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By Veronique de Rugy

It’s that time of year again. Millions of Americans gathered for Thanksgiving meals of turkey and plentiful sides. I hope you enjoyed yourself, because as a taxpayer, a consumer or even a producer of some of that food, you paid a stiff price for the privilege of celebrating this cherished American holiday.

Every year, the federal government dishes out north of $20 billion in farm subsidies. Five crops (wheat, corn, soybeans, rice and cotton) make up more than 80 percent of agricultural subsidies. They go to big agro-businesses and investors, many of whom are in cities far away from the fields of harvest. The result is that for us taxpayers, the rolls, long-grain rice, stuffing and creamed corn on our plates, as well as the cotton tablecloths we’re dining on, cost us before we even went to the store.

Our turkeys are subsidized, too, through government giveaways to livestock producers. And so are our potatoes and cranberry sauce, which benefit from payments by crop insurance programs on a regular basis. Pretty much everything we swallow on Thanksgiving and in the days of eating leftovers that follow have been subsidized once, if not twice.

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