Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

September 16, 2013

STUMPTALK: The rich get richer yet again

By Jerry McDonough
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Congress and the Obama administration are at it again. It is just one fraudulent activity after another with government. Just as they attempted to sneak through a bill to allow congressional members and their staffs to opt out of the vaulted ObamaCare in secret meetings, so too are they endeavoring to sneak through a welfare farming bill that will reward their mega-farmer campaign contributors while we voters are watching the scandals besetting the socialist Obama regime. It is the old Monty game; watch the pea under the shell! The federal government plays the game well.

Our farm policies are locked into the Depression past, but incomes are at record highs. After all, it is only taxpayer money government is spending. Most consumers think $20 billion in subsidies is not out of line, but watch the pea. Subsidies raise prices in the supermarket by design and 80% of government spending over the next ten years will go to Food Stamps. That’s about $80 billion per year. The result is, much as it was in communist USSR, government gives taxpayer paid subsidies to farmers to raise taxpayer food prices and then raise taxes so those on Food Stamps can afford the government caused higher prices. What can go wrong here? Isn’t this the vaunted Obama “fairness” we hear so much about, the rich paying their “fair share”?

The farming subsides of today do not aid the farmer in Big Lick or Pomona. No, the subsidies of today are design to reward mega-farmers for their campaign contributions of both the past and the future. According to the USDA, the top farm incomes over the passed thirty years have all come since 2004. The average commercial farm operator netted, not grossed, an average household income of $205, 215 in 2011 and had a household net worth of about $2 million. This means that instead of helping the stressed family farmer, the farm budget further rewards the large corporate farmers. Since 1995 10% of the largest and wealthiest farms have been paid 74% of all farm subsidies according to the Environmental Working Group. If you recall, the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act was supposed to wean farmers off subsidies and was hailed as the new free market farm system. Ask a local farmer if he or she earns $200k after taxes and expenses are paid! Well, to quote a famous American, “How’s that working far ya?”

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Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Jim Sykes at sykes113@frontiernet.net.