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Meanwhile, Back On The Farm
The Washington Times ^ | May 15, 2002 | By Helle Dale

Posted on 05/17/2002 12:16:49 AM PDT by Uncle Bill

Edited on 07/12/2004 3:53:40 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Couldn't President Bush have had the decency to sign the farm bill over the weekend or in the dead of night? At least that would have been a sign of his personal embarrassment over this monstrous $190 billion piece of legislation. But, no. Mr. Bush was out there, surrounded by approving senators, predominantly Democrats. Even Mr. Bush's nemesis, Judicial Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont, he of the extravagant milk subsidies, was right there applauding. Does that mean Mr. Bush feels really good about what he did?

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; bush; farmbill; hugespending; noteworthy; outofcontrol; socialism

1 posted on 05/17/2002 12:16:49 AM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: *NoteWorthy

2 posted on 05/17/2002 12:28:26 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: OKCSubmariner
The Real Threat from the Farm Bill
"More troubling than the administration’s indifference, however, is its active support for new programs to conserve “environmentally sensitive” farmland. “One important aspect in both (the House and Senate) farm bills is that substantially more money is allocated for conservation,” Veneman said at a Modesto, California event. “The administration will push for more money to address environmental concerns on working farmlands, not just conservation programs that take land out of production.” The administration wants the farm bill to not only set the nation’s food production levels, but dictate how private land is used to reach those quotas as well.

The Senate farm bill devotes $21.3 billion towards new environmental conservation programs and $350 million a year for the “Farmland Protection Program,” which buys development rights to land to prevent citizens and private businesses from using the land as they see fit. The House bill provides $16 billion for conservation and $50 million a year to confiscate property.

Conservation programs are particularly threatening because they undermine property rights and create new dependency on federal aid. While explicit economic intervention to benefit producers of commodities such as corn, wheat, soybeans, and cotton may violate international trade agreements, new environmental conservation programs do not. Thus, tying federal funding to environmental mandates is a way to subsidize farmers while not instigating an international trade war.

In the past, Congress supported price levels by rewarding farmers for not using land to produce food, but new conservation programs would pay farmers to preserve soil, protect wetlands and aquifers, preserve wildlife habitats, and reduce runoff of fertilizers and manure. Farmers do many of these things already and would be happy to do the others if the price is right.

As environmental groups are well aware, farmers are “stewards of half of the country’s surface area.” The farm bill would give extreme environmentalists control of this land and supplant private property rights with federal mandates. The agriculture industry is eager to cede this control if it results in more lavish subsidies, which makes it difficult to confront federalization, since the very property owners whose rights are being trammeled are complicit in the arrangement.

But the threat to private property and agriculture markets is obvious. A new round of commodity subsides will almost certainly draw retaliation from America’s trading partners, whether or not the World Trade Organization endorses such action. The most heavily subsidized commodities are also the ones “dumped” in international markets. The United States exports one-third of its soybeans, 20 percent of its corn, half its wheat, and 60 percent of its cotton. This in the face of a strong dollar that has depressed other American exports.

As the farm bill demonstrates, if explicit subsidies lead to a trade war, an eager coalition of environmentalists and agribusiness is in place to replace that assistance with money for conservation. This would push domestic agricultural production even further from anything that resembles a market economy and empower the government to set commodity prices, production levels, and determine how land is used. The government would make every major decision relating to food procurement and the use of farmland.

Since passage of the Rural Development Program in 1955, the government has dominated the economics of agricultural production through subsidies, crop insurance, and below-market interest rate loans, but the resources used to produce food has remained in private hands. This farm bill would usher in a new era of agricultural policy by ceding control over the factors of production – most importantly, the land itself – to government control and manipulation.

In their search for more resources from the government, many agriculturalists have willingly accepted the changing character of conservation subsidies, but this new revenue will come at price. As the billions of dollars in direct subsidies for “proper” land management add up, it will not be long before environmentalists demand that farmers not only adhere to their mandates, but hand over their land as well."


