Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Jimmy Carter: U.S. farm subsidies' harvest of misery
Sacramento Bee ^ | 12/11/7 | Jimmy Carter

Posted on 12/11/2007 7:45:04 AM PST by SmithL

Congress can still act decisively this year to right a wrong that is hurting both small American farmers and the poorest people on the planet. A long-overdue debate is taking place on reform of the 1933 farm bill, passed during the Great Depression to alleviate the suffering of America's family farmers. I was a farm boy then, and the primary cash crops on my father's farm were peanuts and cotton. My first paying job was working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, measuring farmers' fields to ensure that they limited their acreage and total production in order to qualify for the life-sustaining farm subsidy prices.

Tragically, in its current form this legislation does not fulfill its original purposes but instead encourages excess production while channeling enormous government payments to the biggest producers. This product of powerful lobbyists now punishes small-scale farmers in the United States and is devastating to families in many of the world's least affluent countries.

It is embarrassing to note that, from 1995 to 2005, the richest 10 percent of cotton growers received more than 80 percent of total subsidies. The wealthiest 1 percent of American cotton farmers continues to receive over 25 percent of payouts for cotton, while more than half of America's cotton farmers receive no subsidies at all.

American farmers are not dependent on the global market because they are guaranteed a minimum selling price by the federal government.

American producers of cotton received more than $18 billion in subsidies between 1999 and 2005, while market value of the cotton was $23 billion. That's a subsidy of 86 percent!

The Carter Center works primarily among the world's poorest people, including those in West Africa whose scant livelihood depends on cotton production....

(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: farmbill; peanut

1 posted on 12/11/2007 7:45:06 AM PST by SmithL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SmithL

He is sounding strangely conservative.

What did he drink?


2 posted on 12/11/2007 7:51:58 AM PST by ConservativeMind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

I don’t recall Dimmy doing anything about this when he was supposed to be acting as president. Did he know there was a problem then or did he just discover it when Bush took office?


3 posted on 12/11/2007 7:52:19 AM PST by FreePaul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
"I was a farm boy then"

And evolved into a 100 percent horse's ass.

STFU UP ALREADY JIMMAH!
4 posted on 12/11/2007 7:52:22 AM PST by mkjessup (Hunter-Bolton '08 !! Patriots who will settle for nothing less than *Victory* in the War on Terror!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

Jimmah’s first job was a bureaucrat. How sweet.


5 posted on 12/11/2007 7:52:35 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

Missing from Jimmie’s liberal rant on dollar subsidies are the governmentally sanctioned subsidies for farm labor, namely, the allowance of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to these same farm conglomerates.

The money saved in wages, taxes collected, and benefits probably totals more than all the cash subsidies.


6 posted on 12/11/2007 7:53:02 AM PST by oldbill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mkjessup
PS - oh Jimmah? That extra 'up' is for an 'up yours' yet to be issued.

Now go gargle with razor blades.
7 posted on 12/11/2007 7:53:20 AM PST by mkjessup (Hunter-Bolton '08 !! Patriots who will settle for nothing less than *Victory* in the War on Terror!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

No kidding, I read it and had to double check the Author’s name since I was agreeing with him!


8 posted on 12/11/2007 7:53:50 AM PST by DarkSavant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
He could’ve done something when he was President.

Hypocrite.

9 posted on 12/11/2007 7:54:24 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
My first paying job was working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Ah, got a taste for the govt payroll and just couldn't ever do anything else.
10 posted on 12/11/2007 7:56:30 AM PST by SF Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

—since I don’t sign in for the Bee, does Jimmah get into the peanut subsidy?


11 posted on 12/11/2007 7:56:52 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

Sounds like he is actually saying something I agree with.
I’ve never understood farm subsidies and getting paid NOT to grow something.

Anything with the words gov’t and subsidies in it has got to be bad.


12 posted on 12/11/2007 7:56:57 AM PST by a real Sheila (stop hillary NOW!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind
He is sounding strangely conservative.
What did he drink?

He's actually making the case for the ceasing of the subsidies and moving cotton production overseas.

I bet his liberal water carriers haven't noticed this yet.

13 posted on 12/11/2007 8:01:17 AM PST by VeniVidiVici (No buy China!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DarkSavant

It should be interesting to see what happens to this issue now that it’s been picked up by one of the anointed on the left and reframed as a rich vs. poor issue. I’ve always felt that the gov’t should get it’s nose out of the farm industry and let it be sorted out on its own. The upside is it may actually get some attention. The downside is that if it becomes a liberal “problem” to solve, the only thing I can be assured of is that I’ll have less money, and a targeted voting block will receive it.


