Aug 28, 2007 — Next month, the U.S. Senate will try to craft a new farm bill. The existing one expires in October. The House of Representatives passed its version this summer with a staggering $286 billion price tag. Now Senators will jockey to get the most subsidy money for the crops grown in their state. Politicians use this kind of "as long as I get mine" legislating to make the best of what's widely considered a broken system. The farm subsidy system was created during the Great Depression to help small farmers survive. But, today, just 10% of America's farmers get two-thirds of the subsidies. Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, and former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen have reaped thousands of dollars for land they own. A recent Government Accountability Office audit found that since 1999, the agriculture department handed out more than $1 billion in payments to dead people. Michelle Perez is a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, based in Washington, DC. The public interest research group has been trying to reform the farm subsidy program, or eliminate it altogether. It created the first searchable online database of farm subsidy recipients. Perez spoke with David Sommerstein.