Democrats & Liberals Archives

I Want a Subsidy

Congress is working on a farm bill giving away $288 billion over 5 years to farmers. I thought we did not have any money, at least none for sick children. But wait, the legislators are considering an amendment that only those making less than $250,000 a year would be elligible. Well, I make less than $250,000 a year. Why am I not eligible?

The answer is simple: I am not a farmer.

The L.A. Times reports about the farm bill:

The $288-billion measure would boost spending for conservation but continue crop subsidies as farm incomes hit record levels.

$288 billion for farmers. How do they get away with this? Most lawmakers go along. Why? They have been "bribed" with the inclusion of school lunches. Who wants to be against school lunches for poor kids?

Farm bills are always bi-partisan. The same Republicans who have decided they would prevent Democrats from achieving anything during this legislative session, are joining Democrats to vote for subsidies to farmers. You can see the bi-partisanship with this amendment by a Republican and a Democrat:

Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) have an amendment that would limit payments to farmers who earn less than $250,000 a year and are actively involved in agriculture.

Why are they doing this? Well, obviously they are following their party principles. Republicans believe in self-reliance, and we are told, nobody is more hard working, independent and self-reliant than a farmer who risks everything to maintain his frugal lifestyle. Therefore, the farmer deserves a subsidy. Democrats believe in helping the little guy. And here are really little people who cannot even make $250,000 a year. Therefore, such poor farmers deserve subsidies. QED.

However, despite this perfect logic, I think this is grossly unfair - to me. Sure, I am not a farmer. But I am just as hard working, independent and self-reliant as any farmer and I do not make $250,000 a year. I want, I deserve, a subsidy.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 6, 2007 3:57 PM
Comment #237716

something like over 80% of the subsidies got to commodities that we don’t eat…and they go to corporate farms, not your run-of-the-mill, scraping-by family farm…

Corporatism at its best…AKA fascism.

Posted by: Rachel at November 6, 2007 4:30 PM
Comment #237717

The Farm Subsidies are always contentious, city folk do not understand the risks of farming nor the costs to farmers of government mandates on land use and maintenance. That said, subsidies to corporate farmers are ludicrous. There is a whole industry built around crop and farm insurance.

I say end the subsidies to any corporate farmers except for government mandated costs, and then sunsetted for 3 years maximum. Give farmers making less than $150,000 net income per year a dollar for dollar write off on their taxes for crop insurance. Then, if a natural disaster wipes out their crops or cows, the insurance companies pick up the tab, not the tax payers.

Farmers are no better, nor deserving of government subsidies than a welder or McDonald’s counter worker. Family owned farm owners have a higher cost associated with their all important occupation (living rural) and the accommodation for that is in the tax write off of crop insurance if net income is under $150,000 in a year.

Farms are vital to America. But, farmers should be allowed to succeed or fail in their occupation like anyone else self-employed. The government should offer incentives for MORE, not less, family owned farms. The risk reduction for both tax payers and failures resulting from scale would be worth the incentives.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2007 4:37 PM
Comment #237720

So giving money for doing nothing to the urban areas trash is great, but giving money to a rural farmer who actually works his ass off from sun up to way after sun down, is “grossly unfair?”
This must be the blue column.

“farmers should be allowed to succeed or fail in their occupation like anyone else self-employed”

That would be the most sensible way to handle it David.
I would only ad that people should also be allowed to succeed or fail in life and be responsible for that too.

Posted by: kctim at November 6, 2007 5:03 PM
Comment #237726

kctim, millions of Americans fail through no fault of their own. For them, as farmers forced to make expenditures resulting from federal or state mandate, should receive help.

A person thrown out of a job because of a “free” trade agreement should receive assistance to become employed again. Same with farmers whose land is thrown out of use by EPA regulations for example.

People should be allowed to succeed or fail on their on merits. When government policies create failure for citizens, those citizens should ethically receive assistance in getting back on their feet. There is a difference, and it is huge, morally, ethically, and in the numbers of Americans affected negatively by policy decisions.

