"If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse."


The lefty site Truthdig unearths some inconvenient facts about conservative Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann:

[D]ata compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization's records, Bachmann's family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann's recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or "socialized"—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America's bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann's free-market dream world as Cuba's free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.

Whole colorful story here, complete with cameos by fellow welfare queens Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). And for an accounting of the vast farm subsidies collected by media baron Ted Turner and Farm Aid co-founder John Mellencamp (and family), see this piece by Matt Welch.

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  1. These subsidies are at the heart of America's bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann's free-market dream world as Cuba's free medical system.

    Which should be a good thing for us at Truthdig because we're lefty, and not free-market kooks... right?

    1. i was thinking the same thing. this is like the pot calling the kettle black and then looking around beaming with pride.

      1. Its called exposing hypocrisy in one's opponent.

        1. Did Bachmann vote in favor of these subsidies?

          If she voted against them, it's not hypocrisy, since unilaterally giving up these subsidies when subjected to price controls, and all one's neighbors taking the subsidies, would result in bankruptcy.

          1. According to this post at The Corner, she voted against the subsidies.

          2. Oh, c'mon. You really believe there's a remote possibility that she voted against them? Seriously?

          3. Er, she bitches about socialism but take money from A and B to give to C (her) pretty handily!

            1. Er, she bitches about socialism but take money from A and B to give to C (her) pretty handily!

              She voted against it.

              Did you return any Bush tax cut to the US Treasury, since you were against it? It's an impossible standard to hold people to.

              1. No, and I wish the lazy fucker would get a job. I can't even get into my own basement because of his sorry ass.

          4. I'm with Prolefeed. You can't fault her for taking what's there for the taking as long as she votes that it shouldn't be offered in the first place.

            She's following her free market principles perfectly by acting in her own self interest in business, but voting against unfair actions in government.

          5. Goodness prole, she's a parasite!

            1. She's a politician. Of course she's a parasite.

              We're just dickering about the price.

              1. MNG's favorite politicians, no doubt, are pure and pristine.

          6. Sometimes gratuitous exploitation of a loophole is the best way to get it closed.

            1. I take farm subsidies, and I'm batshit crazy... am I a hypocrite?

              1. No, Ted, you're a great human being!

                1. No, you're not, Ted. I should know, I married your sorry ass for some reason I still can't fathom.

                  But back then, I was still a hot MILF chick. Now I'm just a dried-up angry liberal bitch. Kinda like you.

                  1. I'm proud to take taxpayer money I don't need to subsidize the farm I rarely visit!

        2. Is Bachman allowed - er, "allowed" - to sell her farm wares WITHOUT restrictions?

          I suspect not.

          Oh, and... fuck you, MNG.

        3. haha, exposing hypocrisy in politics. good luck with that. after you jump off that bridge, by all means pull your head out of your ass.

    2. I don't know about corn and milk but it is illegal to grow peanuts for sale w/o participating in the Government agriculture program.It was illegal to grow tobbacco w/o an allotment until a few years ago.If Bachmann voted against the Farm bill she is no hypocrite.Here in GA our "conservative" GOP Senators lead the fight to overturn Bush's veto of the Farm bill.That's some RINOs for ya.

      1. Here in Springfield, MO, just recently, some local farmers were shithammered by the state AG for the heinous crime of... selling raw milk.

        Oh, the humanity. What about the children?

        How ever did we survive as a species without The Benevolent Dictatorships in DC and every state capitol? I sure feel safer knowing they're there...

  2. It would be fabulous to end all farm subsidies, but I doubt that's what anyone at TruthDig actually cares about.

    If these farmers were Democrats, and/or the farms were "organic" they would be appauding thrm.

    1. hold on though, if farm subsidies were removed i heard it would be almost impossible for farmers to make a profit and food prices would skyrocket.
      im not joking either ive never studied farm subsidies before and one time i asked someone if we should get rid of them and they told me thats what would happen.

      1. Food prices would rise somewhat. That would make it easier for the remaining farmers to turn a profit. (After the ones who couldn't live without subsidies).

        Prices wouldn't skyrocket, they would *without a shred of doubt* stabilize at slightly higher levels. In some cases lower, assuming we also remove the quota systems.

        We would probably also import a lot more food from Mexico, the carribean, and central America.

        Of course, then leftists would bitch about the "corn sweatshops" ruthlessly exploiting all those poor mexican farmers, who would otherwise be enticed into high-paying factory jobs.
        Pretty much the exact opposite of what they are arguing now.

        1. I enjoy year round cheap asparagus thanks to ag globalization.No waiting for the "season".I hope the tasty green spears enjoy their flight on old fuel-inefficient polluting jet cargo planes too(although I expect it's probably a lazy Caribbean cruise).

