Having gone to an Agricultural High School I am a Farmer by Vocation I worked on and managed many farms. Struggling small farmers was to me normal and just thought that was part of the hard but fun life of today's farmers. That was before I served my country, became an accountant, then turned to writing the truth about Bush and the ever growing corruption.Thinking that Farm Subsidies were out there to help average farmers, I should have known better but I was really caught off guard when I became aware that Washington spends more on corporate welfare than on homeland security and farm subsidies are America's largest corporate welfare program.
Farms have come a long way since subsidies were introduced as a temporary solution to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression. Today farms have one of the lowest failure rates of any industry in the country. But that is because of the millionaire farmers subsidized by Politicians as the small farmer continues to be left to fail and helped only by Willie Nelson and Farm Aid.
If farm subsidies were really about alleviating farmer poverty, then lawmakers could guarantee every full-time farmer an income of 185 percent of the federal level ($38,203 for a family of four) for under $5 billion annually — one-fifth the current cost of farm subsidies. Instead, small farmers are largely excluded from farm subsidies. Farm subsidy payments are based on acreage, so by definition, the largest agribusiness's get the largest subsidies. Consequently, commercial farmers — who report an average income of $200,000 and net worth of nearly $2 million — now collect the majority of farm subsidies. Most farm subsidy dollars go to millionaires.
The Environmental Working Groups farm subsidy database reveals that from 1995 to 2005, farm subsidies have been distributed to Fortune 500 companies such as John Hancock Life Insurance ($2,849,799) and Westvaco ($534,210); as well as celebrity hobby farmers like David Rockefeller ($553,782) and Ted Turner ($206,948). Even Members of Congress who vote on farm legislation have received subsidies, such as Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, $225,041) and Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo., $161,084).
Then like all the rest of the underhanded activities going on today it gets worse. I found out the U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed $1.1 billion over seven years to the estates or companies of deceased farmers and routinely failed to conduct reviews required to ensure that the payments were properly made, according to a government report. In a selection of 181 cases from 1999 to 2005, the Government Accountability Office found that officials approved payments without any review 40 percent of the time. The report cited a 1,900-acre soybean and corn farm in Illinois that collected $400,000 on behalf of an owner who lived in Florida before his death in 1995. The company did not notify the government of the death but certified each year that the dead shareholder, who owned 40 percent of the company, was "actively engaged" in managing the farm. again the more you hear the worse it gets.
In that report we hear from,Surprise! Senator Grassley of all people that these programs are to help- "needy" farmers, that to him is needy Millionaire corporate farmers. Knowing this Billion dollar corporate Welfare system has been going on at least under my radar can anyone really expect the no over sight, corruption champion Bush to veto the $300 billion farm bill expected to come before the U.S. House of Representatives this week? No way! The farm bill, which includes $35 billion in crop subsidies for farmers, also contains production incentives that would benefit some of the world's biggest food companies, including Tyson Foods Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. July's story
We knew the Bill would pass because many Republicans need it and it primarily benefits wealthy Corporations not Needy or small family farmers. Well it passed! The Senate on Friday approved a $286 billion farm bill with an election-year expansion of subsidies for growers and food stamps for the poor. With Food stamp use going up drastically since Bush thank God someone atached that to this Corporate welfare Program. Corporate Welfare Bill Passes
I suggest you check out the link and see just how corrutive this Bill and the program is! So much for my down day!