No one asks the beneficiaries of government policy to pay for their benefits, so, no one harmed by government policy should be left to eat the losses they didn’t create.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2007 7:07 PM
Comment #237727

“That would be the most sensible way to handle it David. I would only ad that people should also be allowed to succeed or fail in life and be responsible for that too.” Posted by: kctim at November 6, 2007 05:03 PM

Very good point kctim. I grew up in Wisconsin on a small dairy farm that supported seven people. No subsidies back in the 40’s. And, we did work hard, ate well and didn’t complain. Subsidies to farm co-op’s usually stink of politics. The small family farm should get some help as few occupations are at the mercy of Mother Nature as farmers. It’s difficult to unionize farmers and they generally have no collective bargining which protects many urban and city workers. Stop all the political, vote-generating hand-outs. Both sides of Congress are guilty of spending tax payer money to influence votes. I had hoped the new Democrat majority, which ran on more honest goverment and ending pork, would be effective. But, they and the Republican’s just can’t wean themselves from our tax dollars. I have donated no money to either party so far this year and have limited my donations to individuals in Congress who adhere to my conservative principles. I hope that thinking liberals stop following the party line and the edicts of Moveon.orgasm and vote for candidates who will actually make a change in our bloated and non-functioning Congress.

Posted by: Jim at November 6, 2007 7:10 PM
Comment #237734

The way the money is spent sucks too. Most of it is not on food people actually eat, or is on corn, which is not exactly doing wonders for our diet.

Btw, someone please post on Bush’s massive failure with Pakistan. :-)

Posted by: Max at November 6, 2007 8:25 PM
Comment #237735

Max, I have written about Bush / Musharraf a number of times.

On Mar. 5, 2006, I wrote: “Is our ever dimwitted President unaware that Musharraf is a dictator, a man who came to power October 12, 1999 after a coup d’état—with the full backing of the military—and assumed the title of president of Pakistan on June 2001. Ever since then he has promised to hold elections but somehow that always falls through. Oh, but he has promised to try again next year. “

On Mar. 26, 2006 I wrote: “The Whitehouse, with President Bush’s explicit consent, has agreed to sell nuclear bomb carrying capable F-16 jets to Pakistan. In just 48 hours after that announcement comes a related story by Reuters News, which tells of a U.S. - India agreement “to a series of steps to boost defense and energy ties…” Given that the military dictator of Pakistan refused to adhere to his promise to relinquish his position as head of the military, where does Bush’s trust in this dictator come from?”

And on Nov. 22, 2004, I wrote: “Child psychologists warn against it. Psychiatrists warn against it. President Bush criticized Clinton for it with N. Korea. So, why has bribing good behavior become the Bush administration’s central foreign policy theme?

The President said this week he will send more aid to Colombia as a reward and assistance for its anti-drug efforts. The Administration has funneled billions of dollars into dictator Musharraf’s regime in Pakistan for its assistance.”

But, I will think about revisiting the topic. “I told you so” articles don’t go over too well around here.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2007 8:30 PM
Comment #237737

Could you call this socialist farming? Dependancy toward a government other than for maintaining order and defence is always wrong.
This would include health care. 250k and under for farm subs or 83k and under for health subs. Sounds similar.
I could give arguments for the starving kids or ethanol to relieve our dependancy on foriegn oil to justify these payoffs in the same way sick kids are used for justification of federalized health care.
No matter the urgency of a need, the fact is, taking one person’s income to pay another’s need not only lacks real compassion but is an open door for waste and corruption.
Direct benevolence is the best way to help others. Government programs always sabotage this principle

Posted by: Kruser at November 6, 2007 8:51 PM
Comment #237739

Farm subsidies and tariffs built American agriculture the economic powerhouse and breadbasket it is today.Should payments be limited to $250000 a year ? Sure,there is always room to fine tune a remarkably successful program but to end it for idealogical or worse from simple jealousy is the hieght of foolish behavior. Results trump sniveling from the right or left.