        2. if the elimination of ag subsidies was twinned with the elimination of ag tariffs, the overall result might be lower food prices. might.

          of course any increase in food prices resulting from elimination of ag subs would be more than offset by lower taxes.

        3. "We would probably also import a lot more food from Mexico, the carribean, and central America."

          And then all the "eat locally" crowd would go into hysterics about the cost to the environment of transporting foods over long distances, etc. etc.

          1. Or simply the loss of "food security" which is an issue I don't think you can just dismiss out of hand.

      2. If all the government subsidies and price controls and other interference were removed, there would be a wrenching readjustment, and then the remaining farms would be selling stuff at a profit.

        It would almost certainly not be the same mix of products, and the prices might be higher, and foreign producers might make inroads in some commodities, but all the prime farmland would still be growing something.

        Especially if one the government interferences removed was the WoD, and growing marijuana was legal.

        1. If American farmers were allowed to grow hemp... but wait, the Drug Worriers tell us hemp-based clothing causes contact highs, so we'd best believe what they say.

          Hurr, durr.

      3. Also remember those subsidies come from your tax dollars. Even if prices increased somewhat, your total cost of (food+taxes) would probably decrease.

        1. Do you really think taxes would be reduced? I don't.

          1. You're right, and I almost put something in my original post about that. But since they'll never cut farm subsidies in the first place, it doesn't matter anyway. The point remains though, if you get rid of government involvement with its inevitable inefficiencies, the total cost will decrease.

            1. Even if taxes are not reduced, deficit spending would go down, raising the value of the dollar.

      4. If farm subsidies were ended rural farmland would get a whole lot cheaper, opening up opportunities for those "loca" and "organic" farms hippies love so much.Hell, I'd consider free market farming myself if the land was cheaper.

        1. Got a rooftop? I'll help you farm anywhere

      5. Prices might rise, but you'd have more money in your pocket.

  3. Wow - perhaps her the permanent prefix to her name should be changed from "batshit crazy" Bachmann to "corrupt hypocrite" Bachmann.

    1. Okay, but by that logic any liberal that has ever benefitted from the free market has to be labeled a corrupt hypocrite too. Let's see, shall we start with the liberal billionaires (Soros, Kerry, Jobs, Buffet, Gates, etc.) or the merely multi-millionaire liberals (anyone in Hollywood, for example).

      Bachmann's family was just working within the only system available. I'm for privatized social security, but if it doesn't happen by the time I retire, you better believe I'm going to get some of my money back by cashing the gov't checks.

      1. Okay, but by that logic any liberal that has ever benefitted from the free market has to be labeled a corrupt hypocrite too.

        Bingo. I hate this lefty argument because it only seems to work in one direction. Benefiting in some way from government doesn't automatically make you a hypocrite for objecting to some other aspect of government.

        Seems like a good thread to reference this map of farm subsidy recipients in New York City.

      2. +1

    2. That label would fit a lot of Democrats as well, shrike.

      Partisan much?

  4. "If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse."

    Is there actually a global agricultural free market? Surely the US isn't the only country which subsidizes its farmers in some way.

    1. There is not. All the major industrialized nations protect their agricultural sectors. For no logical reason that I can see.

    2. Bingo!
      Check any sources on EU expenses; ag subsidies are right up there near the top.
      And while we subsidize our farmers to out-compete 3rd-world farmers, we then ship thuggish 3rd-world governments 'foreign aid', since Swiss banks really need the deposits and Kalashnikov needs the royalties.
      Isn't government wonderful?

  5. Farmers put welfare queens to shame.

  6. "Bachmann has an inner Marxist"

    And who, among our duly elected overlords, doesn't?

  7. How come lefties are quick to recognize the harm in farm subsidies, but can never use that same logic when it comes to welfare, minimum wage, health care, bailouts, etc.?

      1. Hey, *I* was gonna say that!

        1. I got dibs on the press conference!

          Um, can someone lend me some foldin' money? My bullhorn needs a new battery...

          1. Fuck that, let's go bust some cracker heads! We'll get acquitted, we got a friend in the administration!

    1. Most of them aren't particularly quick to see the harm -- it was the Democratic controlled Congress that pushed through the latest farm pork bill, and I recall Obama pandering to those farm states to get elected.

      1. The current Farm bill was passed in a bipartisan override of Bush's veto.

        1. Yes-- but Bachmann voted to support the veto, against the farm bill. So I'm not sure why she's the problem, instead of all those who voted for the subsidies.

      2. Yes, and it was the Gingrich congress that made the last serious attempt to reduce farm subsidies.

        The problem is the fact that the Iowa caucuses play such a huge role in Democratic primaries. No sane candidate is going to come out against farm subsidies in Iowa.

        1. Actually, you would be surprised at how many Iowans would be perfectly happy to see the subsidies go away, as long as alog with it, the Dept of Ag's massive interference in farming would also go away. We just like getting paiod for them fucking us...

