Saturday, July 26, 2008

Congress and farmers harvesting the taxpayers

From Timothy Lamer in World...

What do you give a rich man who has everything? If you're Congress and the rich man works in agribusiness, the answer is taxpayer money.

At a time of high food prices and rapidly rising farm incomes, Congress sent President Bush a farm bill last week that would grant direct payments to individual farmers with incomes as high as $750,000 and to farm couples who make as much as $1.5 million.

The $289 billion bill is made up mostly of nutrition programs—food stamps get a big increase—but it includes about $40 billion for farm subsidies and billions more for farmers who idle their land. Congress larded on plenty of pork, as well, including tax breaks for horse breeders in Kentucky and sales of federal land for ski resorts in Vermont.

Bush vetoed the bill, saying its costs were too high and that he wanted to limit direct payments to farmers who make $200,000 or less. But the bill passed both the House and the Senate with huge bipartisan majorities, and the president's veto last week appeared headed for an easy override. "Back home in Montana, we say you shouldn't bring a knife to a gun fight," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., told the Associated Press. "We've got the votes to override the president and make the farm bill law, and that's what this Congress will do."

Unfortunately, taxpayers are bringing a spoon not a knife to a gun fight. The result is more money taken from them-- largely to be given to wealthy individuals and corporations-- through higher prices and higher taxes. For shame!


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