Sunday, July 02, 2006

Welfare Queens

Farm subsidies have been spiraling out of control ever since the republicans took control of Congress in 1994, but I had no idea that it has gotten as bad as is exposed in today's Washington Post. The federal government now pays $1.3 billion a year to people who live on land that used to be farmland.

That's right, if you buy a tract of land that was formerly farmland, you get farm subsidies for every undeveloped acre. Even worse, people who decided they didn't deserve the money were appalled to find out that if they didn't take it, it wouldn't save the country money, it just meant others in the program would get more money.

Look, it's long been a dirty little secret that the program had become a form of welfare for republican supporters in the red states, in fact this program has grown to be 50% larger than the actual welfare program which serves millions more people at a time when farming profits have soared to near record highs. I'd really like to see the number of subsidy recipients that donate to republican candidates. Certainly the farm lobby pours a ton of money into republican coffers.

If the republican party wants to have any credibility anymore on conservative fiscal policy, this program needs to be reigned in, and subsidies for non-farmers have to stop. That isn't going to happen though, the modern republican party threw their principals down the drain years ago. They are now simply about steering as much of the nation's treasure as they can to their supporters. They are modern day legislative robber barons.

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