Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts today applauded the federal crop insurance program, which he said has protected the state's farmers from the ongoing drought.
And -- in an apparent slap at victims of Sandy, the east coast storm -- Roberts said the insurance program differs from other disaster relief.
“Even after two years of sustained drought in the plains and facing a third year, Kansas producers once again put seeds in the ground," he said in a quote provided in a press release.
"This is not due to some day-late or dollar-short ad hoc disaster package, but because they managed their risk and protected their operations from Mother Nature’s destruction through the purchase of crop insurance.”
But Roberts' statement leaves out the large taxpayer subsidies for that crop insurance.
From 1995-2011, the Environmental Work Group says, federal taxpayers provided almost $3 billion to subsidize crop insurance premiums in Kansas.
At the same time, the crop insurance program requires federal taxpayers to subsidize the losses of insurance companies providing the actual insurance policies and paying claims. Those reimbursements came to almost $4.5 billion, in Kansas alone, over the same period.
That means Kansas farmers received a $7.5 billion taxpayer subsidy for crop insurance premiums and payments over the 1995-2011 period.
As readers here know, Roberts hasn't been shy about asking for ad hoc disaster relief, either.
In 2007, on the Senate floor, after a winter storm: "The bottom line is that the State of Kansas needs its Federal Government to assist in restoring power and clearing massive amounts of snow. And they need this assistance immediately--not next week, next month, or next year."