Posted by: BillS at November 6, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #237740

Farm subsidies and tariffs built American agriculture the economic powerhouse and breadbasket it is today.Should payments be limited to $250000 a year ? Sure,there is always room to fine tune a remarkably successful program but to end it for idealogical or worse from simple jealousy is the hieght of foolish behavior. Results trump sniveling from the right or left.

Posted by: BillS at November 6, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #237742

One big reason for subsidizing agriculture is fear over a potential for the “Walmartization” of agriculture. A process whereby it’s less profitable to grow food here than to import it.

As far as international relations go, it’s bad enough that we’re so dependent on foreign oil. Imagine the knots our foreign policy could get tied up in if we started to depend on others for food in the same we do oil, food, electronics, clothes, etc.

In practice, as with every government program that started with a worthy aim, it gets abused by freeloaders and pork-hungry politicos. Which means it should be reformed. Not abolished.

I don’t see how anybody who could be for welfare, or national health care for that matter, could maintain intellectual consistency and also be against agricultural subsidies.

Posted by: Liam at November 6, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #237745
Results trump sniveling from the right or left.

It also can trump principle. Just because something presents results, it does not mean the long term impact OR the methods should be acceptable.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 6, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #237751

Ha, I beat you all to this, nyah nyah! Ok, childishness aside, I did post about this several days ago with this link to Time Magazine. Anyone who has any support in their hearts for this bloated chunk of pork should read this article. We are damaging our credibility on the world market by passing bills like this, and with the weakening dollar, the soaring energy prices, and the housing bust, that is something we cannot afford.


PS, if anyone claims liberal bias on Time’s part, I will personally chuck a pixel at the back of their head. :-)

Posted by: leatherankh at November 7, 2007 12:21 AM
Comment #237753

Let me rephrase that. Results trump principle in this case.I say in this case because generally I hold principle as important as do you. The long term results are already evident. Subsidies have been a big reason agriculture has been thriving since the depression. To abandon long term US farm policy would cause the collapse of a vital industry,increase rural poverty and lead to food shortages and spiraling prices in the cities.
I am not saying there is no room for improvement but generally it is a widely successful program and should not be dismissed out of hand.
There is a reasonable arguement that they give give an unfair advantage to American farmers over farmers in poor countries. Is it a bad thing to give an advantage to Americans now? How about the many poor countries that cannot feed their own people clammering for the ability to export agricultural products like coffee and roses instead of growing food?

Posted by: Bills at November 7, 2007 12:40 AM
Comment #237759

David, failing due to personal negligence or simple bad luck is alot different than “failing” due to govt mandates.

Posted by: kctim at November 7, 2007 9:14 AM
Comment #237762
but giving money to a rural farmer who actually works his ass off from sun up to way after sun down, is “grossly unfair?”

This is myth. You don’t need to get your hands dirty to get farm subsidies. Actually there is a map going around of people who live in Manhattan who get farm subsidies. They may be working their ass off at SOMETHING, but it’s not farming.

I have yet to see a convincing explanation for why we need massive farm subsidies.

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 7, 2007 9:58 AM
Comment #237763

It’s not easy to live at the expense of everyone else.

I want some $ub$idie$ too!

If we all get $ub$idie$, then we will all be happy, eh?

