Scandal number N+1 is finally making the pages of the mainstream (newspaper) press. The press has
been reluctant to cover President Obama's previous scandals,
but now that Barack H. Obama has been re-elected and is serving his final term (we
certainly hope it is), the
news media can return to the journalism business and pretend to know all about this dirty laundry.
Pigford II: Eric
Holder To Give Funds From DOJ's $16 Billion Settlement With Bank Of America To Radical Leftist
Groups. Judicial Watch first reported the scheme two years ago when Countrywide
Financial Corporation doled out $335 million to settle its discrimination lawsuit with the feds. The
money was supposed to be distributed to more than 200,000 minority victims who supposedly were charged higher
interest rates and fees than white borrowers based on their race not their credit. Instead, a chunk of the
money went to Democrat-tied groups not connected to the lawsuit, including the scandal-plagued Association of
Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the open-borders National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Now
many of the same groups will get more money from a record $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America.
Pigford: The Unexamined
Obama Administration Scandal. The underreported scandal referenced is generally identified as "Pigford." Pigford's
germination occurred in 1997 as a lawsuit (Pigford vs. Glickman) alleging that 91 African-American farmers were unfairly
denied loans by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to racial discrimination which prevented the complainants from
farming. In 1999, the black farmers won their case. Pigford has the distinction of being an out-of-control waste of taxpayer
funds and/or a cynical attempt by the Obama administration to curry favor with certain minority groups to which neither President Obama
nor Attorney General Eric Holder can plead ignorance of involvement.
Obama Is Every Bit as Bad as We Warned You.
The common thread in each of these scandals is corruption and a willingness to abuse the expanded powers of big government — while
failing to carry out the most basic responsibilities of any government. [...] In Pigford, Obama pushed for additional billions in federal spending
on fraudulent "reparations" processes that was abused in the name of real victims of racial discrimination — all so he could pay off key
Progressive Journalists Get Pigford So Wrong?. Did the people involved in Pigford and its successor lawsuits deserve
credit for helping to compensate victims of discrimination? Or blame for squandering many millions of dollars on false claims?
Did the Pigford settlements with black farmers establish a useful precedent that could be applied to Hispanic and female bias
claims? Or was it a cautionary tale of real discrimination being exploited by pandering politicians and hucksters trying to
Obama's Pigford Scandal
& Breitbart Was Right. Turns out conservative crusader Andrew Breitbart was correct when he exposed a multibillion-dollar
redistribution scheme to African-American farmers based on largely dubious claims of discrimination.
The Vindication (Again) of Andrew
Breitbart. Last Friday, conservative activist and media scourge Andrew Breitbart was posthumously vindicated.
Before he died in March 2012 of sudden heart failure, he had worked tirelessly to expose the horrific fraud that is Pigford.
For those who get their news only from the New York Times, the name "Pigford" would have sounded unfamiliar until last week,
but only because Andrew's efforts to make the mainstream media cover the issue (as he had induced them to cover Weinergate) were
cut short by his untimely death.
Sam's Mad 'Farmer' Giveaway. Abraham Carpenter Jr., a farmer in Grady, Ark., has more insight into human nature
than the average sociologist. "Anytime you are going to throw money up in the air," he told The New York Times, "you are
going to have people acting crazy." Carpenter is quoted in an astonishing 5,000-word Times exposé on the federal
government's wildly profligate program to compensate minority and women farmers for alleged discrimination.
Pigford Forever. At the time of his premature death, the great
provocateur Andrew Breitbart was more than a year into a grinding crusade to bring attention to a little-known class-action settlement called Pigford, which
had begun with plausible accusations that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had discriminated against a small number of black farmers, but which had spiraled into
a billion-dollar, open-ended government kickback machine for untold thousands that showed no signs of letting up.
York Times: Breitbart Was Right On Pigford. As other media outlets ignored the story, or in some cases accused
Breitbart News of racism for covering the story, Breitbart continued to press the story and shed light on the real victims of
the Pigford settlement: The actual black farmers who really had been discriminated against and were outraged
by the class-action suit. Now, nearly three years later, the New York Times has published an extensive investigative
report validating Breitbart's original reporting and going further, saying that the wide-spread abuse of the Pigford program could
balloon the cost of the settlement from $1.2 billion tax-payer dollars to an astounding $4.4 billion.
Federal Spigot Flows as
Farmers Claim Discrimination. [Scroll down] On the heels of the Supreme Court's ruling, interviews and records show,
the Obama administration's political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a stunning turnabout: they
committed $1.33 billion to compensate not just the 91 plaintiffs but thousands of Hispanic and female farmers who had never
claimed bias in court. [...] What is more, some protested, the template for the deal — the $50,000 payouts to black
farmers — had proved a magnet for fraud.
A potential major scandal for Obama
administration. In a front-page investigatory report that ranges somewhere between troubling and devastating, the New York Times reported Friday on
widespread abuse and fraud in a federal program designed to compensate black farmers who in the past had been denied access to federal farm aid because of their
race. According to the narrative laid out in the Times, the Obama administration contributed significantly to the problem and has a lot of work to do to
correct it. Depending on how forthrightly the administration reacts, the story has the makings of its first major political scandal.
Pigford payoffs. Here is a key point which is not often understood, that the
payments were tied to Obama's political maneuvering.
