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Thread: Continued Corporate Welfare : Farm

  1. #1
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Default Continued Corporate Welfare : Farm

    Not just about food stamps.


    ‘Cliff’ law extends subsidies to profitable farm interests

    Need more evidence that Congress ain’t ready for fiscal reform? The legislation passed by the House and Senate to avoid the “fiscal cliff” perpetuates one of the nation’s worst examples of corporate welfare.

    The deal extends for nine months the $5-billion-a-year program of direct government payments to growers of grain, cotton and soybeans.

    This is not money that’s targeted to struggling family farms. This is money that mostly goes to large and highly profitable agricultural enterprises, regardless of need. Fat checks will continue to be cut for farmers and landowners who have enjoyed boom times even as most Americans have suffered through recession and a painfully slow recovery.

    As Congress debated a five-year extension of a sweeping farm bill that expired at the end of September, one thing seemed clear: There was bipartisan agreement to scrap the unjustifiable direct payment program. It’s a huge transfer of wealth from taxpayers to a small group of people whose financial resources far exceed those of the typical American.

    No agreement has been reached on renewing the five-year farm legislation. But negotiators on fiscal cliff legislation managed to slip in an extension for farm direct payments.

    The direct payment program has an ugly legislative history. It stems from a failed attempt to wean farmers from agricultural subsidies in the mid-1990s. It was supposed to help smooth over any financial hardship for the short period necessary to make farming more responsive to free markets for the first time since the Great Depression.

    Instead, direct payments took on a life of their own. In a testament to the political clout of Big Agriculture, they became untouchable. Their main economic effect has been to propel farmland prices to dizzying heights. America’s real-estate bubble popped five years ago, but not in the market for Midwest agricultural property. It kept rising and rising even as home prices collapsed. Direct payments continue to artificially prop up land prices.

    Cliff negotiators weren’t completely beyond showing restraint. Farm lobbyists tried to use the threat of consumer outrage over the prospect of soaring milk prices to goad Congress into passing a subsidy that would compensate producers when milk prices are low and feed costs high. The final measure fixed the dairy rules, and mercifully provided no great giveaway.

    But not so with direct payments Big Ag keeps drawing government checks for grain and certain other commodities.

    If Congress was intent on using the fiscal cliff bill to help farmers, it could have found some reasonable targets. Yet there is no money in the legislation for soil conservation, or for disaster payments for livestock producers who suffered during the summer drought.

    Congress also failed to renew its modest investment in agricultural research. Of all the farm bill’s spending provisions, this makes the most sense. The U.S. should invest in the science behind food. America leads in this area. Humble St. Louis has become a hotbed of innovation, thanks to the Monsanto Co. and a far-sighted civic strategy of developing research capabilities. The Research Triangle Park in North Carolina also has spawned a critical mass of world-class agricultural thinkers. The U.S. is blessed with a collection of universities, including the University of Illinois, that regularly bring forth fresh ideas in this neglected area of study. But spending on research has been left unresolved.

    The fiscal cliff has been avoided. Democrats got their wish: tax increases for high earners.

    The focus in Washington has to go to broad curbs on the growth in spending now.

    And that has to be the target in the next round of negotiations on a farm bill. Congress has to dump direct payments. It has to stop pouring billions into crop insurance for a business sector that can well afford to handle its own risk management. It has to put tax money where it can do the most good.

    This is a nation that grows the food that feeds the world. But in Washington, they’re still most skilled at growing debt.