Burn Your Cabin or Go To Jail

3 posted on 05/17/2002 1:33:04 AM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: Uncle Bill
Oh, I care very much about very many things. My attitude is becoming "Why Bother?" more and more every day.
4 posted on 05/17/2002 2:22:48 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: philman_36; Askel5

CARA Living in the Soviet Union of America

Hate CARA. Fear CARA


Greens cut Ted Turner a break

Where the Deer and the Zillionaires Play

Rural Cleansing- Environmentalists' goal: Depopulate the countryside

Rural Cleansing

Rural Cleansing

Rural Cleansing By Endangered Species - HR 488

Rural cleansing

They’re still stealing our land!

How the Feds and Eco-Elitists Take Private Land for Fun and Profit

Rural America declares war on 'green fascists'

Revenge On The Envirowackos

Rural America faces inevitable death

Unlikely Allies Press to Add Conservation to Farm Bill

The New York Times
June 15, 2001

WASHINGTON, June 15 — A coalition of more than 100 environmental and hunting organizations, from the Sierra Club to the National Rifle Association, is trying to turn the measure that will set farm policy for the coming years into the major conservation act of this Congress.

With the recently enacted $1.3 trillion tax cut squeezing out most new spending programs, the conservationists are focusing on what is typically known as the farm bill as their best bet for recovering millions of acres of wetlands, prairies, grassland and forests and protecting the wildlife that live on the land.

Few other bills offer both the money — $79 billion in new financing over the next five years — and the assurance that the legislation will become law. The bill pays for the subsidies that have for decades underwritten farmers who grow major crops like corn, wheat, rice and soybeans.

But in the last 15 years, since conservation programs were added to the farm program, farmers have lined up for cash payments in return for taking their land out of production and letting it return to the wild.

Already, farmers have voluntarily set aside more than 35 million acres as nature reserves and another million acres of wetlands as part of the two major conservation programs supported by the farm program. There is a backlog of farmers and ranchers who have applied for $3.7 billion in payments for setting aside an additional 68 million acres, but the programs have run out of money.

Conservation and hunting groups support payments to farmers for returning some of their acreage to a natural state because it not only helps sustain wildlife but also helps farmers hold on to their property. In addition, it slows the encroachment of suburbs into the countryside.

"The conservation programs in the farm bill have really helped the farmer hold the line against developers," said Susan Lamson of the National Rifle Association, making points more often associated with the Friends of the Earth.

The environmental and hunting groups are asking that a new farm bill include money for the protection of another million acres of wetlands and 10 million more acres of land through the conservation reserve program. They are going up against the powerful farm and agribusiness lobbies that have helped persuade Congress to keep increasing crop subsidies, which last year reached a record $22 billion in commodity payments to farmers.

Environmental groups argue that these subsidies encourage overproduction of the major crops, which not only keeps prices flat but also pollutes rivers and soil with chemicals.

"When farms go into overproduction you have dirty water and dirty air," said Brett Hulsey of the Sierra Club. "With conservation programs, you have clean water, reduced flooding and more open space."

In Congress, these environmentalists, as well as the hunting and fishing groups, the so-called hooks-and- bullets crowd, have found natural allies among senators and representatives from states where farmers receive little of the $20 billion annual subsidies for the major crops. More than 120 House members wrote to the Agriculture Committee chairman this week asking for support for the conservation programs.

"We could turn this farm bill into the great conservation bill of the 21st century," said Representative Ron Kind, Democrat of Wisconsin, who is leading the movement in the House to rewrite the farm bill with conservation as its centerpiece.

Congress has begun considering how to rewrite the farm bill, which was last passed in 1996 as the Freedom to Farm Act. Representative Larry Combest, Republican of Texas and chairman of the Agriculture Committee, has concluded that the major commodity subsidy programs should be more predictable, with farmers receiving less money when their crops fetch higher prices. He has yet to recommend how much money should go to conservation.

"This is a work in progress," said an aide to Mr. Combest. "When the environmentalists discovered the farm bill, they made it trendy. Now the conservation programs are more oriented to Eastern farmers. Mr. Combest prefers the more traditional point of view of protecting soil banks that would give more money to the Western areas."