Check out this database cu$hy $ub$idie$.
Here’s just the top 20 $ub$idie$ for 2005 for Texas alone:
1 H Bar H Farms Gp / Farwell, TX 79325 $1,602,132
2 Lahey Farms Ptn / Brownfield, TX 79316 $1,539,320
3 Peanut Loan Processing Center Gorman, TX 76454 $1,397,235
4 Kitten Land Co / Slaton, TX 79364 $1,271,124
5 3n Farms / La Ward, TX 77970 $1,263,739
6 Smith & Sons / Bishop, TX 78343 $1,259,691
7 Wilder Farms Inc / Clearwater, FL 33763 $1,175,219
8 Vardeman Farms Ptnship / Slaton, TX 79364 $1,170,947
9 Janysek Brothers / Karnes City, TX 78118 $1,164,886
10 Hlavinka Cattle Co Jv / East Bernard, TX 77435 $1,142,724
11 Red River Farms / Childress, TX 79201 $1,039,947
12 Four M Brothers / Floydada, TX 79235 $1,010,191
13 H-g Farms / Floydada, TX 79235 $965,924
14 Heckman Farms J V / Dalhart, TX 79022 $942,961
15 Schoepf Fms Ptn / Lorenzo, TX 79343 $941,117
16 T K Land & Cattle Co / Corpus Christi, TX 78410 $936,834
17 F D G Farms / Wharton, TX 77488 $931,379
18 Thomas Kennedy Thomas Farms / Lubbock, TX 79424 $928,138
19 Krenmueller Farms / San Juan, TX 78589 $916,221
20 3-d Farms / Mumford, TX 77867 $910,236

HHHMmmmmmm … I think I’m in the wrong business.

Who says we don’t have any money?
Just a few years ago, we had a surplus! ? !
And they say DEBT is MONEY.
And we have $9.09 Trillion DEBT.
Therefore, we must have a LOT of money? (as evidenced by Congress’ spending and borrowing and spending and borrowing).
And we borrowed and spent $12.8 Trillion from Social Security.
And if we run out, we can simply print (47 minute video) and borrow more.
After all, it’s been working for many decades, so it must be a good system, eh?

Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2007 10:27 AM
Comment #237764

Woody, living in Manhattan now qualifies as being a rural farmer?
We are always told that help for the needy should not be curbed because of the lazy, so why should we compare hard working farmers to farming companies?

And calling it a myth only shows ones lack of knowledge of the subject.
Using such spin to create a false perception of unfairness, in order to garner support, may work in the city, but those of us who have actually worked on a farm and lived off it, know better.

I don’t believe in massive farm subsidies either, but I’m not going to put down those hard working bastards just to prove my point.

Posted by: kctim at November 7, 2007 10:30 AM
Comment #237770

Kruser said: “No matter the urgency of a need, the fact is, taking one person’s income to pay another’s need not only lacks real compassion”

What a heartless and inhumane comment. My sister’s death by cancer and heart strain was a very painful experience for her, but, with Medicare she could afford the pain relievers to ease her dying. I thank my fellow Americans for helping my sister manage her intense pain and suffering from brain and spinal cancer by providing the money for her medications.

Her quality of life in the year before her death was immeasurably improved by the Medicare taxes most Americans pay. In fact, she died in her apartment carrying on with semi-normal everyday activities. She died with her dignity and integrity intact, knowing she was loved and cared about.

Kruser, I wouldn’t wish her suffering upon you, but, I certainly hope for your sake, that if you ever have to suffer that kind of pain and run out of, or don’t have the resources to pay for the medications, that the Medicare concept you dislike so much, will be there to provide the medications you would so desperately require in my sister’s situation.

The inability by some to walk in another’s shoes is truly one of human kind’s greatest hurdles, despite the teachings of people like Siddhartha, Jesus, Mother Theresa, Adam Smith, and Florence Nightingale. Fortunately for human kind, most societies, and communities of people develop and exercise that ability.

It never ceases to amaze me, this philosophy of some built around secession from the human race when it comes to taxes or public support, while these very same individual’s income and way of life could not exist without the millions of others who create that system of income which they enjoy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 7, 2007 11:28 AM
Comment #237773

Allowing another to believe as they wish and to live their life as they wish, is also one of human kinds greatest hurdles, David.

In a country founded on individual liberty and freedom, govt should not be used to force people what to believe, whom to care for or how to help another.

Taxes are supposed to be used to run govt, not lives.