National Review: Pigford Scandal as Big as
Andrew Breitbart Warned. One of conservatism's leading journals, National Review, published a lead editorial on the Pigford scandal on Monday,
not only noting that Andrew Breitbart was right all along but that the scandal deserves more attention nationally. As it wraps up, the NR piece arrives at the
logical conclusion that Obama's expansion of Pigford payouts "resembles in organization and aim a criminal conspiracy of breathtaking proportions, and one in which
the federal government was first complicit and then ultimately responsible."
Matters Frenzy to Discredit Breitbart's Pigford Investigation. Using their own search engine, you can find at least twenty stories written by the
Soros-funded, 501 (c)(3) welfare queens at Media Matters for America that were explicitly meant to discredit Andrew Breitbart's investigative efforts into
what became known as Pigford — a four-alarm scandal involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Friday morning [4/26/2013], Breitbart's
cause on behalf of those black farmers who had been legitimately discriminated against was fully vindicated on page A1 of the New York Times.
Pigford Across the Media. Coming years late to the
story, The New York Times finally took a look at the Pigford scandal that Andrew Breitbart, Lee Stranahan and the Breitbart team exposed starting in
2010. At last the story is making an appearance across the media.
Pigford: NYT Pegs Obama for
Vote-Buying Scheme. The New York Times has vindicated the news sense of Andrew Breitbart and years of Breitbart News coverage of the Pigford
scandal with a front page, above the fold blockbuster of investigative journalism that adds new details about the fraud in the USDA farmer settlements and the key
role that Barack Obama has played in Pigford dating back to his days as a Senator.
Pigford Scam: "This
is institutionalized corruption of the highest order!" Mark Levin spent the first segment of his show on the massive corruption laid out in the
NY Times article on the Pigford scam. While he said it does vindicate Andrew Breitbart, it is much bigger than Breitbart. Levin says this is the
type of scandal that used to bring Presidents and Congressmen down.
Sanford Bishop (D-GA), His Scandal and the Pigford Cover-Up. Representative Bishop has represented
South Georgia's second district for nearly 20 years. He's an under the radar member of the Congressional
Black Caucus, seemingly without the temperament or ambition to achieve the high visibility of a John Conyers or Maxine
Waters. His relative anonymity has allowed him to avoid much close scrutiny but because of his active role in
helping to cover up the Pigford scandal, we are keeping a close eye on him and his race for reelection in 2012.
For those of you not familiar with Congressman Bishop, here's a quick recap of some of his career low lights.
Farmers. Last year, Congress chose to give to give millions more dollars to black farmers who claim
they were discriminated against by the US Agriculture Department — I've reported that lots of the money
goes to people who never farmed. In my report, Othello Cross, a lawyer for the farmers, admitted to us on
camera that there was fraud. Now, Andrew Breitbart points out that yet another farmers' lawyer has
media's silence on the Pigford Black Reparations story. The media is protecting the White House
again... by ignoring the Pigford Black Reparations Scam expose that Andrew Breitbart is running at Big Government.
As you read the news online, watch TV, and peruse the papers, please keep track of what news outlets are reporting
on Breitbart's Pigford expose... and which ones are deliberately silent on this.
Real Sherrod Story
Still Untold. [Scroll down] The major media reported the settlement as though it were
the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. For the last forty years, as the civil rights industry has
manufactured more and more absurd grievances — most notably the Tea Party smear that incited
Breitbart's reprisal — the media have reported on them with increasingly wide-eyed innocence.
In the various stories on the settlement, not one reporter that I could identify stopped to do the
math. ... Although 86,000 black farmers are alleged to have received payments, at no time in the last three
decades have there been more than 40,000 black farmers. Nor is there much turnover in the farming
Shirley Sherrod and
the Race Grievance Industry. Shirley Sherrod, litigant and co-mastermind of the Pigford
settlement, which bestowed large checks on 86,000 of the country's 40,000 black farmers, ironically may
help usher in a long-overdue post-racial era in America. Publicity, once the ally of the racial
grievance industry, is now the enemy of deals done in quiet.
Exult in Breitbart's Death. The Left is ecstatic because Breitbart had mastered using the Internet
to conduct warfare against its cherished ideas and heroes, not least the man in the White House. Breitbart's
sites, as The New American reported, were singlehandedly responsible for the destruction of the leftist ACORN
organization. He also unearthed the Pigford scandal. With Breitbart gone, the Left is overjoyed.
Black Farmer Blows the Whistle on the Black Farmer Settlement. I have 200 acres in Arkansas and
have raised hogs. Pigford is the biggest rip-off this country has ever known, and there are lots of people in
positions of power that know it. Politicians are using it to buy votes. Trial lawyers are using it
to get rich.
Bachmann, King allege fraud in black farmers settlement. House Republicans on Wednesday [9/29/2010]
charged that a multibillion-dollar settlement with black farmers supported by the Obama administration was
rife with fraud. At a press conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.),
Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) alleged that a $1.25 billion Agriculture Department (USDA)
settlement to resolve discrimination claims included individuals who were never farmers.
Bias Settlement Now Reparations Slush Fund.
A settled lawsuit intended to pay thousands of dollars to black farmers discriminated against by the federal
government is instead being used as a billion-dollar slush fund doling out reparations for slavery. That's
according to one of the few critics in Congress of the process known as the Pigford settlement. Rep.
