Paying non-farmers not to farm

The Washington Post

By Alec Brandon

The Washington Post reports today that the Federal government has been paying people who live on land that may have once been farmed:

Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post.Some of them collect hundreds of thousands of dollars without planting a seed.

This actually makes sense if you accept the premise that one of the chief responsibilities of the federal government is to prop up the farming industry, then paying every non-farmer (and farmer) not to farm is a fantastic idea. Gar…But seriously, how far is our government willing to go to float this failed industry? How far are politicians willing to go to get votes at the cost of the rest of the country?