Farmers Raid the Treasury

Congress succesfully overrode the Bush veto of the Farm bill, in spite of a legislative glitch that actually left an entire bill section out of the submission to President Bush. That omitted section will be dealt with separately and likely overridden after the holiday. The Farm Bill united an unlikely group of opponents, with President Bush, the New York Times editorial page, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page all slamming this huge porkfest for agri-business. In this time of fiscal crisis Congress merrily approved a bill worth 307 billion dollars. From the New York Times editorial entitled “A Disgraceful Farm Bill”:

The bill is an inglorious piece of work tailored to the needs of big agriculture and championed by not only the usual bipartisan farm state legislators but also the Democratic leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Every five years we get a new farm bill, and each time we are reminded that even reformers like Ms. Pelosi cannot resist the blandishments and power of the farmers.

The bill includes the usual favors like the tax break for racehorse breeders pushed by Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader. But the greater and more embarrassing defect is that the bill perpetuates the old subsidies for agriculture at a time when the prices that farmers are getting for big row crops like corn, soybeans and wheat have never been better. Net farm income is up 50 percent.

The Times acknowleges some good in the bill:

The bill has some virtues. It increases spending for food stamps. It encourages farmers to preserve land that would otherwise be lost to suburban development and provides modest help to organic farmers. It trims (but not nearly enough) the unnecessary tax subsidy for corn ethanol. It provides $400 million to reduce polluted runoff into Chesapeake Bay.

Congress just believes that it is business as usual, and that these boondoggles can go on forever. They are wrong, and the President, the Journal, and the Times are right. Somebody needs to sober these fiscal drunks up, and I hope it is not a financial meltdown that brings reality to Washington. I believe that Barack Obama voted for the bill, while John McCain voted against the bill. Read the Times editorial here.

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9 Responses to Farmers Raid the Treasury

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    This is a precursor to a Democratic Congress for next year. Even the Republican pander group has joined the feeding frenzy.

    This bolsters my argument that a Democratic romp will result in a Massachusetts like greed machine.

    The “what can my country do for me” society will be seventh heaven.

    I can hardly wait for universal health care to be implemented.



  2. Bill Manzi says:

    Well keep in mind that this is at least the second farm bill of the Bush Presidency. The first occurred under Republican control of both houses, and was at least as bad as this one. Bush signed that one as he pandered to farm interests. Both parties share the blame for this giveaway, but at least Bush has reacted to conservative criticism of his parties profilgate spending, and has issued a useless veto. Pelosi and Reid deserve criticism as well.


  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    I fully agree with you. The Democrats and the Republicans have joined forces to create a permanent political class. When the Democrats trounce the Republican idiots in the next election, then we will be subjected to governance by a mono-party per the Massachusetts model.

    Being expert panderers, far exceeding the fast expiring Republicans, they will throw morsels to the “ask what your country can do for you” crowd and become indelible.

    God knows what the country will look like for the next couple of generations, but I fear freedom will be a casualty.

    You give deserved criticism of Pelosi and Reid, but this is who they have always been.

    Soon there will be no checks against poor governance and your party will have sway over all.

    The only thing that will save the situation is a resurgence of (true) conservatives and Blue Dog Democrats. Very few of those around.

    Locally, I see our “together we can” governor has become a one man employment agency, creating more administrative jobs and increasing his administration budget by 80%.

    By the way, can you tell me what a “Grassroots director” and a “Grassroots governance liaison” do? Would my property tax reduction money be in that budget bloat?

    Tell me, your honor, how does it feel to be a member of a political ruling class?



  4. ben nevis says:

    Jules, I’d like to jumb in here, if you don’t mind. I think the “Grassroots Director” plans “fund raisers” and a Grassroots Liaison” organizes teams ‘rooters’ that phone, email, snail-mail the grassroots taxpayer to collect money for DEMOCRATIC MACHINE.


  5. Jules Gordon says:

    ben nevis,

    If I understand you, then why are these official State administrative positions? Am I paying these people to be partisan, and not my kind of partisanship?



  6. ben nevis says:

    Jules, to answer your questions, Yup and YUP again, but, WE are paying. The goal is ONE PARTY RULE. It is being drummed into the minds of a gullible electorate “Yes we can” (be the one RULING party)HOPE, CHANGE etc. I’m sure mayor Manzi feels quite comfy as part of the ruling class (Democrats will become Republicans)and the ruling class will see the error of their ways AFTER this REPUBLIC is in ashes. Nothing personal in this mayor it’s just the way the pendulum swings.


  7. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    Is ben nevis right. Are the citizens of the state paying for fuzzy titled administrators who are partisan wanks?



  8. Bill Manzi says:

    I don’t know them personally so to call them wanks might be a bit over the edge. They are without question partisan, and more than likely wanks. I think the governor is outreaching to the blogging community. (Lefty blogging only)


  9. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    What is the job description for these “Grass Roots” positions?



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