Posted by: kctim at November 7, 2007 12:03 PM
Comment #237775

Why should the farmer who works hard and risk everything year after year to feed this hungry nation not be entitled to the drink at the government trough and the lazy shiftless trash that aint worked a day in their worthless lives (and don’t intend to) be entitled to?
While I don’t like subsidies and have refused them in the past and will continue to refuse them. I see a difference between help someone who’s trying to make their own way and wasting money on those that refuse to.
As a lot of y’all might or might not know The Southeast is in the grips of a major drought. A whole heap of farmers are losing their shirts because crops are failing. And crop insurance isn’t paying much of anything. In fact the insurance companies seem to be trying to find ways out of paying anything.
Should these folks have to loose their farms, most of which have been in the family for several generations, and way of life because the weather doesn’t cooperate with them?
I don’t rely on my farm for a living. But for most farmers in this county it’s their only means of making a living. And it really hurts to see your neighbors in the fix their in through no fault of their own.

David said: I say end the subsidies to any corporate farmers except for government mandated costs,

Most farms are incorporated these days. Even the family owned farms. They are incorporated for tax and liability reason. In fact most incorporated farms are family owned and have less than 2500 acres. Hardly the hugh conglarmeratres most folks think they are. Are ya for ending any subsidies to these folks?

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 7, 2007 12:22 PM
Comment #237777

Like I told David, most farms are incorporated for tax and liability reasons. They have to be these days. And these farms are owned by a family with less than 2500 acres.
Are the farms you listed family farms or are they owned by some large holding company? And how big are these operations?
I don’t have any sympathy for the large corporation owned farms. It’s the families that own and farm their own land that I save it for.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 7, 2007 12:33 PM
Comment #237779

Ron Brown & KCTM
Wow again. We are pretty much on the same page. My guess is it has something to do with living and working on farms,at some point anyway.

For those enviormentalist out there: It takes years and much work to build a successful farm. Without the stability subsidies can supply a better business alternative is to sell property anywhere near an urban center to housing developers. Its a sure bet that pays off quickly.If you put in an orchard it is likely to take 5-6 years before it starts to pay off and then years more before it starts to earn profit. Plus you take the risk of dease,market glut,droughts etc.Sell off the land and the money goes to work right away earning interest with no risk.

Posted by: Bills at November 7, 2007 1:27 PM
Comment #237780

I’m not sure which are corporations big corporations or family owned.

Here’s some subsidies for just one farm/ranch on the list above for the:
H Bar H Farms Gp / Farwell, TX 79325

Year / Conservation Subsidies / Disaster Subsidies / Commodity Subsidies / Total USDA Subsidies 1995-2005
1995 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $40,614 ___$40,614
1996 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $52,806 ___$52,806
1997 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $42,550 ___$42,550
1998 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $76,898 ___$76,898
1999 $5,040 _$0 _____ $80,000 ___$85,040
2000 $1,050 _$0 _____ $147,208 _ $148,258
2001 $1,050 _$4,992 _ $229,849 _ $235,891
2002 $1,711 _$0 _____ $131,314 _ $133,025
2003 $1,050 _$0 _____ $128,299 _ $129,349
2004 _ $0 __ $0 _____ $-8,199 __ $-8,199
2005 _ $0 __ $76,348 _ $0 ______ $76,348
Total $9,901 $81,340 $921,339 __ $1,012,580

However, I am against ALL business subsidies.
That’s not what the federal government should be doing.
I want a MUCH smaller federal government, and believe the ONLY things the federal government should do is national defense, and manage trade, and manage foreign affairs.
But now look at the thousands of departments, commissions, agencies, branches, offices, administrations, committees, services, programs, operations, coordinators, divisions, centers, etc., etc., etc.
For year 2005:

