sorghum, corn, soybean, oat and barley subsidies from 1995 to 2002

* Riley Bechtel, Net worth: $3.4 billion, #143 on Forbes 400 Fremont Investors, received $484,283 in rice and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003.

* Stephen Bechtel, Jr., Net worth: $3.4 billion, #143 on Forbes 400 Fremont Investors, received $484,283 in rice and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003. -- Plus Wild Goose Club, received $947 in farm subsidies from 2006 to 2010

* Eli Broad, Net worth: $6.9 billion, #59 on Forbes 400 Placer Ranch Partners LP, received $56,880 in wheat and rice subsidies from 1995 to 2005

* S. Truett Cathy, Net worth: $6 billion, #68 on Forbes 400 Rock Ranch LLC, received $40,536 in livestock subsidies in 2003

* Gayle Cook, Net worth: $5.2 billion, #85 on Forbes 400 Cedar Farm Harrison County Inc., received $41,141 in soybean, corn and tobacco subsidies from 1998 to 2003

* Richard DeVos, Net worth: $6.8 billion, #60 on Forbes 400 Ada Holdings LLC, received $37,986 in corn, wheat and soybean subsidies from 2001 to 2006

* Charles Ergen, Net worth: $12.5 billion, #32 on Forbes 400 Telluray Ranch, received $117,826 in crop and livestock disaster payments from 2002 to 2008

* Gerald J. Ford, Net worth: $1.9 billion, #296 on Forbes 400 Rio Hondo Land & Cattle Co. Inc., received $222,433 in wool subsidies from 1995 to 2003

* Harold Hamm, Net worth: $12.4 billion, #33 on Forbes 400 $26,785 in wheat subsidies and disaster payments from 1995 to 2002. -- Plus Continental Resources of Illinois, received $318 in disaster payments, corn and soybean subsidies from 2003 to 2004

* Diane Hendricks, Net worth: $4.4 billion, #103 on Forbes 400 H&H Farms of Wisconsin Inc., received $379,933 in corn, soybean, wheat, oat and other farm subsidies from 1998 to 2001

* Ray Lee Hunt, Net worth: $5.6 billion, #74 on Forbes 400 Sharyland Limited Partnership, received $110,270 in cotton, sorghum, sunflower and corn subsidies from 1998 to 2000. -- Plus Hunt Oil Co., received $49,381 in livestock subsidies in 2002

* Paul Tudor Jones, II., Net worth: $3.7 billion, #130 on Forbes 400 Buck Ridge Farms LLC, received $8,260 in crop disaster payments, cotton, soybean, sorghum and corn subsidies from 1998 to 2003 -- Plus Tudor Farms Inc., received $1 in sorghum subsidies in 1996

* George Kaiser, Net worth: $10 billion, #40 on Forbes 400 Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, received $17,518 in wheat, sorghum and barley subsidies from 1996 to 2003

* Jim Kennedy, Net worth: $6.7 billion, #61 on Forbes 400 $37,162 in rice, corn, sorghum, wheat, soybean, sunflower and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2004. -- Plus York Woods At Yonkapin Cutoff LLC, received $19,545 in rice, sorghum and soybean subsidies from 2002 to 2003

* Henry Kravis, Net worth: $4.7 billion, #95 on Forbes 400 M&T Chico Ranch, received $511,633 in wheat, rice, corn, sorghum, sunflower, safflower, barley and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2005. -- Plus M&T Staten Ranch, received $502,363 in corn and wheat subsidies from 1996 to 2002

* Ann Walton Kroenke, Net worth: $4.7 billion, #95 on Forbes 400 JL Walton Trust, received $13,273 in corn, wheat, sorghum, soybean and oat subsidies from 1996 to 2002. -- Plus St. Roberts Centers & Farms, received $6,642 in corn, wheat, sorghum and soybean subsidies from 1996 to 2002. -- And $378 in corn and sorghum subsidies in 1995.

* Leonard Lauder, Net worth: $7.6 billion, #56 on Forbes 400 Horizon Organic Dairy Idaho Farm, received $360,102 in wheat, diary, barley, corn and other farm subsidies from 1997 to 2004. -- Plus Horizon Organic Dairy Maryland Farm, received $202,088 in dairy, corn, soybean, wheat and other farm subsidies from 1998 to 2005.

* Nancy Walton Laurie, Net worth: $4 billion, #110 on Forbes 400 JL Walton Trust, received $13,273 in corn, wheat, sorghum, soybean and oat subsidies from 1996 to 2002. -- Plus St. Roberts Centers & Farms, received $6,642 in corn, wheat, sorghum and soybean subsidies from 1996 to 2002.

* Marianne Liebmann, Net worth: $2.6 billion, #209 on Forbes 400 Morse Land Co. Ltd., received $4,282 in livestock, barley, oat, wheat and other farm subsidies from 2000 to 2005.

