Farm subsidies: the dirty little secret of the right

The next time you hear a Republican or a teabagger complain that President Obama is moving the United States closer to "fascism and socialism" (despite the two philosophies being ideologically opposite of one another), remember this: some of these same people are taking thousands of dollars in a form of "socialism" that we usually don’t think about: farm subsidies.

For those not in the know, farm subsidies are when the government pays farmers and businesses in the agricultural field to (a) supplement income, (b) manage commodity supply, and (c) influence commodity cost.

Here’s the dirty little secret: some politicians, mostly Republicans but also a few Democrats, figured out how to make tons of money off of this "socialism for the wealthy."  It also comes as no coincidence that most of these particular politicians come from largely rural states.

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), the nation’s third-most recognizable teabagger figurehead after Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, got almost $252,000 from farm subsidies between 1995 and 2006.  Hypocritical much, Congresswoman Bachmann?

Congresswoman Bachmann isn’t alone.  There’s also Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of "I’m No NAIL" fame, who took over $1 million over an 11-year period for his family farms.

Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), one of the thirty "Republicans for Rape" and a man who wants to be Kansas’ next governor, took over half a milion on farm subsidies.  You read that correctly: half a million.  This coming from a man whose sole mission in life is doing what he thinks God is telling him to do despite not knowing what the word of God is really all about – namely, helping those you are screwing by taking half a million in government funds.

To be fair, not all subsidy money is going to Republicans.  There are also a handful of Democrats taking subsidies as well.

Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana), a man who is largely responsible for killing any real health care reform in the Senate’s reform bill, took about $250,000 in subsidies.  So, it’s not just Big Pharma paying off Baucus.

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas), one of the four Lieberman-esque Democratic Senators that were hell-bent on killing real reform in the Senate’s health care reform bill, also took subsidies – about $700,000 worth.

Notice a pattern here?  All of these politicians have two tendencies about them: (a) they come from states where agriculture is big business, and (b) they all tend to be politically conservative – and this is more proof (if any more was needed) that the phrase "compassionate conservative" is oxymoronic.

So, next time you hear someone argue against health care reform or economic stimulus as part of Obama’s "socialist agenda," just remember that these same people took thousands from the government – an all-mighty socialism for the rich.

Farm subsidies: the dirty little secret of the right

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