    — The Chicago Tribune
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

  2. #2
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    UAW gets corporate welfare==GOOD
    Farmers get the same===BAD

    Maybe if there was an IBFW you would feel differently??
    (International Brotherhood of Farm Workers)

    IMO--neither should get a dime of federal money, that includes the ethanol scam
    Stan b & Elvis

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    Quote Originally Posted by road kill View Post
    UAW gets corporate welfare==GOOD
    Farmers get the same===BAD

    Maybe if there was an IBFW you would feel differently??
    (International Brotherhood of Farm Workers)

    IMO--neither should get a dime of federal money, that includes the ethanol scam
    Agreed. The free enterprise system works best when it is actually free

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road kill View Post
    UAW gets corporate welfare==GOOD
    Farmers get the same===BAD

    Maybe if there was an IBFW you would feel differently??
    (International Brotherhood of Farm Workers)

    IMO--neither should get a dime of federal money, that includes the ethanol scam
    Winner winner chicken dinner!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    What about the tax credits for NASCAR and large corporations like GE? If an entity has the money to pay for effective lobbyist, they can get what they want through our phony system known as Crony Capitalism. Remember, Congress is there to serve the special interest and not the tax payer!

    The problem as I see it is this: You have Dems who can't stop demagoguing the tax issue claiming we need more revenues and to soak the rich. So, they raise marginal tax rates on higher income tax brackets. However, then the WH and Senate extend all these corporate tax
    credits that benefit the same wealthy class (eg Hollywood, GE, Diageo, etc). In fact, the nominal amount of the tax credits
    is actually estimated to be larger than the nominal increase inrevenue from the higher marginal rates. Therefore, doesn't this kind of stink of hypocrisy on the part of Democrat leadership who claim the feds need more tax revenue?

    I think the entire system needs to be reformed but there doesn't seem to be much interest in reform by either the Dems, the Repubs or the people that vote for them.
    Last edited by Franco; 01-04-2013 at 11:41 AM.
    “The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” –Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golddogs View Post
    Not just about food stamps.


    ‘Cliff’ law extends subsidies to profitable farm interests

    Need more evidence that Congress ain’t ready for fiscal reform? The legislation passed by the House and Senate to avoid the “fiscal cliff” perpetuates one of the nation’s worst examples of corporate welfare.

    The deal extends for nine months the $5-billion-a-year program of direct government payments to growers of grain, cotton and soybeans.

    This is not money that’s targeted to struggling family farms. This is money that mostly goes to large and highly profitable agricultural enterprises, regardless of need. Fat checks will continue to be cut for farmers and landowners who have enjoyed boom times even as most Americans have suffered through recession and a painfully slow recovery.

    As Congress debated a five-year extension of a sweeping farm bill that expired at the end of September, one thing seemed clear: There was bipartisan agreement to scrap the unjustifiable direct payment program. It’s a huge transfer of wealth from taxpayers to a small group of people whose financial resources far exceed those of the typical American.

    No agreement has been reached on renewing the five-year farm legislation. But negotiators on fiscal cliff legislation managed to slip in an extension for farm direct payments.

    The direct payment program has an ugly legislative history. It stems from a failed attempt to wean farmers from agricultural subsidies in the mid-1990s. It was supposed to help smooth over any financial hardship for the short period necessary to make farming more responsive to free markets for the first time since the Great Depression.

    Instead, direct payments took on a life of their own. In a testament to the political clout of Big Agriculture, they became untouchable. Their main economic effect has been to propel farmland prices to dizzying heights. America’s real-estate bubble popped five years ago, but not in the market for Midwest agricultural property. It kept rising and rising even as home prices collapsed. Direct payments continue to artificially prop up land prices.

    Cliff negotiators weren’t completely beyond showing restraint. Farm lobbyists tried to use the threat of consumer outrage over the prospect of soaring milk prices to goad Congress into passing a subsidy that would compensate producers when milk prices are low and feed costs high. The final measure fixed the dairy rules, and mercifully provided no great giveaway.

    But not so with direct payments Big Ag keeps drawing government checks for grain and certain other commodities.

    If Congress was intent on using the fiscal cliff bill to help farmers, it could have found some reasonable targets. Yet there is no money in the legislation for soil conservation, or for disaster payments for livestock producers who suffered during the summer drought.

