Farm Subsidies

GMA Takes On ‘Tea Party Darlings On The Dole’

Now this is real journalism on the part of Good Morning America…

Mediaite

Thursday morning, ABC’s Good Morning America suggested some of the Tea Party’s leaders have a case of “Hill Hypocrisy” for attacking government spending while taking millions in government money. ABC’s senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl reported “the Tea Party movement is all about slashing federal spending, but at least five House members with Tea Party connections have themselves collected more than $100,000 each in federal farm subsidies, totalling more than $8 million since 1995.”

The subsidies are included in a report out Thursday by the Environmental Working Group. “We need a better system,” said Rep. Stephen Fincher, a Tennessee Republican whose family farm has received more than $3 million in subsidies, with more than $100,000 going directly to the Congressman himself. Asked directly if he’d refuse to take any further subsidies, he dodged the question. Others said the farm subsidies–totalling $16 billion–need to cut if not eliminated.

Click Here to watch this video

Republican House Rep. Steve King Calls Obama “Very, Very Urban”

“Figure this out, Madame Speaker, we have a very, very urban Senator, Barack Obama, who has decided he’s going to run for president, and what does he do? He introduces legislation to create a whole new Pigford claim.” ~ Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

WTF?  I know Rep. Steve King has been known to be certifiable, based on many of his comments, but does this cross the line between nutjob and totally whacked out? 

Granted, King used the term “very very urban…” in the context of a floor debate about the Pigford Case in which the USDA just recently settled a discrimination case against minority farmers.  However, King knows exactly what he is saying when he makes these alleged “gaffes”… 

Mediaite

Rep. Steve King of Iowa just can’t stop making racially charged statements. In June, he declared that President Obama “has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race, on the side that favors the black person.” In July, he questioned a class action lawsuit brought by black farmers against the USDA, implying that what the farmers really wanted were reparations. Today, he turned his focus back to Obama, calling the President “very, very urban”—and we all know what he means by “urban.”

Some background: King was talking, again, about the Pigford case, the aforementioned class action suit. Here’s a breakdown of the case, courtesy of our own Tommy Christopher:

The Pigford case is a class action lawsuit that was brought by black farmers after the USDA admitted it had been discriminating against black farmers for years. In essence, Clinton Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman said, “Hey, all you black farmers out there, remember when we denied you that loan? It was because you’re black.”

Black farmers, naturally, were like, “Oh, well, that’s messed up. I could’ve saved/purchased my own farm with that loan. Pay me.”

Shirley Sherrod was the leader of a group of farmers called New Communities, Inc., who were collectively awarded $13 million for the loss of 6,000 acres of land due to USDA’s racial discrimination, and Sherrod was awarded $150,000, as was her husband Charles. Sherrod’s work on behalf of black farmers in this case is precisely why she was hired by Vilsack, to help “turn the corner” on decades of discriminatory practices.

Track A of the Pigford settlement was structured so that a fixed payment of $50,000 would be awarded to any black farmer who could prove that he:

* owned or leased, or attempted to own or lease, farm land, applied for a specific credit transaction at a USDA county office during the applicable period
* the loan was denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested, encumbered by restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide appropriate loan service, and such treatment was less favorable than that accorded specifically identified, similarly situated white farmers.
* the USDA’s treatment of the loan application led to economic damage.

Anyone who wanted to seek a larger amount would use “Track B,” which had an even stricter burden of proof.

King’s statement today began with the representative noting that “Bobby Scott of Virginia and others” introduced legislation aimed at increasing the federal government’s role in the Pigford settlement. As Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post notes, Scott is African-American.

King then took aim at Obama, complaining that as a senator, he favored African-American farmers. “Figure this out, Madame Speaker,” King said. “We have a very, very urban Senator, Barack Obama, who has decided he’s going to run for president, and what does he do? He introduces legislation to create a whole new Pigford claim.”

Yikes. It’s also pretty strange that King would choose to use this particular euphemism while describing actions Obama took to help rural farmers. See King’s statement in the video below, from C-SPAN.

The Anti-Spending Politicians Who Rake In Farm Subsidies

This is typical of all politicians.  It’s really not a partisan issue, in my opinion…

Huffington Post

Many Republicans who swept rural Democrats from office are now confronting the reality of a promise to reduce spending: Should it cover the farm subsidies that have brought money and jobs to their districts – and directly benefited some GOP lawmakers or their families?

At least 13 Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee lost on Nov. 2, and most of then helped steer generous farm support back home. Many of their replacements avoided the issue of farm payments during the campaign as they focused on broader themes of lowering federal spending and changing Washington.

They’ll have to face it soon enough. Congress is expected to begin work on the next five-year farm bill before the 2012 election.

“They are here to represent their districts, and if their district is clearly a strong agricultural district that uses the programs in the farm bill, it may be something where they have to break with what they campaigned on,” says Chandler Goule, a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union.

For some deficit-cutting Republicans, it’s a question that’s close to home.

Consider Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, who courted tea party support and dethroned the chairman of the House Armed Service Committee, Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton.

Continue reading…

Farmer who put up sign claiming Democrats are ‘party of parasites’ has taken $1 million in farm subsidies.

Parasites?  Who’s the one taking money from this Democrat controlled administration and congress?

In addition, Republicans often show their hypocrisy and project their inconsistencies toward Dems.

 It’s as if the word “hypocrisy” was created just for them.  Project

Think Progress

Missouri farmer David Jungerman has raised the hackles of local residents with a politically-charged sign he’s placed on his “45-foot-long, semi-truck box trailer” on his farm. The trailer reads: “Are you a Producer or Parasite Democrats – Party of the Parasites.” Now, the Kansas City Star reveals that Jungerman has been the recipient of over a million dollars of federal farm subsidies since 1995:

The Raytown farmer who posted a sign on a semi-truck trailer accusing Democrats of being the “Party of Parasites” received more than $1 million in federal crop subsidies since 1995. [...]

After a story about Jungerman’s trailer ran in Sunday’s Star, however, some readers called him a hypocrite for criticizing others for getting government help while taking government subsidies paid for by taxpayers.

Jungerman said he put up the sign to protest people who pay no taxes, but, “Always have their hand out for whatever the government will give them” in social programs.

Trying to defend himself, Jungerman told the press, “That’s just my money coming back to me. I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite.” He also said that the sign is aimed at national Democrats, not local Democrats, many of whom are “are old-fashioned Harry Truman Democrats,” who Jungerman says are “more conservative than many Republicans.” For the record, Harry Truman campaigned on establishing a single-payer health care system and famously vetoed tax cuts, making him much more progressive than many of today’s Democrats.