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'Bent hearts Bush... twice in one month?

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May 14, 2008 – Comments (5)

And no, it ain't just the MGD talking.

WASHINGTON -- The House passed a $290 billion farm bill Wednesday with a strong veto-proof majority, offering more subsidies for farmers, food stamps for the poor and special projects that lawmakers can bring home to voters this election year.

The 318-106 vote for the five-year bill came despite President Bush's promised veto. He says the measure is too expensive and gives too much money to wealthy farmers.

"Wow, now that it doesn't matter anymore, he feels like he can finally do a few things right."

--Mrs. 'Bent. 

Of course, McCain is the only candidate with the stones to tell a farm state that people don't deserve money for doing nothing, but with so many members of Congress writing checks they can't pay for -- shamelessly buying votes -- it won't matter who wins the presidency.

American farmers are addicted to subsidies and the notion that somehow their vocation is deserving of protection, and since rural states get those two senators no matter how sparsely populated, you can count on ridiculous, market-distorting, third-world punishing, poor-people starvin', greenhouse gas producing subsidies to continue.

I can think of only one country that coddles farmer more, and that's France. What's the capital of South Dakota again?

Sj

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 14, 2008 at 7:35 PM, joeykid13 wrote:

I heart Bush too.  (MO) MGD...good call.  I truly believe that our President actually cares, and always has.

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#2) On May 14, 2008 at 9:56 PM, MakeItSeven (32.13) wrote:

I hate reporters who don't look for facts but only re-iterate talking points.  The "dumb-down America" reporter kind.

Anyway, looking for all the numbers (i.e. facts) within this report (and of course ignore the chimp-like talking points), I come up with:

While continuing traditional farm subsidy programs with minor changes, the bill increases spending on nutrition programs such as food stamps by $10.4 billion.

So, the only difference is in the nutrition programs, everything else should be similar to what Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress passed before when they controlled all 3 branches of the government.

Let's see, this is a 5-year 300B farm bill with the nutrittion programs costing 67% of the bill, or around 200B.  Therefore, 10B is equivalent to 5% increase in food assistance in 5 years, or roughly the amount of food price inflation in one year.  So, poor people will actually have LESS food to eat with this farm bill and the increase they receive will only make up for one year inflation in food prices and they will have to pretend that food prices will not increase in the other four years.

Now, people who praise Bush care to explain what he is talking about, given that nothing else changed ?  What are the "pet projects" and "rich farmers" numbers ?

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#3) On May 14, 2008 at 11:44 PM, devoish (98.26) wrote:

I can think of only one country that coddles farmer more, and that's France

The 300bil farm bill is for 5 years at 60bil each year. 40.2bil of that 60bil. is the gov't food stamp program leaving only 20bil toward coddling farmers, some of which goes to pay for stuff like radio frequency identification tags in bulls, (wasn't there such an HG company?)  and a bunch of other crap which probably wouldn't be seen as coddling farmers, as much as helping to pay for onerous regulations concerning water conservation and pollution controls. I am sure we all could agree to cut out different parts of the bill that gall each of us personally but to all agree on the same cuts is probably beyond us or our Representatives.  $40bil for food stamps seems like alot each year until you divide it by 26.5 million people who get food stamps each week and then by 52 weeks, and find that it is less than than $30.00/week. And that is not 26 million 35 year old lazy bums as much as some would like to think so. It is 85 and 95 year olds and 12.5 million kids. It is minimum wage and "the working poor" and injured war veterans. It is victims of cancer and other illness's and their familys. It is good for nothings and drug addicts. It is actually 8.5% of the Nations population and when the food banks call, it is because it is not enough and does not even get to the homeless addresses. It makes me wonder where that rising tide is lifting the boats. Now I don't want to pay for RFI ear tags for cattle but some people say if you want to track mad cow disease it helps. The organic farmers say otherwise, that branding has worked fine. I trust the ogarnic farmers. If you don't and your Representative has the most support, we pay for ear tags. I say food stamps are a noble and worthwhile expenditure of public funds. You may believe that poor old folk should be allowed to go hungry for their lack of ability. My Representative is winning that argument. If it was up to me I would cut the military waste out of the $400,000,000,000 per year military budget first. I would have well qualified engineers looking for work and living on their own wits and expertise, not Gov't lard. My Representative for that fight doesn't even exist.

The 300 billion dollar farm bill is 1500 pages long and I'm not reading it either. Apparently it was delayed as Reps are fighting over such things as whether or not to include 15 million in subsidies for asparagus growers which is .005% of the bill. That part sounds nutso to me. But they say something about subsidized Peruvian asparagus competition that is uncompetitive. I don't know the answer to that one, but there has to be something worthwhile in a bill that large.