  • Department of Agriculture, Budget: $19.1 billion, Employees: 109,832

  • Department of Commerce, Budget: $5.8 billion, Employees: 40,000

  • Department of Defense, Budget: $371 billion, Employees: 2,036,000

  • Department of Education, Budget: $57.3 billion, Employees: 4,487

  • Department of Energy, Budget: $24.3 billion (gross), Employees: 16,100 federal, 100,000 contract

  • Department of Health and Human Services, Budget: $66.8 billion, Employees: 67,000

  • Department of Homeland Security, Budget: $40 billion, Employees: 180,000

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development, Budget: $31.3 billion, Employees: 10,600

  • Department of the Interior, Budget: $10.8 billion, Employees: 71,436

  • Department of Justice, Budget: $22 billion, Employees: 109,000

  • Department of Labor, Budget: $11.9 billion, Employees: 17,347

  • Department of State, Budget: $10.3 billion, Employees: 30,266

  • Department of Transportation, Budget: $61.6 billion, Employees: 60,000

  • Department of the Treasury, Budget: $10.8 billion, Employees: 115,897

  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Budget: $51 billion, Employees: 219,000

Spending is out of control, and the federal government is out of control, and consists of hundreds and thousands of redundant programs and layer upon layer of redundancy that multiply daily like a bacteria resistant to any vaccine.
For example, the federal government has:
  • 342 economic development programs;

  • 130 programs serving the disabled;

  • 130 programs serving at-risk youth;

  • 72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water;

  • 50 homeless assistance programs;

  • 45 federal agencies conducting federal criminal investigations.

And just a casual glance at these huge and numerous farm subsidies helps to explain why the federal government has $9.09 Trillion of National Debt, $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security (and with a 77 Million baby boomer bubble approaching), $450 Billion PBGC pension debt (totaling about $22 Trillion of federal debt).

It’s truly amazing how so out-of-control the federal spending is.
The federal government takes in 19% of GDP, and it is still not enough, and so it borrows and prints more money.
It is ruining the economy, the dollar is falling, real problems are being ignored.
While all this is going on, we have wide-open borders, and the federal government is failing at one of its most fundamental duties, despite Homeland Security’s $40+ Billion annual budget.

The government is so bloated, and has been for so long, most of us take all of the bloat for granted.
It’s shows how truly and severely irresponsible the federal government is, as it continues to grow and grow to nightmare proportions.
It’s no wonder that the dollar is falling.
It has fallen 40% against the EURO in the last 6 years.
The Canadian dollar is now worth more than the U.S. dollar.
Gold is at $800 USD per ounce.
Foreclosures are at record highs.
Merrill Lynch reported the largest loss in 93 years.
GM just reported a $39 Billion loss.
Chrysler is laying off 12,000.
Not to mention MOST in Congress voted for and got us into a war based on flawed intelligence.

Yet, Congress has rewarded itself for all of it by giving themselves raises 9 times in the last 10 years.
But, then most voters reward them for all of it too, as evidenced by Congress’ 95% to 99% re-election rates.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2007 1:44 PM
Comment #237781

I am bothered by this notion that farmers (the real ones) deserve government subsidies because they are somehow better or harder working than other people. What business is it of the government’s what lifestyle people choose to lead?

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 7, 2007 1:49 PM
Comment #237782

Woody, I agree completely.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2007 1:53 PM
Comment #237799

Ron Brown, while family or individual owned farms make up 90% of U.S. farms, they only manage 61% of all farm land. That other 39% of farm land owned by investor corporations, are the ones I refer to as corporate farms. I should have defined my terms, and you were right to point out that most family farms are incorporated.

However, family farms are not in the business of farming to feed the world, they are in the business of farming because that is what they like or choose to do, and again I will say, that they should be allowed to fail if it is their own decisions or management flaws that cause the failure. Same as a welder who fails to show up on time to work or simply produces enough bad welds to justify being fired.