* Whitney MacMillan, Net worth: $3.8 billion, #122 on Forbes 400 $25,226 in wheat and barley subsidies from 1996 to 1999. -- Plus Wild Eagle Mountain Ranch LLC, received $10,417 in wheat and barley subsidies from 2001 to 2003.

* Neal Patterson, Net worth: $1.5 billion, #352 on Forbes 400 $51,911 in wheat and sorghum subsidies from 1995 to 2001. -- Plus Southpoint Farms LLC, received $66,770 in disaster payments, wheat, sorghum and other farm subsidies from 2002 to 2012.

* Richard Peery, Net worth: $2.1 billion, #260 on Forbes 400 Peery & Arrillaga, received $59,711 in wheat, sorghum, corn, barley, safflower and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2006.

* Anthony Pritzker, Net worth: $3 billion, #166 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Daniel Pritzker, Net worth: $1.95 billion, #293 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Jay Robert Pritzker, Net worth: $3 billion, #166 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Jean (Gigi) Pritzker, Net worth: $2.1 billion, #260 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Jennifer Pritzker, Net worth: $1.7 billion, #327 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* John Pritzker, Net worth: $2 billion, #273 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Karen Pritzker, Net worth: $3.3 billion, #151 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Linda Pritzker, Net worth: $1.8 billion, #314 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Nicholas Pritzker, II., Net worth: $1.35 billion, #382 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Penny Pritzker, Net worth: $2.2 billion, #252 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Thomas Pritzker, Net worth: $2.7 billion, #201 on Forbes 400 Chicago Mill & Lumber Co., received $1,604,288 in cotton, soybean, corn, sorghum, wheat, rice, oat and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Stewart & Lynda Resnick, Net worth: $3.5 billion, #134 on Forbes 400 Paramount Land Co. LP, received $576,603 in wheat, cotton, corn, sorghum and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2002.

* David Rockefeller, Sr., Net worth: $20.8 billion, #193 on Forbes 400 $563,715 in corn, soybean, wheat, oat, sorghum and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2006.

* Robert Rowling, Net worth: $4.9 billion, #93 on Forbes 400 Rowling Ranch Corp., received $157,427 in corn, sorghum and livestock subsidies from 2000 to 2008.

* Fayez Sarofim, Net worth: $2 billion, #273 on Forbes 400 Holly Sugar Corp., received $51,246 in wheat, corn, barley, sugar beet, oat and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003. -- Plus FS Ranch Corporation, received $67,125 in livestock subsidies in 2002.

* Charles Schwab, Net worth: $5.1 billion, #88 on Forbes 400 $525,593 in rice and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003.

* Walter Scott, Jr., Net worth: $2.2 billion, #252 on Forbes 400 $62,031 in livestock subsidies in 2002. -- Plus Double Eight Land Corp., received $41,101 in livestock subsidies in 2002.

* Harold Simmons, Net worth: $10 billion, #40 on Forbes 400 Dixie Rice Agriculture Corp., received $677,300 in rice, sorghum and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003. -- Plus Southwest Louisiana Land Co Inc., received $272,511 in disaster payments, rice, soybean and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003. -- And Contran Realty Corp., received $17,754 in rice and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2003. -- And Contran Corp., received $2,960 in wheat subsidies from 1998 to 2000.

* Warren Stephens, Net worth: $2.5 billion, #222 on Forbes 400 Stephens Group Incorporated, received $146,260 in peanut, wheat, corn, oat, sorghum and other farm subsidies from 1996 to 2003. -- PLUS Greenbriar Lodge LLC, received $86,642 in rice, soybean and wheat subsidies from 2002 to 2008.

* Glen Taylor, Net worth: $1.7 billion, #327 on Forbes 400 Glen A. Taylor Revocable Trust, received $832,970 in corn, soybean, wheat, oat and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2007.

* Alice Walton, Net worth: $33.5 billion, #8 on Forbes 400 Robson Ranch Inc., received $261,292 in crop disaster payments, wheat, soybean, corn and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2008.

* Jim Walton, Net worth: $33.8 billion, #7 on Forbes 400 Robson Ranch Inc., received $261,292 in crop disaster payments, wheat, soybean, corn and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2008.

* S. Robson Walton, Net worth: $33.3 billion, #9 on Forbes 400 Robson Ranch Inc., received $261,292 in crop disaster payments, wheat, soybean, corn and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2008.

* Leslie Wexner, Net worth: $5.7 billion, #73 on Forbes 400 LAW Plantation Co. LLC, received $209,717 in wheat, corn, sorghum and oat subsidies from 1997 to 2003. -- Plus The New Albany Co., received $5,989 in farm subsidies in 1996.

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