          As for the global free trade... I think global fair trade is a wee bit better. Levy terrifs on foreign subsidized goods being imported here.

          1. Levy terrifs on foreign subsidized goods being imported here.That's the last thing they should do. Why shouldn't we let EU socialists pay for part of our grocery bills? Tariffs on foreign goods hurt US consumers by increasing the costs of those goods and by growing the government. Free trade, even unilateral free trade, is the best thing for the US.

            1. Sorry, but I have to disagree. While the cost may be lower for imported goods, it does not allow us to compete... and sorry, but who cares how cheap things are if you can't make money becuase you are playing by the fre market without subsidies and thus can not sell anything?

              Fair trade (treating other countries as they treat us and getting rid of the advantage of government subsidizes) is completely reasonable, and protects our interests.

              Free trade can only work when there are free markets trading... when you have free markets (which would be nice if we actually were that), then you have to take into account the unfree ones when setting trade deals.

              And it would not grow government... well, under our currnet government it would, but would not be needful.

              1. but who cares how cheap things are if you can't make money becuase you are playing by the fre market without subsidies and thus can not sell anything?

                The same whining they heard in New Zealand, and completely untrue.

                Why can they grow unsubsidized fruits and vegetables in other states, but just the Big Four cereal crops are subsidized? Are Iowans just that bad at farming that their crops have to be subsidized?

                Farm subsidies make people farm who otherwise could be doing something else. It doesn't save jobs; it changes what jobs people have. Iowa Farmgirl would rather the USA be a nation of farmers, and all those nasty companies like Google go somewhere else instead.

              2. No, no, no.

                Let's suppose that the EU subsidizes their printers to the point where they can sell ten dollar bills for $5. Our printers - who are unsubsidized - are stuck trying to sell the same product for $10.

                As a consumer, would you be happy if our benevolent govt. decided that they better slap a $5 tariff on those EU sawbacks? Or would you rather buy the $5 EU imports and laugh all the way to the bank (making sure to drop a thank you note to the taxpayers in Europe)?

                The only people who would benefit by the tariff are the mint workers here. They get to keep their jobs and don't have to go work at the Franklin Mint making commemorative plates.

                OK, so maybe money is an absurd example, but I think the principle is the same. If some taxpayers out there are willing to subsidize my food, great (as long as I'm not one of those taxpayers).

                Go to Japan if you want to see the logical result of protecting local farmers via tariffs.

              3. Iowa farmgirl,
                YOU may be better off with the tariffs, and worse off without them. But the majority of consumers are better off buying the cheap food, subsidized by European taxpayers.

                It is true that trade barriers benefit domestic industries, farmers included. it just doesn't provide a net benefit to the coutnry as a whole.

            2. Uhm, why not levy a low foreign tarriff (say 10%) that is across the board and doesn't discriminate by country or product, that is equal to a flat, interstate corporate taxation rate?

              1. Why? Why would you want to pay more for your food?

              2. I like the 10% across the board idea. Wasn't the government formerly financed through tariffs and excise taxes?

                1. And an income tax rate not to exceed 5%.

      3. Maybe we should give the left a little credit. Perhaps, after the events of the last few years they have come to realize that the overwhelming pile up of subsidies where the public interest becomes too broadly defined to be managed by the market, and thus any entity, and these events have led to an economic and cultural atrophy that makes the progress they seek impossible to realize.

        Also, I wonder how the wings of a pig would taste if barbequed on my grill with Sugar Ray's and Texas Pete sauce delicately infused. Delicious, perhaps?

    2. They don't actually recognize the harm in farm subsidies. They just know that Bachmann is against the health insurance overhaul, and so they're happy to get any ammunition that might discredit her. And since she's made some pro free-market statements in the past, this seems like a good way of doing that.

      The fact is though, that almost nobody realizes how much we do subsidize agriculture, and many people who do are in favor of it. Virtually nobody cares either way, so this story won't amount to anything in the long run.

    3. Welfare (now known as TANF) is only $16 billion per year. I suspect most right-wingers call Social Security "welfare" as a dishonest ploy.

      Food stamps are part of the Ag Dept and a form of subsidy in of itself. Agriculture subsidies dwarf non-entitlement social spending.

      The reason spending is never cut is because there are only two areas of significant size to cut - defense and entitlements - both of which neither party has the balls to do - much less the Teabag crowd.

      1. Why not go all the way and put the knife in free enterprise, then? Isn't that what you want, shrike?

      2. Welfare (now known as TANF) is only $16 billion per year. I suspect most right-wingers call Social Security "welfare" as a dishonest ploy.

        I suspect that most call Food Stamps "welfare." Do you consider that a dishonest ploy? I think others think it a dishonest ploy to exclude Food Stamps from welfare and only talk about TANF, shrike.