That geographic split is evident throughout Congress. In the Senate, a group of 43 Republican and Democratic senators from New England and mid-Atlantic states have formed an informal caucus to support farm conservation programs. Most of their farmers from Maine to Maryland either grow vegetables and fruits or are dairy farmers and therefore ineligible for the major commodity subsidy programs. But they can and have taken advantage of the conservation programs.

In the current farm bill, conservation payments have become so popular they rank third, behind payments for growing corn and wheat. Over five years, government payments to corn farmers were $24.3 billion, to wheat farmers $13.2 billion and to conservation programs $8.24 billion.

"In many parts of farm country, conservation is now the single most important source of government assistance to agriculture, especially for small and medium-size farms," said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group.

During the Republican revolution in which Newt Gingrich was House speaker, the conservation programs were nearly lost. When the House wrote the initial Freedom to Farm Act of 1996, the bill excluded financing for conservation. But Representative Sherwood Boehlert, Republican of New York, offered an amendment to reinstate the programs, and the measure won by a vote of 372 to 37, establishing the now classic divide between Eastern and Western farm states over financing.

"Conservation used to be considered the purview of the Midwest and its eroded soil," Mr. Boehlert said in an interview. "With the expanded programs it has worked wonders for our Eastern farmers who were on the edge."

With so much money at stake in the new revision of the farm bill, Mr. Combest has vowed to present a new farm bill to the House by the end of July, nearly a year in advance of the Senate. For their part, the environmentalists in the House say they will offer legislation this month to expand the conservation programs.

"Our competition is the commodity payments, and there is only so much money in the bill," said Scott Sutherland of Ducks Unlimited, a conservation group supported by hunters. "We want funding put back for the wetlands and we know there are members of Congress who are hunters and anglers who will want to preserve those wetlands."

"But in the last 15 years, since conservation programs were added to the farm program, farmers have lined up for cash payments in return for taking their land out of production and letting it return to the wild."

Boy:What's confiscate mean Pa?

Charlie Anderson: Steal!

Ocie Mills Meets Carol Browner

The Fall of the Republic

5 posted on 05/17/2002 3:36:34 PM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: Noumenon
Landslide socialism: Henry Lamb covers Uncle Sam's unreal estate venture
"Socialism, classically defined, is "government ownership and/or control of the sources of production." Land is the source of all production. A vote for acquiring more private land by government, or tightening government's control of the remaining private land, is a vote for socialism in America.

Of course, it's not called socialism; it's called "protecting the environment." But it doesn't matter what it is called; the result is the elimination of private property and the transfer of the sources of production to government control. The result is socialism."

6 posted on 05/18/2002 11:46:15 AM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: Askel5
"The Clean Water Action Plan is perhaps the strongest anti-agricultural document Washington has ever produced," ..."It puts all land uses in the entire United States under the inconsiderate thumb of a massive and overwhelming blanket of powerful federal agencies -- the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Agriculture,"
7 posted on 05/18/2002 2:17:02 PM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: RLK; Askel5; Sabertooth; nunya bidness; OKCSubmariner


For Immediate Release
December 13, 2001

Government Watch Group Names
Daschle ‘Porker of the Month’

WASHINGTON – While he continues to obstruct an economic stimulus package that will jumpstart America’s troubled economy, Majority Leader Tom Daschle has earned a dubious honor from a top government watch group that recently named the Senator their “Porker of the Month.” The group, Citizens Against Government Waste, cites Daschle’s insistence on putting partisan politics and paying off the special interests he is beholden to above the real concerns of the nation.

In recent weeks, Senator Daschle has fought relentlessly to increase spending within a $170 billion farm bill he and his Democratic colleagues larded with increased agriculture subsidies and a pushed through a $15.6 billion railroad workers’ pension. All this while Senator Daschle remains the sole reason the nation has yet to benefit from an economic stimulus package; a bill that the House of Representatives passed weeks ago.