14 posted on 12/11/2007 8:04:46 AM PST by BMiles2112
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

the AG subsidy is the Third Rail of politics for our nation of farmers and has a high probability of never seeing substantial reform.


15 posted on 12/11/2007 8:05:58 AM PST by Liaison
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

Farm subsidies are among the most wasteful excesses in the entire budget. I think we pay out like 200 billion a year aiding giant agribusiness, for no apparent reason.


16 posted on 12/11/2007 8:06:41 AM PST by ChurtleDawg (kill em all)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VeniVidiVici

“He’s actually making the case for the ceasing of the subsidies and moving cotton production overseas.”

You got it!


17 posted on 12/11/2007 8:08:07 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...call 'em what you will...They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

I just hate it when I agree with Jimmy Carter. Thankfully it only happens every 30 years or so.


18 posted on 12/11/2007 8:08:37 AM PST by BfloGuy (It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Liaison
the AG subsidy is the Third Rail of politics for our nation of farmers and has a high probability of never seeing substantial reform.

It seems that all things to do with big business are like that. Illegal immigration and the China mess just don't seem to get any better despite the fact that a vast majority want something done.
19 posted on 12/11/2007 8:09:28 AM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

Even a blind pig finds an occasional acorn.


20 posted on 12/11/2007 8:10:38 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

there are a few things where carter is conservative. For example he was for Civil Service Reform


21 posted on 12/11/2007 8:22:50 AM PST by ari-freedom (Happy Chanuka! Itís just another ordinary miracle today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy
I just hate it when I agree with Jimmy Carter.

Don't feel bad. I actually voted for him.

I think he is correct about the farm subsidies because he is a farmer and he understands farming. He should have stayed out of politics.

22 posted on 12/11/2007 8:27:11 AM PST by foxfield
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

“My first paying job was working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture”

That figures, given Carter’s love of bureaucracy.


23 posted on 12/11/2007 8:49:39 AM PST by popdonnelly (Get Reid. Salazar, and Harkin out of the Senate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
It is important to think as well as read. The reality is that with the high prices of grains, there will be little or no subsidies to farmers. In fact all the local Govt offices and higher up usda bureaucrats are concerned because their power over farmers and reason to exist are in jeopardy.

Look for mission creep from the USDA!!!!!

24 posted on 12/11/2007 9:02:51 AM PST by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

American producers of cotton received more than $18 billion in subsidies between 1999 and 2005, while market value of the cotton was $23 billion. That’s a subsidy of 86 percent!


The following article is relevant and should be posted often to encourage us.:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2004&month=04


25 posted on 12/11/2007 9:05:05 AM PST by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rockinqsranch

“He’s actually making the case for the ceasing of the subsidies and moving cotton production overseas.”


That is one scenario, read the following for a different view of the future:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2004&month=04


26 posted on 12/11/2007 9:08:50 AM PST by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: a real Sheila

One of the biggest areas of “being paid to NOT grow something” comes about from this simple fact:

1. Farmers own land.
2. Environmentalists, city folks, hunters/anglers and urban planners want to be able to tell farmers how to manage their land - because while these pecksniffs don’t own the land, they think they know better than the farmer what to do with the land.

So we have the CRP - Conservation Reserve Program, where farmers are paid to enroll acres that are deemed “sensitive” (usually because they’re wildlife habitat) into the CRP, whereby the gummint pays the farmer to keep those acres “set aside” and not farmed, hayed or grazed.

Then there are several new programs that have come out since 1996 to pay farmers to do things the non-farmers want done with the land.

These programs aren’t the majority of the money, but they make for the majority of the perception - ie, “farmers being paid to not farm.” The old program(s) that brought about that perception were based on production quotas and “enrolled acres” - that system was gone and done in 1996.


27 posted on 12/11/2007 9:24:49 AM PST by NVDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: BMiles2112

If we pulled the government out of the ag sector, what would probably happen is that prices would have a period of disruption and dislocations, as various land usage changes rapidly, then certain crops would start to find an equilibrium in planting acres and pricing.

The prices for some crops would go up, others would go down, etc. The consumer would do a bunch of ranting and wailing during this time, because you’d see some big price swings in food products over a series of years as the market sorted itself out.

This wailing and whining would bring about calls from the Congress to “do something!” again, which champions of “the poor” would be supporting.