Regards,

Devoish

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#4) On May 15, 2008 at 3:07 PM, TMFBent (99.81) wrote:

Actually, I would argue that flipping people a few bucks worth of food stamps isn't really that helpful either. We'd do much better attacking the roots of that kind of poverty: better education, a health-insurance safety net, etc.

And hey, if we quit paying people not to grow stuff, and paying them more money still to grow stuff that in uneconomical, environmentally-damaging ways, maybe we'd have some money to devote to those things. Of course, stopping pouring it all into the black hole of Iraq would free up a lot of money too, but a large majority of the people in this country swallowed that whole Iraq/911 conspiracy theory hook, line, and sinker, and now we're getting what we asked for.

But I still say it's ridiculous to offer any kind of farm subsidies whatsover at a time when food commodities are already at all-time highs. Farm subsidies remain "empathy payments" and vote-buying mechanisms -- and they increasingly flow to big businesses, not the porch 'n' banjo crowd evoked by the pandering legislators who propose, praise and pass them. The biggest change is that now, they're less needed than ever.

In case anyone's too busy to click that link, here's an example of how farm subsidies distort not only farm commodity prices, but land prices. This guy -- who makes a lot of money farming -- is forced to apply for an accept subsidies he doesn't agree with otherwise he's at a disadvantage when it comes to bidding for more land.

Yet to Congress and federal agricultural officials, Phipps and his wife, Jan, are struggling family farmers. Last year, the government sent the Phippses a check for $120,000. Thousands of similar checks arrived throughout the Corn Belt, even as many farmers had bumper crops.

"Being labeled as a family farmer immediately qualifies me as someone who needs help," he said. "Name one other business like that -- there are none."

Over the past decade, farmers in the Midwest have produced one record crop after another. Now, surging demand for corn-based ethanol has corn prices at a 10-year high.

Phipps resents the images used to evoke sympathy for farmers. "I think they do us more harm than good," he said as he scrambled to finish his harvest. "I don't think farmers are any more special than anyone else; lots of people work hard and don't get help. Why should farmers get special treatment?"

In addition to farming, Phipps hosts a weekly farm television show, writes a blog and contributes articles to Farm Journal. That income helps significantly, he said, allowing him "a little more flexibility" than other farmers have. In the past five years, the Phippses have also received about $357,000 in federal subsidies.

"I'm not proud of it," he said. "I would like to have the moral courage and financial clout not to take them. But if I don't, I won't be able to compete when it comes time to bid for land."

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#5) On May 15, 2008 at 10:28 PM, FleaBagger (28.92) wrote:

My heart breaks for him. No, really it does. I kind of know what that is like. Not to the tune of $357,000 dollars I didn't earn, but I did make a lot of mistakes and drop out of college, deeds that should earn me a big financial disadvantage, and force me to work hard for my money. Instead, I called the temp agency and they set me up with a $12/hr job at a "small" business that contracts for a government agency that wastes money hand over fist. Most days, I don't actually do anything related to my supposed job for 7.5 of the 8 hours I'm there. I bring my laptop in and work on my novel. It distracts me from my guilt for the fact that I'm costing my fellow taxpayers probably something like $40/hr. (That's if you figure in the temp agency's unemployment insurance and FICA, temp agency's cut, the contractor's cut, etc.) And all this for a government agency that I don't think should exist in the first place. (That could be said of most gov't agencies.)

By the way, I don't buy that stuff about "risk of hunger" and whatnot. That just means they're feeding their junk food. My heart breaks. For their children, though, not for them. If they weren't so tired that they have to watch 3 hours of TV in the evening, maybe they could get off their lazy butts and start cooking some veggies for their kids.

If you can't find a job that pays your bills, MOVE! That's what all our illegal alien friends did when they couldn't find a job in Honduras, and they're living ten to a house (3 bdrm), working their butts off to support their families. That's unless they're willing to bilk the welfare system that you all think is so fine (you apparently excepted, SJ). Then they could just live for free off of the work of others.

Before you lay into me about my hypocrisy, consider two things:

1) What would change if I quit and got a more honest job that pays $12/hr to someone with no college degree? I'll tell you in case you don't know: the person who would otherwise be working that job would take my job at this contractor and spend all day watching movies, and there would be one less great novel in the world because I'm too busy maintaining inventory in some dismal warehouse all day. (I know I'm blessed. I've had those jobs, too, and worse.)

2) Whenever, and I mean ever, we get some work to do, I always do as much as I can, and I never complain. Maybe you libs are different, but the libs I've met couldn't honestly say the same thing, though in many cases they would say it anyway.

So yeah, I was facetious about being heartbroken. I know I've got a sweet gig, and I'm trying to make the most of it, because a lot of talented people have to stay up nights to work on their passion while they spend the day doing what pays the bills. I get my 8 hours most nights, and I've started eating breakfast again (so I'm no longer one the "risk of hunger" people, except when I skip supper). May God bless you as much as He has blessed me.

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