Big Ag Farm Subsidy Scam
Farm Subsidies Now Going to Dead People!
“In the overall grand scheme of things, it was not a whole heck of a lot of money.”
This is what Bob Young, chief economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation, had to say after a new audit discovered that about $36 million in agriculture subsidies had been sent out to corpses.
That's right. According to a new Government Accountability Report, the USDA sent your money to roughly 4,500 dead farmers between 2008 and 2012.
But don't worry. According to Bob Young, it's not really that big of a deal. In fact, Young told reporters, " ... in terms of overall percentages of money that were put out of whatever, I thought it was kind of amazing that it was as small as it was."
Says the man who isn't one of the millions of unemployed people in this country.
I don't know about you, but $36 million doesn't sound like chump change to me.
Of course, maybe Young is on to something. After all, compared to the 20 billion tax dollars the USDA spends every year, what's $36 million?
And maybe that's the point.
Addicted to Subsidies
If you're a regular reader of these pages, you know I have no patience for any lawmaker seeking to keep this nation addicted to agriculture subsidies.
Just like pretty much every other subsidy coming out of Washington, these handouts only seem to reward insiders, while punishing taxpayers.
But agriculture subsidies are some of the worst — particularly because they ultimately result in the raping of our land, the pollution of our water, and the continued illusion that lawyers and bureaucrats are somehow better at growing America's food than American farmers.
Of course, that illusion is paid for by the Big Ag machine, which is the recipient of all those generous subsidies year after year — not that local family farmer they put on display in all the propaganda ads you see on television.
The bottom line is that farm subsidies — which are really Big Ag subsidies — serve no healthy function in a properly run capitalist society.
Thriving Without Subsidies
A couple of months ago, Chris Edwards over at the Cato Institute wrote about this very issue in a piece entitled “Five Reasons to Repeal Farm Subsidies.” And boy did he hit the nail on the head, especially with these three:
Economic Distortions: Farm subsidies can induce excess production, an overuse of marginal farmland, and land price inflation. Subsidies can cause less efficient planting, induce excess borrowing by farmers, and cause insufficient attention to cost control. Farm businesses have less incentive to innovate and control their costs because they know the government will always bail them out.
Environmental Damage: Farm subsidies tend to draw marginal farmland into production, lands that might otherwise be used for forests or wetlands. Subsidies can also induce excess use of fertilizers and pesticides in farm production.
Farming Would Thrive Without Subsidies: If farm subsidies were ended, farming would go through a transition period, which would be tough on some farmers. But farmers would adjust by changing their mix of crops, altering their land use, cutting costs, innovating with new crops and new technologies. Some farms would go bankrupt. But a stronger and more innovative agriculture industry would emerge that would be more productive and more resilient in the long run.
What's Killing this Country
Of course, all this being said, my continued hang-up with these subsidies is that they allow companies like Monsanto and DuPont to keep poisoning our food without fear of any kind of retribution, thanks almost entirely to President Obama's love affair with these peddlers of pesticides and genetically-modified foods.
Add to that the fact that ethanol, one of the biggest taxpayer-funded welfare scams in history, thrives due to those Big Ag subsidies and extremely harmful mandates pushed down our throats by farm state senators and the EPA.
There's no doubt about it: The boys over at Monsanto and Cargill landed a huge “two-for-one” score on the ethanol racket.
And just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, we now find out that the USDA has wasted $36 million of our money on subsidies for farmers who are no longer spreading fertilizer — but instead have become fertilizer themselves!
I tell ya, it seems like these guys are only paying attention when their subsidy welfare checks are at risk. Otherwise, it's business as usual.
And that, my friends, is what's killing this country.
So I think it's time we brought back victory gardens and personal responsibility. Because quite frankly, that's what will keep this nation fed when the proverbial poop hits the fan — not the thieves and liars that panhandle on K Street and pilfer your paycheck to pay off their pimps.
Live honorably, live free...
Jeff Siegel for Freedom Watch
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