Daschle has been so transparent in his attempts to gain partisan political advantage by holding the stimulus plan hostage, calling for outrageous giveaways and spending increases, that even some in his own party have raised an eyebrow at his ploy. Senator John Breaux, D-La., had this to say of Daschle about whether Democrats should accept the GOP's proposals in order to address Democratic priorities. "Is it a good political message to say that we gave up unemployment insurance and health insurance and stimulus checks … because we didn't like one [tax] rate being addressed? I'm not sure that's a good position to be in," he said. (Source: National Journal's Congress Daily, 12/12/01.)

Paid for by the Republican National Committee
© 2002 Republican National Committee.
All rights reserved.

8 posted on 05/18/2002 5:29:44 PM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: Uncle Bill
9 posted on 05/18/2002 5:44:20 PM PDT by Red Jones
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To: Red Jones
10 posted on 05/19/2002 12:26:15 AM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: Red Jones
Robbing Peter To Pay Farmer Bob
11 posted on 05/22/2002 12:49:25 AM PDT by Uncle Bill
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To: Uncle Bill
I don't know how I missed this thread. Bookmarked and bumped!
12 posted on 08/05/2002 7:01:03 PM PDT by Inspector Harry Callahan
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To: Inspector Harry Callahan
Auditors Say U.S. Agencies Lose Track of Billions
"The Agriculture Department, ... — had unauditable books in 2000-2001.

The government's financial rating system shows the Department of Agriculture to be the worst managed major agency.

The agency's financial statements are in such disarray that they have been unauditable since 1994. But Edward R. McPherson, the department's chief financial officer, insisted in a recent interview that most of the problems had been solved and that future audits would be much improved. His predecessors have made similar assertions.

A senior auditor in the inspector general's office, while acknowledging that "there have been changes" at the department, added that "we won't know anything until we complete the audit" early next year.

The audit for the 2000-2001 fiscal year, completed last February, showed that the department made unsubstantiated balance adjustments totaling $2.9 billion.

"I can't tell you what's in that figure," said the senior auditor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "I don't think they even know."

Behind it, audit reports show, is a department in financial disarray. After seven years of trying, the Agriculture Department recently completed installation of a financial accounting system. But another inspector general's audit, last summer, found the system to be largely dysfunctional because of user errors and unauthorized modifications.

For example the system uses a "funds control" program to limit spending to the budgeted amount. In 68 accounts, the audit said, agency employees had overridden the control, or not turned it on, leading to $1.3 billion in what was apparently overspending. When auditors tried to view the system's override log, to see how the overspending had occurred, they found it turned off.

The system included a payment limit for each check of $999,999. But users who could not be identified by auditors had added a digit, changing the limit to $9,999,999. Contrary to agency rules requiring approval from supervisors, more than 2,200 agency employees had been authorized to process certain payments with no oversight or approval, raising the risk of fraud, auditors said. In addition, 186 people who no longer worked for the department still had approved access to the system."

Bush, Senate Reach Drought Relief Deal

The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle
January 16, 2003

WASHINGTON - Sen. Sam Brownback said Wednesday that White House and Senate negotiators had reached a deal on $3.1 billion in supplemental assistance for farmers and ranchers affected by drought.

The agreement still needs cooperation from the House of Representatives to pass.

A major obstacle to providing more aid for the nation's drought-stricken farmers was removed when the White House agreed that the new aid wouldn't cut into money provided by last year's farm bill.

In the fall, the White House insisted that any new relief come out of the $180 billion farm bill passed last May.

But drought is entering its third year in parts of western Kansas, and Brownback said the aid is sorely needed.

"We need moisture," said the Kansas Republican. "We also need income coming through the door for farmers."

Details of the bill still need to be worked out.

But under the agreement between the White House and Senate, it would cover all farmers included in programs under the 2002 farm bill, regardless of crop loss.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he was pleased farmers would get more assistance.

But Roberts said he was disappointed that the bill isn't targeted just toward farmers who suffered crop losses. Because this is a supplemental bill rather than pure disaster aid, "it could take farmers months to receive assistance," he said.

The bill would be funded with money the government has saved by passing this year's spending bills late. Because Congress is operating under emergency levels to keep spending at last year's amounts, it isn't spending anticipated increases.

That has freed enough money for the White House to accept a package that adds more agricultural spending to the 2002 farm bill, Brownback said.

The agreement would supersede the $4 billion aid package that Brownback is co-sponsoring with Roberts.

Farm Groups Criticize GOP Drought Relief / Associated Press
January 16, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Farmers who grew healthy crops untouched by drought and heavy rains could sign up for a share of the $3.1 billion in disaster aid under a Republican proposal.

But the senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee said Thursday that the plan is unfair to growers who suffered losses from bad weather over the past two years.

"This is just bizarre at the best," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. "I don't know who dreamt this up, but it sure wasn't somebody that knows something about agriculture."

The GOP plan, led by Senate Agriculture Chairman Thad Cochran, is about half of the $6 billion the Senate approved in September.

Under the new proposal, farmers registered for subsidies could apply to receive 42 percent of their 2002 payment to cover losses. It also says those farmers would have to sign a contract with the Agriculture Department, agreeing to get crop insurance to protect against disaster.

Most farmers have yet to sign up for subsidies, but the Republican plan allows them to seek disaster aid if they do so.

Cochran said lawmakers are writing another version that would ensure the department would make payments "only to producers in counties that qualify for disaster benefits."

"We target those areas that are major disaster areas," he said.

Unlike previous aid measures, the plan would help farmers who grow fruits, nuts and other specialty crops recover from drought and floods, allowing the department to pay them $100 million in direct assistance. The agency also would pay $50 million in relief to cottonseed growers.

Farmers would prefer a larger package provided through emergency relief, similar to the way in which hurricane victims are compensated, said Tom Buis, vice president of governmental relations for the National Farmers Union.

Also, the GOP proposal would require shifting $250 million in the budget to offset a program that gave $752 million to drought-stricken ranchers. The ranchers' relief came from funds raised through import fees.

Farm groups as well as food banks, which depend on the fees to buy food, had warned the funds would be overdrawn, but the Agriculture Department denied it.

Buis said the proposed transfer "acknowledges they overdrew it" but may not fully compensate it.

Washington's $782 Billion Spending Spree

13 posted on 01/16/2003 8:10:53 PM PST by Uncle Bill
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To: Askel5
Bush promises to cut farm bill
By Philip Brasher
AP Farm Writer
February 14, 2002

WASHINGTON — President Bush says a Senate-passed farm
bill ``doesn't get the job done'' and pledges to work with
congressional negotiators on a compromise that would be less
costly and better for producers.

The Democratic-crafted bill, which passed the Senate 58-40
on Wednesday, authorizes $45 billion in new spending for
agriculture, conservation and nutrition spending over the next
five years, a 26 percent increase over current programs.

Senate passes election-year increase in farm subsidies, sends bill to Bush 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Associated Press
May 9, 2002 

WASHINGTON -- The Democrat-controlled Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a farm bill that will shower billions of dollars in new subsidies on political battleground states and scrap the a 1996 law that was intended to make growers less dependent on the government.

Meanwhile, Back On The Farm

By Helle Dale
May 15, 2002

Couldn't President Bush have had the decency to sign the farm bill over the weekend or in the dead of night? At least that would have been a sign of his personal embarrassment over this monstrous $190 billion piece of legislation. But, no. Mr. Bush was out there, surrounded by approving senators, predominantly Democrats. Even Mr. Bush's nemesis, Judicial Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont, he of the extravagant milk subsidies, was right there applauding. Does that mean Mr. Bush feels really good about what he did?

14 posted on 01/27/2003 6:20:53 AM PST by Uncle Bill
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To: Uncle Bill
Andy Kerr and Wendell Wood of the Oregon Natural Resources Council and advocates of rural cleansing - names to remember.
15 posted on 04/13/2003 6:01:21 PM PDT by Noumenon (Don't immanentize the eschaton!)
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To: Uncle Bill
Out of the Y2K fear-mongering business now?
16 posted on 04/13/2003 6:04:34 PM PDT by _Jim ( // NASA has a better safety record than NASCAR \\)
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