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Another Congressional Porker Robbing Taxpayers

For its December 2007 Porker of the Month, Citizens Against Government Waste chose Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas):

“for thwarting three amendments to the farm bill that would have provided some modest reform.  Instead, it was a lost opportunity to fix one of the most outdated government programs.”

According to CAGW:

“An amendment offered by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), would have capped subsidy payments to farmers at $250,000.  Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) attempted to pass a measure that would have set the annual adjusted gross income (AGI) for receiving any benefits at $750,000 and Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) amendment would have reformed the crop insurance program.

“Sen. Lincoln, whose family received big farm subsidy payments worth $715,000 between 1995 and 2005, threatened to filibuster the bill.  Because Senate Democratic leaders did not want to be blamed for further delay of the farm bill, they changed the rules to require 60 votes for passage of those three amendments, rather than a simple majority.  The Dorgan-Grassley and Klobuchar amendments received the support of a majority of the senators voting, but they were defeated as they fell short of the manufactured 60-vote requirement.”

The farm subsidies are not fair to either taxpayers or farmers. CAGW explains:

“To claim that farm subsidies are needed to preserve the small family farmer is purely laughable.  The money goes disproportionately to the wealthiest farmers, with little benefit to farmers most in need of help.  Subsidies have proven to be very costly to both taxpayers and consumers and have undermined the rural economy.  Currently, 60 percent of farms either receive no subsidies or less than $2,000 annually.  In 2003, the top 10 percent of farm subsidy recipients collected 72 percent of total subsidies and the top 5 percent collected 55 percent of payments.”

Thanks, Senator Lincoln!

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