Steve King (R.-Iowa), told HUMAN EVENTS the settlement is a "legal blunder" that has been corrupted.
Black Farmers Will Get
Payments from $1.25 Billion USDA Settlement. The number of African-American farmers who will
eventually receive a portion of a $1.25-billion government settlement for discrimination by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) is almost impossible to determine at this point, said attorneys representing the second
batch of complainants in the Pigford case.
Black Farmer, USDA
Employees Prepared to Testify About Fraud in USDA Settlement. A black farmer who was an original
litigant in the racial discrimination case against the U.S. Department of Agriculture is prepared to testify
before a congressional committee about the way some attorneys rounded up plaintiffs — including
homeless people and others who never farmed. The potential witness told a Republican congressman the
attorneys went through neighborhoods, looking for people to be among the nearly 16,000 plaintiffs who received
$1 billion in compensation for alleged farm-loan discrimination.
New Black Panthers Bring Racism to the Mainstream Media's Clubhouse.
On Friday, September 23, 2011, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, a panel of activists held a press
conference on the $2.7 billion Pigford settlement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and
black farmers claiming past discrimination. What ensued was a grotesque display of racism, antisemitism,
and homophobia. And not a single member of the mainstream media was on hand to report what happened.
The event was opened by Malik Zulu Shabazz, Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, a militant hate group that
supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election and sent armed thugs to intimidate voters at several polling places
in 2008 and 2010.
New Black Panthers: Friends at DOJ. At the Justice Department, one man has played a central role in
two of the most controversial racialist policies of the Obama Administration — Associate Attorney General Thomas
Perrelli. This bundler of huge campaign contributions for the Obama Campaign is now the second highest ranking
Presidential appointee at the Justice Department. Perrelli is best known for his central role in dismissing the
slam dunk voter intimidation case brought and dropped against the New Black Panther Party. But the leftist
Perrelli has outdone himself.
The Pigford Scandal. It's a timeless tale of passion: a dashing
government dressed in taxpayer cash sweeps into a dressing room, eyes burning with an insatiable appetite for votes. A favored constituency looks up from
her dressing table, chest heaving behind her flimsy pretext for cashing in. In a heavily shadowed corner of the room, a band of high-powered lawyers
takes up their violins, and soon romantic music mixes with the firelight. A veil of moral arrogance is drawn across the scene, but you know what
The Pigford Scandal: The original
plaintiffs in the Pigford class-action suit numbered less than 500. The USDA estimated that no
more than 2,000 claims would ultimately be filed. Who in blazes would be stupid enough to make
such an estimate? Oh, yeah, that's right: Clinton appointees. To date, ninety-four
thousand claims have been filed. The lame-duck congress just approved another $1.15 billion
to pay them off. The National Black Farmers Association thinks there are about 18,000 black farmers
in the entire country.
When Pigford Flies. Congress has OK'd nearly $5 billion for black and Native American farmers
who claim they were discriminated against. This is redistribution of wealth in the name of environmental and
social justice. Reparations have begun.
Using Pigford Cash to Pay Campaign Debts?. One key to understanding the Pigford travesty is
realizing how Barack Obama came to the point where today he is giving away billions in taxpayer dollars for
potentially fraudulent Pigford-related claims. What may have begun as a legitimate 100 million
dollar effort to repair genuine damages caused by alleged USDA discrimination evolved into what amounted
to a pay-for-play scam with two linked goals — to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Democrat primary,
then get Barack Obama elected president.
$1.25 Billion Pigford II Black Farmers Settlement. [Scroll down] A quick Google search
revealed that Ryan and Hayes had been alluding to the incredibly conspicuous news that days after Sherrod
was fired by the Obama administration, funding for the $1.15 billion Pigford II settlement was
pulled out from a supplementary war funding bill. The Google search also revealed that Senators Obama
and Biden had been two of four Pigford legislative sponsors in the Senate. Even more interesting, Rep.
Steve King (R-Ia), who is on the House Agriculture committee, was on AM radio drawing attention to what was
previously not known to me, and it was a blockbuster: Shirley Sherrod, and her husband, Charles, along
with their decades-long defunct communal farm, New Communities Inc., were set to receive over a whopping
$13 million in the Pigford settlement, the largest amount of money allocated in the history of the
Congressional Black Caucus vs. Black Farmers. Pigford v. Glickman was supposed to help
black farmers discriminated against by the USDA. Instead, it's diverted hundreds of millions of dollars
to people who never farmed and diverted attention away from the plight of real farmers.
Real Shirley Sherrod Scandal. Want to get a check from the government for $50,000?
If you're black and willing to say you once "attempted to farm," the money could be yours. Why?
In the 80's and 90's, some Black farmers were allegedly discriminated against by the Agriculture Department.
Department loan officers supposedly did the opposite of what Shirley Sherrod was accused of: they
granted government-subsidized farm loans to whites but not to blacks. Government shouldn't be giving
out government subsidized loans to anyone.
Sherrod's Unconstitutional Attack on Andrew Breitbart. No matter what you think of the
original Sherrod incident, Breitbart's commentary falls squarely within the protections of the First
Amendment. Freedom of political speech lies at the core of the Constitution; we attack our political
officials all the time without fear of reprisal. Sherrod was an outspoken public figure, one that
unapologetically stated that she saw the world through the framework of Marxism.
