Farm Subsidies - American Socialism. The good kind.

When I first heard the words "farm subsidies" I figured it was money that was available to help farmers out when they get in a jam. Before we go on, I would like to point out that I live and work in a rural environment. Julie and I are lucky enough to be able to buy corn, honey, apples, maple syrup, eggs, and other items from a FARMER right across the street. We have a farm market in Lowell on Thursdays and there are probably 6-10 farm stands with various products between our home and our shop. We like buying right from the source for a couple reasons. First, you can't get produce that tastes better unless we grow it ourselves. Secondly, we like to directly support farmers and their families.
Back to subsidies for farmers - a little investigation reveals that these federal tax dollars are not going to help Josh across the street when his tractor breaks or his chickens become ill with something. It seems that the bulk of the subsidies go to huge farming corporations.
Spend some time looking here if you are so inclined: EWG Farm Subsidy Database Read the Subsidy Primer for a quick education about them. This website tells you a lot in terms of where the money goes and it breaks it down by State, County, Congressional District, and tells you who the top recipients are in any given state, etc.
All kinds of political double talk surround farm subsidies. You might recall Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, saying his state might secede from the Union because of the tax and spend mess in Washington. His cries of "socialism" sure fired up Tea Party members. One wonders how corporate farmers in Texas will get along without the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS they have received in Farm Subsidies. Texas is the top money getter in this social program - having received 9.3% of ALL monies given out from 1995 to 2009 - the total amounts to over 22 BILLION dollars in that time period! We can't have health care for every one, but we can drop a few BILLION to giant corporate farms? Lahey Farms Partners in Texas collected $795,140 in 2009 alone.
Hey Gov Perry - shut the hell up, okay? Or better yet, go ahead and secede AFTER you send US back our 22 Billion and change.
How about that Michele Bachmann - a US Representative from Minnesota. She was hollering all over the place about the socialization of health care. Blah blah blah. She makes 174k a year as a member of Congress and has one of the best medical plans on the planet. She has no truck with socialism.....well, except when it comes to the family farm of which she has an interest. The Bachmann farm has sucked just over a QUARTER OF A MILLION dollars from us tax payers from 1995-2006. Her annual income from her share of the farm has risen from a paltry 2k to near 50k. Someone ought to toss her in the harbor.
Chuck Grassley is a senator from Iowa. Grassley famously changed his tune on health care reform and was quoted saying things about "pulling the plug on Grandma." Funny thing - Iowa is #2, right behind Texas in having a hand in the Federal pocket for farm subsidies. Is it any wonder that Grassley's family farm has realized almost 1 MILLION dollars from farm subsidies over the last 11 years? Grassley himself has supplimented his $174k salary and bennies with $238,974 in subsidy money. His son; $699,248 (that is $63,568 a freakin' year). His grandson is following along with $5,964 in 2005 and $2,363 in 2006.
The list of farm subsidy recipients covers BOTH sides of the aisle for sure. Donkeys are gobbling at the trough right alongside the elephants. I just find it especially interesting that some of those most adamant about "free markets" and who HOWL at the very hint of socialized medical care that would cover EVERYONE with subsidies from tax money don't seem to mind socialism in their own check book.
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