We have this tendency to herald classes of people as more noble than others or less than others. It is a form of prejudice and discrimination that is subtle but no less misleading of reality. Soldiers make extraordinary sacrifices, but soldiers are just people, most choosing to be a soldier for reasons having nothing to do with personal sacrifice, but, more with personal gain. This is empirically demonstrable by the reenlistment bonuses the military must offer to maintain troop strength. Same with farmers, police and fireman, and yes, politicians. Just people who do what they do because that is what they chose to do. Most are average. A few are exceptionally gifted and a few are exceptionally poor at what they do. These distributions of competence are found nearly everywhere in almost every occupation.

It is a fact of life that many sons and daughters who inherit farms from parents who chose that way of life, may not be as talented or capable of operating the farm as their parents were. Yet, the economics of carrying on the farm ownership and management are such that, for some, it precludes the next generation of farmers from choosing other careers.

Thus there are many farmers who fail because they are not well suited in education, mental and psychological disposition and discipline, or emotional disposition to be effective and productive farmers. Government subsidies of incompetence or mismatch between farm occupation and owner, is a very poor use of tax payer dollars. Just as welfare is a poor subsidy for thieves who can’t get a regular job because of their moral or ethical deficiency.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 7, 2007 6:48 PM
Comment #237800

Heavens.Some your commentary sounds like it was lifted from the British press during the potato famine.
Subsidies provide stability to agriculture. WE CAN NOT ALLOW FARMS TO FAIL. NO country can.History is full of examples of what happens when when they do from Mayans to Soviet Russia.Agriculture is even more vital to our security than the MIC and the subsidies they get are a drop in the bucket compared with the defense budget.

Posted by: BillS at November 7, 2007 7:58 PM
Comment #237813

I agree that a farmer should be allowed to succeed or fail on his own. As I said before, I don’t like subsidies. But why is it OK to subsidise a lazy shiftless piece of trash that refuses to even try to work but not the farmer that works hard and risks everything year after year? Specially when crops fail because the weather doesn’t cooperate? And that seems to be what most folks on this side of the blog want to do.

With the drought here in Georgia a lot of farmers can’t pay their bills. And a whole heap of them in about 3 counties owe me for seed, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, feed, and other farm supplies. Now I know that it’s not their fault that they can’t pay. And I aint gonna go after them for it. But how am I going to pay my bills when the folks that owe me can’t pay theirs? What’s wrong with a little help from the government here? It doesn’t have to be a give away. Most folks I know would like to see some sort of a loan that can be paid back over a period of time.
The farmers around here were told not to irrigate because the water was needed for the city and county water systems. But I noticed that Atlanta that is now out of water wasted a whole heap of it opening their pools this summer. And I noticed that no one was told not to wash their cars in order to save water. And I noticed that the folks that have swimming pools were allowed to fill them. But the farmers sure got told not to irrigate their crops.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 8, 2007 12:29 AM
Comment #237878

Ron Brown
In Ca. something Mark Twain said still holds true,inthe West….”Whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting over.”

Posted by: BillS at November 8, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #237904

BillS, who said anything about allowing farms to fail. We were talking about allowing bad managers of farms to fail. Meaning new ownership at after the bankruptcy and foreclosure.

Guess you missed the distinction.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2007 1:20 AM
Comment #237905

Ron, just who are you referring to when you talk about subsidizing those who don’t work? Are you talking about unemployment insurance? As you know, we reformed welfare. Are you talking about job retraining programs after a person’s job is exported to Peru, China, or India through a Free Trade agreement, free for them, costly to us?