What we have now in ag policy is a result of 70+ years of meddling, and some very poor policy choices made as a result of short-term thinking. Farming isn’t for the short of attention span, and farm economics is much different than other business economics in that farms are businesses yes, but they get to respond to market forces only once/year. Other businesses, esp. service businesses, can respond to market forces with lightening speed.

Farmers can’t do that. Once the spring starts and the seed is in the ground, a farmer is committed as few other businesses are. His next decision point come after harvest, when he decides what to do with the crop and what to plant next year. These economics policy wonks completely miss this when talking about “market signals” to farmers, and it makes them look as dumb as stumps when talking about ag policy in front of Congress with the various farm groups in the same hearing.

What is needed, IMO, is to get these goofball academics and idiots from the think tanks out of the room, sit down farm groups with Congress and budget analysts and map out how to withdraw subsidies from the market on a staged basis. Keep the theoreticians out of the room, because they’re so absurdly wrong when they open their mouths that the farm groups get a mad on in a hurry, dig in their heels and won’t budge until they start hearing some common sense.


28 posted on 12/11/2007 9:33:38 AM PST by NVDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

He’s absolutely right on this one.


29 posted on 12/11/2007 9:34:57 AM PST by Scythian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

My goodness - he’s right!!!

Farm Subsidies — one of the vote buyer’s best friends.


30 posted on 12/11/2007 9:47:58 AM PST by Puddleglum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
My first paying job was working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, measuring farmers' fields to ensure that they limited their acreage and total production in order to qualify for the life-sustaining farm subsidy prices.

Of all the things he's ever written or said, I find this to be the easiest to believe.

31 posted on 12/11/2007 9:56:25 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (Don't trust anyone who canít take a joke. [Congressman BillyBob])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NVDave

I don’t disagree at all. In other words, make it clear that the subsidies will be incrementally reduced to $0 in X years. Then get the farm groups together to figure out the least painful and least disruptive way to do that. Nothing to argue with there. Now, implementing that...


32 posted on 12/11/2007 9:58:46 AM PST by BMiles2112
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: mkjessup; FreePaul; ConservativeMind; SmithL

I have a theory that someone has been tazering him, with increasing regularity [hilarity?]

“Don’t taze me Gore!”


33 posted on 12/11/2007 10:04:54 AM PST by Froufrou
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Froufrou

A taser would have no effect on Jimmy Carter.

Everyone knows that you can’t taze (or polish) a turd.


34 posted on 12/11/2007 10:09:05 AM PST by mkjessup (Hunter-Bolton '08 !! Patriots who will settle for nothing less than *Victory* in the War on Terror!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

He’d rather try Collectivization, after all it worked so well for his heroes.


35 posted on 12/11/2007 10:11:37 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

This must be that famous stopped clock I’ve been hearing so much about.


36 posted on 12/11/2007 10:13:18 AM PST by mountainbunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

If Carter is against it then I have this unspeakable compulsion to support it even though I usually oppose such things.


37 posted on 12/11/2007 10:33:44 AM PST by PeterFinn (A muslim in the White House would be an Obamination.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PeterPrinciple

Thanks for that. I’ve received Imprimis in the mail for years, but somehow missed that one.


38 posted on 12/11/2007 11:41:02 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...call 'em what you will...They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Cyber Liberty

It really says it all, doesn’t it ?


39 posted on 12/11/2007 12:02:13 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Eric in the Ozarks

Wait a minute. I was told by Dan Rather he was a nucleur physicist!


40 posted on 12/11/2007 2:22:12 PM PST by Republicus2001
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ChurtleDawg

When you speak in ignorance people will stop listening to you just the same way only the MSM listens to Jimmy.

Here is a post from another thread, at least learn the truth before you spout falsities.

Here is the 2007 USDA budget. Approx 56 billion/yr. of which approx 75% goes to food stamp recipients and similar programs. Also included are meat inspectors, forest service, etc.

Most of todays farmers have in fact became family corporations pushed mainly by tax advantages of corporate laws. Big business corp’s (ADM, etc.) receive some subsidies thru export enhancement programs for sending cheap US grain to such countries as Egypt and Turkey.

http://www.usda.gov/agency/obpa/Budget-Summary/2007/FY07budsum.pdf

39 posted on 12/07/2007 11:47:57 AM MST by crazyshrink (Being uninformed is one thing, choosing ignorance is a whole different problem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies | Report Abuse ]


41 posted on 12/11/2007 6:47:31 PM PST by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson