When I was working in Benefit-Cost Analysis and Public Policy Economics, a colleague told me a tale about his friend the mohair goat farmer. "Mohair goat farmer - what's that?" you ask. A mohair goat is a goat whose hair - mohair - produces a fiber of particular value in the making of a certain type of military cloth. Now, the military had a hard time getting its hands on mohair. It seems there were never enough people who chose mohair goat farmer as their occupation. Moreover, the peasants who did mohair had a habit of being born and then continuing to live, for decades at a time, in lands of unreliable relation to the USA. Therefore in the interest of securing domestic production of this important strategic good, our government began to subsidize mohair goat farming. Heavily. So heavily, in fact, that a man searching through government records for the most-subsidized line of work of all would come upon - you guessed it - mohair goat farming. And that is how my colleague's friend became a mohair goat farmer.
I do not know whether husbandry of this noble caprid remains the most heavily-subsidized business in America, but I do know that video game development is getting close. Brian Keegan (thanks Brian!) sent around this piece about the government's favors for game development, most of them apparently accidental. Video games are not a strategic resource (yet), but Uncle Sam still smiles on them almost as much as he smiles on those preciously hairy goats.