    Congress also failed to renew its modest investment in agricultural research. Of all the farm bill’s spending provisions, this makes the most sense. The U.S. should invest in the science behind food. America leads in this area. Humble St. Louis has become a hotbed of innovation, thanks to the Monsanto Co. and a far-sighted civic strategy of developing research capabilities. The Research Triangle Park in North Carolina also has spawned a critical mass of world-class agricultural thinkers. The U.S. is blessed with a collection of universities, including the University of Illinois, that regularly bring forth fresh ideas in this neglected area of study. But spending on research has been left unresolved.

    The fiscal cliff has been avoided. Democrats got their wish: tax increases for high earners.

    The focus in Washington has to go to broad curbs on the growth in spending now.

    And that has to be the target in the next round of negotiations on a farm bill. Congress has to dump direct payments. It has to stop pouring billions into crop insurance for a business sector that can well afford to handle its own risk management. It has to put tax money where it can do the most good.

    This is a nation that grows the food that feeds the world. But in Washington, they’re still most skilled at growing debt.

    — The Chicago Tribune
    I do not criticize you for posting this article but let me say there is so much in it that it would take a very long time to explain how they work let alone the effect it has on the farmer. Let me also say that as a land owner, I WOULD LOVE FOR DIRECT PAYMENTS TO CEASE! The result would be the loss of relatively small payments to me and A TREMENDOUS INCREASE IN FREEDOM FOR ME TO MANAGE MY LAND IN A MANNER i DEEM PROPER. I am only familiar with the area which I own land and not for areas that have different types of soil, different terrain and drainage and different climate. Direct payments have been around far longer than the recent increase in the price of land. Actually gov. policy toward ethanol has increased farm income far more than any direct farm payments.
    I wonder if you are familiar with the history of the direct payment program and the reasoning of it. It was created to replace a failed program of farm setasides that removed good farm land from production. Another former gov. farm program that in essence kept the big thumb of gov. control on the head of the farmer. Today the gov. will use the hammer of direct payments to keep the farmer from reclaiming this good farm land that has grown up in trees. the amusing thing is that if you have land in CRP, and fail to bush hog it and keep it from growing up in trees, then you lose your CRP payments until you doze the trees and put it back into grasslands. Amazing. I am sure that Pals can tell you the requirements of maintenance of CRP lands and the consequences of faillure to do so.

    I did read Buzz's post about farmers cleaning up land for production. I don't know the land or the history of the state it is in today or was in the distant past. What I do know that if it being reclaimed or put in production for the first time, IT IS BECAUSE OF GOV. PROGRAMS NOT IN SPITE OF GOV. PROGRAMS.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    the tax credits for NASCAR are a smoke screen...the real recipients are the big auto makers, and .....you guessed it the UAW who sponsor more than a couple of races per year....all you have to do is follow the money trail...the prototypical Nascar fan may be cast as good ole boys from the rural south,but the heart of the racing has roots in Detroit
    All my Exes live in Texas

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caryalsobrook View Post
    I do not criticize you for posting this article but let me say there is so much in it that it would take a very long time to explain how they work let alone the effect it has on the farmer. Let me also say that as a land owner, I WOULD LOVE FOR DIRECT PAYMENTS TO CEASE! The result would be the loss of relatively small payments to me and A TREMENDOUS INCREASE IN FREEDOM FOR ME TO MANAGE MY LAND IN A MANNER i DEEM PROPER. I am only familiar with the area which I own land and not for areas that have different types of soil, different terrain and drainage and different climate. Direct payments have been around far longer than the recent increase in the price of land. Actually gov. policy toward ethanol has increased farm income far more than any direct farm payments.
    I wonder if you are familiar with the history of the direct payment program and the reasoning of it. It was created to replace a failed program of farm setasides that removed good farm land from production. Another former gov. farm program that in essence kept the big thumb of gov. control on the head of the farmer. Today the gov. will use the hammer of direct payments to keep the farmer from reclaiming this good farm land that has grown up in trees. the amusing thing is that if you have land in CRP, and fail to bush hog it and keep it from growing up in trees, then you lose your CRP payments until you doze the trees and put it back into grasslands. Amazing. I am sure that Pals can tell you the requirements of maintenance of CRP lands and the consequences of faillure to do so.

