I can't believe it....Congressional Unanimity in North Carolina?

Well, Almost! Would you believe that all (but one) of our Congressional Representatives voted the same on a recent Amendment to the the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007? First, I couldn't believe that Republicans and Democrats would actually agree on something, and then I started to wonder why. Follow me below the fold for the details...

I've been following the new Farm Bill because it represent a HUGE expense to the taxpayers ($286 Billion between 2008 and 2012), because we own a small farm, and because I know a lot of small farmers get absolutely zilch from the farm subsidy program and that few farmers or ranchers can get federal support when they offer to dedicate some of their holdings to environmental improvments, wildlife habitat, etc.

Specifically I was following an Amendment offered by Rep. Kind of Wisconsin that purported to "reform the farmer safety net to work better for small farmers at lower cost, reallocate funding to nutrition, conservation, specialty crops and healthy foods, rural development, and programs that benefit socially disadvantaged farmers." It also would have limited subsidy payments to Farmers earning over $250K a year. I strongly suggest you read the short summary presented HERE

Subsidies are tied to crop production, so the largest 10 percent of subsidy recipients collect 70 percent of all subsidies. While some subsidized farmers collect more than $2 million a year, most subsidized farmers collect less than $200 a month.

(Environmental Defense Fund)

So...I wondered what would bind all these Congress-critters into an almost unanimous (except for Watt) vote against an Amendment that seemed good for small farmers and the taxpayer.

Tha answer, as you might guess, appears to be MONEY, the people in their districts getting that money, and likely the influence of the ones getting BIG money.

Go HERE to use a fascinating and easy to understand database that will allow you to see who gets what and how much in your Congressional District and or County. You'll likely be stunned!

Some of the commentary and data about the AGI in NC, and the numbers of children in poverty in places where individual farmers/businesses are collecting huge payments is mind boggling. There are also maps you can click on and get the names of every individual in the area receiving subsidy payments and how much.

See...our Congress Critters can work together...when the issue is self-preservation. They mostly still don't give a big phtttt about us.

The Congressional Budget Office report is HERE and while it's boring reading I picked up a point our Congress-people are surely going to tout...and the CBO pretty much proves it's crap. They're going to tell us there is added emphasis in the new farm bill to improve the safety of our food. THE CBO says the paltry $131 Million they've allocated for this over the 2008-2012 period is not even a raindrop in the storm.

I'm no expert on farm policy. It's confusing. We get a small subsidy (@ $800 in the past 3 years) on the wheat we grow/sharecrop.

What I'm not confused about is why we taxpayers keep getting screwed...and how some folks live very high on our money...and why things don't change.

Comments

Farm subsidies = the new 2nd amendment

The cowardice in Congress - the insanity in Congress - over this issue is boggling. The next time some politician starts criticizing any other country for their subsidies on anything, we should tattoo this posting on his or her forehead.

Agree...

I sincerely hope those whose read this will take the time to check out the links I posted above. The Amendment appears to me toi make a lot of sense. The database is absolutely mind-boggling...check out your district and your county to see who is rolling in your tax money.

This deal has just about pushed me over the edge. I'm ready to believe that no one in Congress...regardless of party....cares about anything but their own skins.

SE NC Dems

Stan Bozarth

Is it true that organic and sustainable farms CANNOT receive

farm subsidies, or that they just DON'T?

Slightly different I think.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Subsidies go to producers of commodity crops

such as grains, cotton, beef, pork. Subsidies are not paid to fruit and vegetqable farmers. I believe it correct to say that 78% of the susidies paid for the past 10 yerar have gone to less than 20 recipients. It's a huge amount of money and it's being paid mostly to large co-ops and big corporate owned farms.

SE NC Dems

Stan Bozarth