Please elaborate. Thanks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2007 1:22 AM
Comment #237928

If ya call the so called welfare reform that Clinton pushed through true reform I’ll sell ya a bridge in San Francisco real cheap.
I thought I was pretty clear what I meant when I said “Lazy shiftless piece of trash that refuses to work”. I sure wasn’t referring to folks that have lost their jobs and not working right at this moment. I was referring to the career welfare bums that aint never worked a day in their worthless lives and refuse to even try.
And there a plenty of them out there. Even with the so called welfare reform of the 90’s.
We get a whole heap of them coming into the store or factory wanting applications. And if they bother to return them ya either can’t read them or most the questions aren’t answered. Either way it assures the person won’t get hired. These idiots are only filling them out in order to stay on welfare.
These are the lazy shiftless pieces of trash I’m referring to.
Why is it OK to keep on subsidising their laziness and not help the farmer who works hard and risks losing everything in order to put food in the mouths of this hungry country?
Like I’ve said before, I don’t like subsidies and never will. I also think that except in certain cases, like the drought we’re currently having here in the Southeast, there shouldn’t be any sort of government subsidies to farmers. If the farmer can’t make it he should, like every other business, be allowed to fail. Like ya told BillS, A new owner might be more suited to farming than the one that failed.
But aint it only fair that if we’re gonna subsidise laziness that we subsidies hard work?
Who do think deserves it more?
BTW, I just picked up 60 acres of a 1500 acre farm that went under because the boy that inherited it didn’t have the business savvy to make it go. His father was a excellent farmer and managed to make money most years. But the boy just didn’t have what it take to make it go.
In cases like this it just stands to reason that the farm should be allowed to fail. But why should good farmers that are faced with losing their farms through no fault of their own, like severe drought, not get a little help to pull them through?

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 9, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #238022
But why should good farmers that are faced with losing their farms through no fault of their own, like severe drought, not get a little help to pull them through?
That’s a vaild argument (i.e. assisting farmers hit by drought, or natural disasters).

However, it appears to be severely out-of-control.

Pork-barrel, corporate welfare, graft, and waste are out of control. The Congress just presented a BILL loaded with billions in pork-barrel (including money to teach children how to play golf). And from the looks of that subsidy database, there looks to be a LOT of it year after year.

Consider the following pork in the recent H.R. 3222 BILL (in the Fiscal 2008 Department of Defense Appropriations Act) while our troops go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits:

  • RECREATION: $4,800,000 for the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area added by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). The Gateway National Recreation Area’s website describes the Jamaica Bay Unit as “a wealth of history, nature and recreation, from New York City’s first major airport and coastal fortifications to a wildlife refuge and pristine beaches.”

  • GOLF: *$3,000,000 for “The First Tee,” added by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) The program’s mission, according to its website, is “To impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.” First Tee won CAGW’s “The Taxpayers Get Teed Off” Oinker Award in 2004 for receiving $3 million in two separate appropriations bills.

  • $1,200,000 for the National Bureau for Asian Research, “a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution dedicated to informing and strengthening policy in the Asia-Pacific,” according to its website, added by Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.).

  • $1,600,000 for the Allen Telescope Array, added by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). This project first appeared in the 2005 Congressional Pig Book and has received a total of $5.6 million. It is part of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), which describes the telescope as “dedicated to astronomical and simultaneous search for extra-terrestrial intelligence observations.”

  • $23,000,000 for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), added by Rep. John “Jack” Murtha (D-Pa.). This is the project over which Rep. Murtha threatened a colleague for challenging in the spring. Since 1992, more than $509 million has been used to fund NDIC, which is administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ.). Ironically, DOJ does not want the NDIC and has asked Congress to shut the agency down because the department believes the operations are duplicative.

And here’s some more pork-barrel and corporate welfare from years past (also see CAGW.ORG).

And check out just these 20 of 18,119 subsidies for only one state in year 2005 (totalling $649.4 Billion).

These are not mom and pop farmers getting many millions of dollars year after year.

  • In year 2004, Farmers Rice Coop Sacramento, CA 95851 received: $9,237,196

  • In year 2005, Farmers Rice Coop Sacramento, CA 95851 received: $5,171,362

  • In year 2003, Farmers Rice Coop Sacramento, CA 95851 received: $17,914,254

  • From 1995 to 2005, Farmers Rice Coop Sacramento, CA 95851 received: $145,530,214

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