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Henry Wallace

End farm subsidies and make agriculture sustainable

End farm subsidies and make agriculture sustainable

Farm subsidies could finally be on the chopping block.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently acknowledged that corn and ethanol "subsidies need to be phased out" over time. And on a swing through Iowa, Mr. Vilsack suggested that the Obama administration will support some cuts in next year's budget.

On the right, Sen. Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, has called for an end to sugar subsidies, and the budget plan from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would reduce agricultural handouts — which often go to large corporate farmers — by $30 billion over 10 years.

This is good news. Agricultural subsidies cost taxpayers more than $15 billion each year,...