        1. Our new poster likely wants virtually everyone on the dole, in some fashion. It's easier to control people when they are allotted a meager amount upon which to subsist.

          Except for politicians. They'll still get their three hots and a cot.

  8. I don't blame anyone for taking government money that's out there and available. I do blame them for voting to authorize it. Of course, just try getting elected to public office in a farm state while opposing farm subsidies.

  9. Farm subsidies? Price controls? Here's how we've been doing it in S. Jersey since 1930, and still going strong.



  10. Quibbling over whether Bachmann is a hypocrite is pointless and no fun; quibbling over just how nutty she is is much more fun. And she is one hell of a fruitcake.

  11. Nutty? yes,Hot? Way hot."libertarian-leaning"? I think she ranks 3rd or 4th in our current Congress.

    1. the only thing libertarian about Bachmann is that she opposes the current incarnation of the census. Which, unfortunately, she does on moonbat grounds, instead of constitutional ones.

      1. I live one district over from Bachmann and have to agree that she is a way-hot (age adjusted) moon bat.

        I hate it when she comes up with a good point because she is such a nut it is easy to dismiss anything she says on those grounds.

        She has been uncommonly lucky in being able to run against some of the worst opponents ever.

        I think if you made her Queen for a Day, you would be hard pressed to find any rule changes she would make that were truly pro-freedom. She wants to rule the world, but from a right wing point of view.

  12. I believe it was John Smith that said,"If the fools are handing it out only a retard won't take it."

    If she voted for the legislation then she's a flaming fucking hypocrite. If all you have is her fucking father-in-law taking a subsidy, in an industry where you everyone takes the fucking things and not doing so puts your career at jeopardy, then fuck off and die.'

    Moral purists and people surfing the couch with your red cape with the giant CM for Capt. Moral feel free to fuck off as well.

    Quibbling over whether Bachmann is a hypocrite is pointless and no fun; quibbling over just how nutty she is is much more fun. And she is one hell of a fruitcake.
    Much better topic. That bitch is fucking bonkers.

  13. I have no knowledge of her so I looked at her Wikipedia entry. Other than her position on ID lunacy and gay marriage she lined up pretty much with my views (yeah, yeah, I know, Wikipedia, YMMV)

    ... Hobbit

    1. Oh, and her position on abortion and online gambling. OK, maybe she's not as freedom-loving as I thought.

      ... Hobbit

  14. Wow that would be kinda crazy wouldnt it??


  15. Wow, thatd be pretty cool wouldnt it?


  16. Heck yeah dude lets ROCK!


  17. We should be like New Zealand on this issue

  18. Why is Truthdig bitching about someone taking subsidies? They LIKE that sort of thing.

  19. Did Bachman propose an amendment to the farm bill to end these subsidies? The "farm bill" included dozens of measures, some little related to farm subsidies, so her vote against the entire bill is hardly helpful re her position on the subsidies. She could have offered an amendment to end these subsidies, did she do so?

    1. I don't like Bachmann, but that's a reach. Voting against the bill as a whole is a pretty solid statement of opposition to specific provisions in it and I can't think of anything in a farm bill that it would be the "free market" position to support off hand. I don't think there's much of a point of introducing amendments against specific provisions you don't like if you're going to try to kill the whole thing anyway, especially when it's something like ag subsidies where the amendment is unlikely to succeed. Unless she introduced pro-subsidy amendments or voted against subsidy-removing amendments, I don't see how you can read her record on the bill as being pro-subsidy.

  20. Suggested this before. Book's a couple of years old now, but still good reading.


    Good review at above link. (MNG can get someone to read it to him.)

  21. If we grew Hemp, wouldn't need a a government prop up.

  22. Bachman probably makes contributions to Social Security and MediCare too! Damned socialist pig.

  23. Is Truthdig going to out Hollywood lefties who preach that we need to pull together, yet hire an accountant to pay as little income tax as possible?

    I would think that the lefties would simply turn in a 1040EZ so they could pay the maximum amount of taxes. Deductions are evil.

  24. So, if Bachmann is a hypocrite for taking subsidies she opposed when they were up for a vote, than MNG is a hypocrite for taking tax cuts that were opposed when they were up for a vote.

    Everybody happy now?

    Or is the official position that subsidies and tax cuts should only go to those with Correct Political Views?

    1. +1, RC.

  25. Will she also be a hypocrite for going to a doctor after Obama's gov't takeover?

  26. A lot of folks gave Ron Paul crap for playing the earmark game for his district too.

    1. That's a slightly different argument though. We know farm subsidies are bad, but earmarks aren't so cut and dried. The argument for earmarks is that the elected representatives spend the money directly, and can thus be held accountable. Without earmarks, some government department gets handed a check and can spend the money without accountability. (I don't necessarily agree, but that's more or less the case for earmarks).

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