Home > Uncategorized > Cutting Federal Spending Is Time To Man Up

Cutting Federal Spending Is Time To Man Up

I have maintained that Republican conservatives and their Tea Party base are sincere about limiting the size and scope of the federal budget.

Their problem is they tend to cherry pick programs they don’t like for the cutting room floor.

Take Michele Bachmann, founder of the Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives. I quote from her bio on Wikipedia which may or may not be accurate:

Bachmann … has an ownership stake in a family farm. Her holdings in the farm are worth up to $250,000, and generated annual income ranging from $2,000 a few years ago to up to $50,000 in 2008. In the period from 1995 through 2006, the Bachmann family farm as a whole received $251,973 in federal subsidies, chiefly for dairy and corn price supports.

Question: Does anyone think Bachmann or any congressman representing agricultural constituents are going to vote against farm subsidies?

We’re not talking peanuts here, which, by the way, cost U.S. taxpayers $3.4 billion in price supports to 91,563 growers between 1995 and 2009.

Peanut producers ranked only 12th eating from the public trough. Here’s a list of the top 20. Forgive me but cherry-picking three commodities begs some comment:

— Corn costs us $73.7 billion over 14 years and includes a failed effort to produce ethanol to drive our cars more cheaply than gasoline.

— Has wheat subsidies of $30.7 billion reduced the price of a loaf of bread?

— Why in tarnation (pun intended) are we supporting tobacco growers $944 million when their product gives most of us lung cancer?

In all fairness, the growers are not the bad guys. The price they receive for their products is only nickels on the dollar what it costs consumers in retail stores.



This essay is directed at only one small part of where government spending can be cut. To steal a horrible phrase from some of the winning and losing women Republican candidates, it is time to man up when it comes decision time to cut spending. Lives and jobs are in your hands. Campaign rhetoric is priceless. Cutting pork is in the eye of the beholder.


Full disclosure. I come from a vegetable farming family in which there were no government subsidies for perishable products. That was the free capital market system in its rawest, purest form and we survived. If my father was offered money by the federal government not to grow a crop, he would have told them to go to hell. That was the free enterprise system in which I grew up. The farmers on what amounts to federal welfare should keep that in mind before rattling their pitch forks and screaming for the government to get out of their lives. That, my friends, is the rallying cry of Michele Bachmann.

(Bachmann photo courtesy of Huffington Post)

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