White House played a role in the firing of Shirley Sherrod. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a
public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, show that the Obama White House played
a role in the controversial firing of former U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod. The
administration had previously denied any involvement in her resignation.
Presser: The great Pigford fraud. [Scroll down] Andrew Breitbart delivered remarks,
saying that Al Pires created a system to exploit black farmers in the South, who only numbered about
3,000 expected claimants at the outset. Pigford has ended up with about 94,000 claimants, thanks
in no small part to Sen. Barack Obama's sponsorship of a bill to extend Pigford when he was in the
Senate. Meanwhile, black farmers who were actually discriminated against by the USDA were scammed
to benefit the class action attorneys involved, who made a killing off of Pigford. The farmers,
meanwhile, lost their land and continue to be victims of the entire process.
Pigford Pigout Is Illegal.
When Comrade Obama promised to "spread the wealth around," he didn't mean indiscriminately. The idea is
to take it from those who create it, and spread it among the groups that support him most loyally, namely
unions and blacks.
Sanford Bishop (D-GA) Want Pigford Fraud Coverup? The hours of interviews I've done with the key
people involved in the Pigford settlement are a treasure trove of information about what really happened in this
multi-billion dollar debacle. Because of the holidays and then the tragic shooting in Tuscon, I wanted to
hold off on releasing details about some of the major news that we're been able to uncover — but at
the risk of creating PiggieFatigue, here's part one of a serious allegation that a U.S. Congressman knowingly was
complicit in covering up fraud.
Witnesses Are Ready
to Testify in Congress About Alleged Pigford Fraud. Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa), who serves on
both the House Agriculture Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, says he has personally talked to two
potential witnesses in recent months who are ready to come forward and speak to a congressional committee —
if one decides to actually investigate the matter — about alleged fraud in discrimination-compensation
payments that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made to black farmers.
Obama Carries on the Pigford
Fraud. When Congress was stampeded to pass unprecedented legislation in 1998 to facilitate the
Pigford v. Glickman suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), some wise but unknown
person included a limiting provision in that bill to minimize participation by phony claimants. But,
when the Clinton Administration agreed to a settlement of the case in 1999, that provision was carefully
evaded in the consent decree, opening the door to massive fraud.
Steve King Says Congress will Investigate
"Reparations". President Obama earlier this month signed into law a measure to pay American Indians and black
farmers a total of $4.6 billion to cover decades of government mistreatment. Now, a Republican congressman says
the GOP-controlled House next year will hold hearings to investigate the settlement, which he says amounts to "reparations."
Conservative Rep. Steve King of Iowa told local radio station KCIM that the Pigford settlement, which was part of the
legislation, "is full of fraud" and "amounts to paying reparations to black farmers in America. We don't do reparations
'Black Farmers' Lawyer Admits Clients 'Got Away With Murder'. The mainstream media has treated accusations
of large-scale fraud in the Pigford settlement with overt skepticism and a distinct lack of journalistic curiosity. The
press has blindly repeated the Obama Administration's claim that there are only a handful of fraud cases among the twenty thousand
or so paid Pigford claims. Worse, the media has helped promote the narrative that those raising concerns about fraud in
Pigford are racist.
King Files Amendment to Block Pigford II Funds. "In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress limited
taxpayers' exposure to the Pigford II settlement program at $100 million, a figure that was
deemed sufficient to resolve the racial discrimination claims leveled against the United States Department of
Agriculture by black farmers," said King. "Since that time, a lame-duck Democratic Congress agreed to
President Obama's request to pump an additional $1.15 billion into the Pigford II settlement
program, doing so even though the program is rife with credible allegations of massive fraud that have not
been fully investigated. This was an irresponsible act, and it violated Congress's responsibility to
be good stewards of taxpayers' money."
One of the 'Biggest Conspiracies Against the U.S. Treasury Ever' Original
Pigford Claimant Calls It a Conspiracy. It's back to business on our investigation of the
Pigford story — the ongoing fraud that needs your help and attention to make it stop. The
mainstream — with a few exceptions like John Stossel — are ignoring the story of the
one of the biggest frauds in U.S. history because it doesn't fit their narrative.
W. Boyd demands more from government for black farmers. In December, when President Barack
Obama signed the "Claims Resolution Act of 2010," which appropriated $1.15 billion to black farmers
who said the U.S. Department of Agriculture had discriminated against them, many thought the matter had
been laid to rest. Dr. John W. Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, has a
message for America though: The black farmers need more — especially as they initially
sought $2.5 billion.
Breitbart on Pigford Lawsuit: 'Bring It On'. Breitbart.com LLC announced today [2/12/2011]
that its Chairman and CEO Andrew Breitbart and the head of Breitbart.tv, Larry O'Connor, have been sued in
the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by a central figure in the Pigford "back-door" reparations
case. The Pigford case involves over $2.5 billion in US taxpayer money and constitutes one of the
biggest cases of corruption and politically-motivated fraud in the history of the United States. Mr.
Breitbart and Breitbart.tv have been investigating and reporting on the Pigford case since late summer 2010.
Harvest. At a December 8 signing ceremony, President Obama heralded Pigford II as
the close of "a long and unfortunate chapter in our history." In a way, one hopes the president is
right — that the credulity, or perhaps the shame, of the American government and its taxpayers
cannot be strained to accommodate the petty greed of more than 94,000 phantom farmers, and that the con
will finally have run its course. But that is unlikely. Two Pigford-style class-action
suits — one for Hispanic farmers, another for women — with the potential to dwarf
current settlements are working their way through the courts. Like so many Pigfords to the
Pigford Fraud. The original Pigford settlement arose out of a 1997 class-action lawsuit by Timothy
Pigford and 400 southern black farmers who had apparently legitimate claims of discrimination against the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its allocation of farm loans between 1983 and 1987. At last count,
more than 94,000 black farmers had signed up for well north of $1 billion in payments under the settlement.
Pigford Attorney Publicly Reveals Conspiracy to Defraud Federal Government.
One of the key attorneys in the Pigford "black farmers" lawsuit has confirmed, on camera, what we at Big Government
have argued for months: that the $2.7 billion Pigford settlement has been corrupted by fraud on a
massive scale. On September 23, 2011, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.,
attorney Faya Rose Toure (a.k.a. Rose Sanders) described a conspiracy to defraud the federal government, involving
claimants, attorneys, and members of the clergy.
Washington's Food Subsidies Have Helped Make Americans Fat and Sick. Farm subsidies are perhaps the ultimate,
but secret, third rail of American politics. While entitlements are discussed out in the open, farm subsidies are
rarely talked about — even though they are the most expensive subsidy Washington doles out. All told, the
U.S. government spends $20 billion annually on farm subsidies, with approximately 39 percent of all farms receiving
some sort of subsidy. For comparison, the oil industry gets about $4.6 billion annually and annual housing subsidies
total another $15 billion. A significant portion of this $20 billion goes not to your local family farm, but
to Big Aggie.
Bigger The Farm, The Bigger The Gov't Check" - Bailout Goes To Richest Farmers. More than half of President
Trump's $8.4 billion bailout for American farmers through April was received by the top 10% of wealthiest farmers, the
Environmental Working Group (EWG) said in a new study published Tuesday [7/30/2019]. EWG said the bailout "overwhelmingly
flowed to the largest and most successful farmers," which left very little money for the mom-and-pop farmers affected by the
trade war with China. The advocacy group said top 1% of bailout recipients received on average $180,000 while the
bottom 80% collected less than $5,000 for their trade war-induced financial hardships.
to Give $16 Billion in Aid for America's Embattled Farmers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that
the Trump administration would give an additional $16 billion in aid to America's farmers hurt by the trade war with
China. Farmers have been particularly hurt by Chinese retaliatory tariffs, and with more retaliation on the way, Trump
decided to get out ahead of the problem and try to shield farmers from the worst effects of the trade war.
Reasons Why USDA Shouldn't Give Special Aid to Farmers Hit by Tariffs. Last July, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture announced that it was going to provide $12 billion in aid to help farmers with the "trade damage" from numerous
trade disputes. That was supposed to be a one-time relief package, but there was little reason at that time to think it
would stop with the $12 billion. Sure enough, less than a year later, the USDA is reportedly going to offer another aid
package for farmers that could cost as much as $20 billion.
Subsidies Went to Billionaires. Federal crop insurance subsidies went to billionaires,
according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The U.S. Department
of Agriculture's (USDA) program provides subsidies to cover the crop losses for farmers, regardless of
their income. The GAO report, released Wednesday [3/18/2015], found that thousands of individuals with
incomes over $500,000 have received $317 million in subsidies over five years, and not all were farmers.
in farm subsidies flow freely to DC residents who don't actually farm. Washington, D.C., doesn't have many farms, or farmers.
Yet thousands of residents in and around the nation's capital receive millions of dollars every year in federal farm subsidies, including
working-class residents in Southeast, wealthy lobbyists on K Street and well-connected lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In neighboring
Chevy Chase, Md., one of the nation's wealthiest communities, lawyers, lobbyists and at least one psychologist collected nearly $342,000 in
taxpayer farm subsidies between 2008 and 2011, according to the watchdog group Open the Books.
The farm bill isn't really about farming. It's about food stamps. Might Congress actually split
up the gigantic farm bill? We call the large, deliberately convoluted, and $1 trillion/ten years legislation that
recently crashed and burned in the House the farm bill, but in reality, the majority of the bill's monetary substance is all about
providing funding for the ever-expanding federal food stamp program.
More Subsidies for Prosperous Farmers.
In the face of deficits not seen since World War II, we should question proposals to provide billions of taxpayer dollars to support an
industry that is enjoying record profits.
Farm Bill: After Three Failed Decades of No Reform, Isn't it Time to
Try a Different Approach? Unwinding the government's crop protectionism regime has been a 30+ year-long nightmare mess. We who wish to
make it all go away have in that time gotten absolutely nowhere in our attempts to do so. A political numbers-reality has existed throughout that has made
progress impossible. Nearly every Democrat will always be for just about any government program — of course including crop subsidies.
On principle. It's government — and they always want it to do more. Then there are rural Republicans. Whose states (Senate) and
many districts (House) contain crop subsidies recipients.
House defeats farm bill amid bipartisan opposition.
In a defeat for Republican leadership, the House on Thursday [6/20/2013] rejected a sweeping farm bill, amid opposition from both sides of the aisle.
More than 60 House Republicans defected and voted against the half-trillion-dollar bill, which sets funding for farm subsidies and other assistance
as well as food stamps. The vote was 234-195 against the bill.
Price Fixing Milk. Washington's dairy policy is such a
mess that even Congress would be hard pressed to make it worse, but Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson and a few Republicans are trying. As ranking
Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Mr. Peterson is the guardian angel of his state's giant Land O'Lakes dairy co-op. The House will vote
Wednesday [6/19/2013] whether to retain his latest farm-bill gift to milk producers in the form of a new Soviet-style supply program to raise prices.
More Subsidies for Prosperous Farmers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that farm income in 2013 will be more than double what it was in 2009. The nation's
farmers are enjoying the benefits of high crop prices, massive crop insurance subsidies, and technological advances that have made crops
more resistant to drought. As a result, farming's record level of income far surpasses that of comparable non-farm sectors.
Yet much of the debate over new farm legislation seems oblivious to these facts. The latest farm bill would give farmers even
Farm Subsidies Must Die. In 2012, the
Department of Agriculture (USDA) spent $22 billion on subsidy programs for farmers. Introduced in the 1930s to help
struggling small family farms, the subsidies now routinely draw condemnation from both left and right as wasteful corporate welfare.
While the number of farms is down 70 percent since the 1930s — only 2 percent of Americans are directly engaged
in farming — farmers aren't necessarily struggling anymore. In 2010, the average farm household earned $84,400, up
9.4 percent from 2009 and about 25 percent more than the average household income nationwide.
surprising recipients of an agricultural tax break. A sales tax break designed to help agricultural businesses was written
with sweeping language aimed at a range of Georgia farmers. But faced with a growing horde of applicants, state officials are
racing to clarify a vast gray area determining who should qualify for the lucrative benefits.
Corn Ethanol and a Non-Warming Earth. The
earth has failed to warm at all for 15 years now, and American farmers are afraid of losing the "renewable fuel" mandate
for corn ethanol — which has given them record crop prices and incomes since 2007. So, they're proposing a
new entitlement designed to ensure that they'll never lose money again. Their proposed new federal farm bill would
guarantee that farmers' incomes don't decline — and if future farm prices rise even more, the Feds' guarantee
would ratchet up too.
Definition of Reform? Give Rich Farmers More Aid. The [farm] bill, which Congress renews every five years, was
supposed to cut giveaways to agribusiness and other wasteful spending. Indeed, Senate negotiators hailed the $23 billion
in cost reductions over the next 10 years as one of the biggest shakeups in agriculture policy in generations.
donkeys, Bon Jovi's bees: Farm subsidies draw scrutiny. The miniature donkeys that graze at the
Mount Laurel homestead of U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan became political fodder as soon as the former Eagles tackle
announced his candidacy in 2009. Under a New Jersey law designed to protect farmers from soaring property taxes,
Runyan receives a 98 percent tax break on most of his land because he keeps donkeys and sells firewood.
The Mexican Strawberries? I get into a lot arguments with conservatives over very
non-conservative causes they believe in. ... One of these non-conservative things that conservatives
seem often to hold dear are farm subsidies. Of course there is no constitutional authority for
such programs. But still I am told often as a matter of fact by "conservative" people that these
subsidies are needed and that farmers cannot live without them.
there's never been a better time to cut farm subsidies. As President Obama and Speaker Boehner
discuss spending cuts and the debt ceiling, they should realize that thanks to the rise of the Chinese middle
class, this is a great time to cut U.S. farm subsidies. Just yesterday [7/12/2011], the USDA boosted its estimates
of 2012 marketing year U.S. corn exports to China by fourfold — indicating a strong and lasting shift
in Chinese consumption patterns, a shift that wasn't present when farm reforms were last discussed in 1996.
Department Needs To Be Plowed Under. The Department of Agriculture no longer serves as a lifeline
to millions of struggling homestead farmers. Instead it is a vast, self-perpetuating, postmodern bureaucracy
with an amorphous budget of some $130 billion — a sum far greater than the nation's net
farm income this year. In fact, the more the Agriculture Department has pontificated about family farmers,
the more they have vanished — comprising now only about 1% of the American population.
Department of Food Subsidies. The Department of Agriculture no longer serves as a lifeline to
millions of struggling homestead farmers. ... Net farm income is expected in 2011 to reach its highest
levels in more than three decades, as a rapidly growing and food-short world increasingly looks to the
United States to provide it everything from soybeans and wheat to beef and fruit. Somebody should
explain that good news to the Department of Agriculture: This year it will give a record $20 billion
in various crop "supports" to the nation's wealthiest farmers — with the richest 10 percent
receiving over 70 percent of all the redistributive payouts.
Don't Republicans Want to Eliminate Farm Subsidies? The Cato Institute calls farm subsidies
"environmentally destructive corporate welfare, with more than 70 percent of aid going to the largest
10 percent of agribusinesses." Cato calculates that eliminating the program would save
$20 billion or more each year.
Why can't we get rid of agricultural subsidies? Ending Farm Welfare As
We Know It. Just about everything in Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's budget blueprint has caught
unshirted hell from critics: the tax rates, the Medicare vouchers, the safety-net cuts. The
one thing that hasn't? The cuts to farm subsidies. If past is prologue, that means the
subsidies are probably safe. Ryan wants to trim $3 billion a year from a $15 billion
annual total in farm support programs. This is a modest goal — perhaps too modest.