    I did read Buzz's post about farmers cleaning up land for production. I don't know the land or the history of the state it is in today or was in the distant past. What I do know that if it being reclaimed or put in production for the first time, IT IS BECAUSE OF GOV. PROGRAMS NOT IN SPITE OF GOV. PROGRAMS.
    I am familiar with the original intent and it's purpose to aid small farmers. Not the case now.

    Another interesting article. Passed the Senate but not the Republican controled house so it went nowhere>

    Special interest has no single party Regards:

    Old farm bill extended as special interests worry anew about future


    By Erika Bolstad


    McClatchy Newspapers


    WASHINGTON — As part of the “fiscal cliff” package that passed this week, Congress and the White House cobbled together an extension of the nation’s massive farm bill that keeps many — but not all — of the country’s agricultural and food programs sputtering along until September.

    But just about everyone hates it. That includes farmers, produce trade organizations, groups that address hunger, dairy farmers, fiscal hawks and environmentalists — all have concerns with the way the bill was shoved awkwardly into the overall fiscal cliff compromise.

    The Center for Rural Affairs, based in Nebraska, called it “a disaster.” The extension “slashes investment in the future of small rural communities and family farmers and ranching,” warned Chuck Hassebrook, the center’s executive director.

    The compromise package merely extended the old farm bill until September and didn’t take into account some of the new work done this summer on a new fiveyear bill. It did nothing for innovation in agriculture or to address systemic problems in the dairy industry or crop subsidies, said Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif. Both were addressed — if imperfectly — in the bills that the House and the Senate worked on in 2012. Although the Senate passed a version of the farm bill last year, the House version never got to a floor vote.

    “We had the bill and the agreement, but what American agriculture got was more of the same,” Costa said.

    There was a fix for milk, which could have seen a price spike for many Americans when the law reverted to a 1949-era provision on milk prices. But the compromise failed to take into account reforms that some dairy interest groups had sought in the new farm bill. They include replacing old price-support programs for milk with an insurance program to protect farmers against low milk prices and high feed costs.

    The bill also neglected to include disaster assistance in a year of drought, said Ferd Hoefner of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. The compromise lacked continued funding for some innovative programs his group supports, such as promoting farmers markets, assisting new and minority farmers, and research into specialty crops and organic crops, he said.

    The top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, warned Friday, Jan. 4, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that he saw little reason to work on a new version of the farm bill unless he could get a commitment that it actually would come to the House floor for a vote.

    “I see no reason why the House Agriculture Committee should undertake the fool’s errand to craft another long-term farm bill if the Republican leadership refuses to give any assurances that our bipartisan work will be considered,” Peterson wrote. “You and your leadership team seem very content with simply extending the 2008 farm bill year after year without making any effort at reform, achieving savings and efficiencies, or improving the farm safety net for rural America.”

    The top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, warned that he saw little reason to work on a new version of the bill unless he could get a commitment that it would come to the floor for a vote.

    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golddogs View Post
    I am familiar with the original intent and it's purpose to aid small farmers. Not the case now.

    Another interesting article. Passed the Senate but not the Republican controled house so it went nowhere>

    Special interest has no single party Regards:

    Old farm bill extended as special interests worry anew about future


    By Erika Bolstad


    McClatchy Newspapers


    WASHINGTON — As part of the “fiscal cliff” package that passed this week, Congress and the White House cobbled together an extension of the nation’s massive farm bill that keeps many — but not all — of the country’s agricultural and food programs sputtering along until September.

    But just about everyone hates it. That includes farmers, produce trade organizations, groups that address hunger, dairy farmers, fiscal hawks and environmentalists — all have concerns with the way the bill was shoved awkwardly into the overall fiscal cliff compromise.

    The Center for Rural Affairs, based in Nebraska, called it “a disaster.” The extension “slashes investment in the future of small rural communities and family farmers and ranching,” warned Chuck Hassebrook, the center’s executive director.

    The compromise package merely extended the old farm bill until September and didn’t take into account some of the new work done this summer on a new fiveyear bill. It did nothing for innovation in agriculture or to address systemic problems in the dairy industry or crop subsidies, said Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif. Both were addressed — if imperfectly — in the bills that the House and the Senate worked on in 2012. Although the Senate passed a version of the farm bill last year, the House version never got to a floor vote.

    “We had the bill and the agreement, but what American agriculture got was more of the same,” Costa said.

    There was a fix for milk, which could have seen a price spike for many Americans when the law reverted to a 1949-era provision on milk prices. But the compromise failed to take into account reforms that some dairy interest groups had sought in the new farm bill. They include replacing old price-support programs for milk with an insurance program to protect farmers against low milk prices and high feed costs.

    The bill also neglected to include disaster assistance in a year of drought, said Ferd Hoefner of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. The compromise lacked continued funding for some innovative programs his group supports, such as promoting farmers markets, assisting new and minority farmers, and research into specialty crops and organic crops, he said.

    The top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, warned Friday, Jan. 4, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that he saw little reason to work on a new version of the farm bill unless he could get a commitment that it actually would come to the House floor for a vote.

    “I see no reason why the House Agriculture Committee should undertake the fool’s errand to craft another long-term farm bill if the Republican leadership refuses to give any assurances that our bipartisan work will be considered,” Peterson wrote. “You and your leadership team seem very content with simply extending the 2008 farm bill year after year without making any effort at reform, achieving savings and efficiencies, or improving the farm safety net for rural America.”

    The top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, warned that he saw little reason to work on a new version of the bill unless he could get a commitment that it would come to the floor for a vote.

    When I first read your thread, I thought you were argueing for reducing farm welfare. Your last post shows that what you are really complaining about is that the gov. tit for your anointed sector of farming(could it be organic farming), doesn't have enough milk to suit you.

    As to small farmers, I have never been able to figure out what a small farmer is. Is it the person who grows tomatoes on a couple acres land producing a crop that he sells by the roadside or at the farmers market generating a couple of thousand dollars a year? It being a part time job on the weekend. Or is it the father and two sons who farm corn,cotton, soybeans, ect. full time where harvesting cotton requires a highly efficient cotton picker costing $600,000 and can pick over 2500 acres in a season of about 30-45 days. That is just the beginning of the cost of their equipment. For them to makea living they farm as a family about 6000 acres with about 8-10 million dollars worth of equipment. And no, neither of the 3 families make $250,000 a year.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caryalsobrook View Post
    When I first read your thread, I thought you were argueing for reducing farm welfare. Your last post shows that what you are really complaining about is that the gov. tit for your anointed sector of farming(could it be organic farming), doesn't have enough milk to suit you.

    As to small farmers, I have never been able to figure out what a small farmer is
    . To this point it would not be the ag conglomerates Conarga,Cargill, ADM. It's one family, one farm. Size is moot. Is it the person who grows tomatoes on a couple acres land producing a crop that he sells by the roadside or at the farmers market generating a couple of thousand dollars a year? It being a part time job on the weekend. Or is it the father and two sons who farm corn,cotton, soybeans, ect. full time where harvesting cotton requires a highly efficient cotton picker costing $600,000 and can pick over 2500 acres in a season of about 30-45 days. That is just the beginning of the cost of their equipment. For them to makea living they farm as a family about 6000 acres with about 8-10 million dollars worth of equipment. And no, neither of the 3 families make $250,000 a year.
    To th other point, you missed it completly. It is constently argued that only the 47% are feeding from the government trough. It needs to be made clear, in order to have true discussion or the issue of gov subsudies, that big business, and many business side special interests, including farming, have a hand in the till. Things cannot continue if we have a chance in hell of eliminating the deficit. You cannot target just one section of recipients of gov handouts.

    Point being if you are argueing for a change in gov aid / programs, it has got to include ALL programs to be effective, and the last article showed that the House was unwilling to start weaning the calves.
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

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