Friday, May 16, 2008

Hillary Jumps the Shark?

by Ken Houghton

As per the desires of the world, she attacks McCain without mentioning Obama:
"I believe saying no to the farm bill is saying no to rural America."

Bush and McCain both say the bill, which boosts farm subsidies and includes more money for food stamps, is fiscally irresponsible and too generous to wealthy corporate farmers.

"When Bear Stearns needed assistance, we stepped in with a $30 billion package. But when our farmers need help, all they get from Senator McCain and President Bush is a veto threat," Clinton said.

The $30 billion didn't help Bear Stearns (ask most of my former coworkers); it guarantees that the market remains stable while the Great Sucking Sound that is Bear fades.

And this is over the farm bill? The "Disgraceful" farm bill?
The bill includes the usual favors like the tax break for racehorse breeders pushed by Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader. But the greater and more embarrassing defect is that the bill perpetuates the old subsidies for agriculture at a time when the prices that farmers are getting for big row crops like corn, soybeans and wheat have never been better. Net farm income is up 50 percent [56% in the past two years, per the WSJ&,mdash;though it is on the Editorial page, and therefore needs a to be taken with a five-pound bag of salt].

The legislation preserves an indefensible program of direct payments amounting to about $5 billion a year that flow in good times and bad. It raises support levels for wheat and soybeans, while adding several new crops to the list in a way that will make it easier for farmers to raid the federal Treasury even when prices go up.

And this is, to be certain, a farm bill that targets the richest of the rich. From the WSJ:
A bigger scam is the new income limit to qualify for subsidies. Mr. Bush sought a $200,000 annual income cap, but Congress can't bring itself to go below $750,000. Even that is a farce, because it doesn't include loan programs and disaster payments, and it allows spouses to qualify for payments too. The White House and liberal reformers calculate that farm owners with clever accountants can have incomes of up to $2.5 million and still get a taxpayer handout.

I know Senior Managing Directors at Bear Stearns who didn't make $750K a year, let alone $2.5 million.

It's a good thing we have Barack Obama to speak against the bill, and for the "little people" who have financed his "grass roots" campaign.

Huh? Oh, wait.
"I applaud the Senate's passage today of the Farm Bill, which will provide America's hard-working farmers and ranchers with more support and more predictability."

"The bill places greater resources into renewable energy and conservation. And, during this time of rising food prices, the Farm Bill provides an additional $10 billion for critical nutrition programs. I am also pleased that the bill includes my proposal to help thousands of African-American farmers get their discrimination claims reviewed under the Pigford settlement."

(in best Emily Litella voice) Never mind.

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