Pork politics all that's needed to keep farm subsidies growing.
[Scroll down] As those farm state senators and representatives could tell you, a number of farmers making
modest incomes have a gross take of $500,000 or more. They have to spend huge amounts to produce crops and
get them to market. These farmers aren't rich. It's just the way the business often works. At
the same time, of course, large numbers of those getting the handouts are in fact big-time agribusinesses and
it is no more crucial to support the smaller farms than it is to support any other kind of small business.
The Obama Revolution. Mr. Obama's budget
assumes that nearly all of the new stimulus spending will be temporary — a fantasy. He also proposes to
eliminate farm subsidies for those with annual sales of more than $500,000. This is a great idea, and long
overdue. But has the President checked with Senators Kent Conrad (North Dakota) or Chuck Grassley (Iowa)? We
hope we're wrong, but a White House that showed no interest in restraining Congress during the recent stimulus bacchanal
isn't likely to stand athwart history to stop the agribusiness lobby.
Let's 'Restructure' Washington While
We're at It. The farm bill, originally passed in 1933 to keep small farmers afloat (when 25% of
Americans lived on farms), outlived its usefulness by the start of World War II. Today just 2% of
Americans live on farms. Congress lectures Detroit about a one-time loan of $15 billion, yet year
after year Congress hands $10 billion to corporate farmers. And that's only one of hundreds of
institutionalized pork-barrel projects.
Oink! Oink! Congress goes hog wild with farm bill. There will be unmelted snowballs in Hades
before this Congress agrees to cut out the pork in the farm bill headed for a vote within the next week, so
President Bush should get his veto pen ready. At an estimated cost of at least $285 billion over
10 years, this will be the most expensive and regressive farm bill ever. Given how Congress uses
budget gimmicks these days to hide the real costs of many of the bills it approves, that $285 billion
figure is almost certainly too low.
Dreams From My
Farmer. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama worries about the ugly image that Americans project to
the world in the area of trade. We demand, he writes, that "developing countries eliminate trade barriers
that protect them from competition, even as we steadfastly protect our own constituencies from exports that
could help lift poor countries out of poverty." This laudable concern did not prevent him from voting
for the farm bill, whose entire purpose was to "protect our own constituencies from exports that could help
lift poor countries out of poverty."
Congress Opts for Farm Bill Pork Rather than Reform.
Congressional Democrats, joined by many Republicans, plowed down the seedlings of reform and passed a Farm Bill that
perpetuates wasteful crop subsidies and doles out funds to interests that have little or nothing to do with agricultural
Children of the Corn:
[Scroll down] The result is the $289 billion farm bill that President Bush vetoed for the second
time on Wednesday. Congress overrode the veto within hours, and so you'll pay at least $5 billion
a year in automatic payments to farmers growing staples such as wheat, cotton, corn, and soybeans, even if
prices stay at record levels. You'll pay an extra $410 million to dairy farmers, who have been
enjoying record prices.
Bill Yet Another Example of Democrats' Broken Promises on Earmark Reform. There's something fishy
in the Farm Bill, and taxpayers should beware. It's a $170 million earmark for the salmon industry,
quietly tucked into the mammoth bill at the last minute by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Thompson
(D-CA). I don't know much about the salmon industry. Perhaps Pelosi and Thompson can explain why it
was necessary to earmark $170 million of the taxpayers' money with no public scrutiny or debate. The
earmark wasn't in the House-passed Farm Bill or the Senate version; it was simply "air-dropped" into the final
bill in secret.
Congress passes farm
bill, defying Bush. Congress sent the White House a huge election-year farm bill Thursday [5/15/2008]
that includes a boost in farm subsidies and more money for food stamps amid rising grocery prices. Bush has
threatened to veto the $290 billion bill, saying it is fiscally irresponsible and too generous to wealthy
corporate farmers in a time of record crop prices.
the Farm Bill. When lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week, a group of House Republicans known as the FIT
Force will unveil an effort to expose Washington waste. Led by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), this newly formed
Fiscal Integrity Task Force wants to hold congressional spendthrifts accountable for their excesses. McCotter's goal
is admirable — and one that all Americans, regardless of ideology, should support. Unfortunately, the group's timing
couldn't be worse. That's because McCotter and half of the FIT Force members themselves abandoned fiscal integrity
less than two weeks ago. That's when they voted to override President Bush's veto of the farm bill, a $307 billion
monstrosity that will cost the average U.S. family about $5,650.
The House (318-106) and Senate (81-15) have passed a new $300 billion farm bill by veto-proof margins this
week. The bill is worse than the 2002 farm bill, which at the time was considered the most bloated and
wasteful in history. President Bush should not only veto it, he should take his time in doing so. We
have a feeling that the more time the public has to get to know this bill, the less they will like it.
Farming for riches:
I may surprise some people by saying what few presidential candidates would ever be willing to say out loud in
farm country: I'd veto the farm bill -- a bloated expansion in federal spending that will do more harm
than good. When agricultural commodity prices and exports have reached record highs, we no longer need
government-grown farms and mammoth government bureaucracies.
Farm Bill Vote a Loss for Consumers and Taxpayers. The
House of Representatives on Wednesday [5/14/2008] passed the Farm Bill, signaling a major loss for consumers
and taxpayers. "If the Senate goes the way of the House, taxpayers and consumers will be paying the bills
for a Farm Bill that increases farm subsidy programs, provides payments to millionaire farmers, and increases
spending by about $20 billion, without any significant reform," said Fran Smith, Adjunct Fellow at the
Competitive Enterprise Institute.
farm bill expands sugar boondoggle. The Farm Nutrition and Bioenergy Act, which cleared the House
on Tuesday 318-106, is a cornucopia of boondoggles, rip-offs and handouts, but perhaps the most inexplicable
part is the provision instructing the federal government to buy "surplus" sugar from sugar growers and then
sell it to make ethanol. Taxpayers will buy overpriced sugar and then sell it to ethanol makers at an
artificially low price — a sweet deal for sugar and ethanol barons, and a raw deal for taxpayers.
Some Farm Subsidies Going To The Rich And Famous.
Some of America's rich and famous are padding their bank accounts with government money meant for working farmers.
A watchdog group in Washington unveiled an internet database that pinpoints where the government is giving away
farm subsidies on Tuesday. You may be surprised to see who's getting money and where.
It's Time to End
Farm Subsidies. President Bush's modest proposal to reduce farm subsidies
will not cause a partisan fight between Democrats and Republicans, but make no mistake
about it: the fight that does occur will be interest-group politics-as-usual. Unfortunately,
absent from that fight is any consideration of whether farmers should get subsidies at all.
Farm Subsidies: More Obsolete Than
Your Grandpa's Tractor. Robert Samuelson discusses the history of federal farm
subsidies, and the massive money pit they have become. In the 37 years since 1970,
the federal government has spent $578 billion on farm subsidies. Samuelson says
that, even though incredible amounts are spent on farming, its not doing much good.
Billion in Federal Taxpayer Farm Subsidies — Growing Problems. Few issues frustrate
economic conservatives more than farm subsidies because of their extremely high cost to taxpayers and their
role in keeping the price of commodities at artificially high levels. Since 1933, when the United States
Government made farm subsidies part of its agricultural policy, many people have urged Congress and the
President to eliminate the unfair practice. So far little progress has been made.
grows in D.C. about local 'pork' projects. An Arizona lawmaker says an Iowa dairy program that
got $229,000 in federal money exemplifies the problem. … The dairy education program received $229,000
in this year's federal budget — a relatively small amount. But simmering unrest over
congressional hometown largesse has put such targeted federal spending, known as earmarks, under increasing
scrutiny in Washington.
Don Young Had a Farm. Don Young's "way" is to use his position as chairman of the
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to bring home as many federal dollars as possible
for his home state. For instance, the highway bill passed at the end of July netted over
$1 billion in special projects for Alaska. That's $1,448 in pork for every man, woman,
and child in Alaska.
Is the House farm bill a cushion for wealthy?
In the past, Minnesota beneficiaries of farm payments included Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, a
billionaire who got $542,265 in subsidies between 1996 and 2000 from farmland in Minnesota and Iowa.
Nationally, the list of wealthy recipients has included media mogul Ted Turner, NBA star Scottie Pippen,
former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers and the late Enron chief Ken Lay.
The Farm State
Pig-Out: That great rooting, snooting noise you hear in the distance, dear taxpayers, is the
sound of election-year, farm-state politics rolling out of the U.S. Congress. We all know democracy
isn't cheap, but this is ridiculous. This week [early May 2002] the Senate is expected to approve the
final farm bill, a 10-year, $173.5 billion bucket of slop that has even Washington agog.
Real Emergencies and Farm "Emergencies":
Most farm households earn the bulk of their income from non-farm sources. … In fact, USDA figures show
that only 38 percent of farm households consider farming to be their primary occupation. Nonetheless,
Congress has been using "emergency" budget procedures for the past four years to pass huge farm subsidy
bills. The vast bulk of this money was not aimed at legitimate farm emergencies such as droughts, but
simply went to boost farm incomes.
The sugar subsidy: how sweet
it is. These aren't good times for the sugar lobby. Sales were down 4.3 percent in
2004. … Sugar substitutes are a godsend for many Americans. With most diets drenched in
calories, Equal, Sweet 'N' Low, and Splenda all offer a modest respite. Which is bad in the sugar lobby's
Ending red-state welfare as we know
it. The Bush administration is set to take on one of the great scandals of American governance:
a system of farm subsidies so perverse that it should get whatever the equivalent of an NC-17 rating is for a
More Corporate Welfare Embedded in
the Farm Bill. Among the many troubling provisions of the costly farm bill signed into law by
President Bush in 2002 were several to provide even more federal subsidies to rural electric cooperatives, which
are already heavily subsidized.
What About The War Against The
Welfare State? Every dollar spent on a pork barrel project, on expanding failed programs like
Title I, on paying wealthy farmers not to farm, means one less dollar for strengthening our military or
for spending on domestic self-defense.
The federal budget: The good,
the bad and the ugly. The ugly is an $80 billion increase in farm aid. Modern farming
techniques make it possible to grow more food per acre and the government is working overtime to artificially
keep prices up and keep people in the farming business who, if left alone, long ago would have found other
lines of work.