Skip to comments.Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm
Posted on 07/02/2006 5:12:54 AM PDT by grjr21
EL CAMPO, Tex. -- Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. He is a 67-year-old asphalt contractor who wanted to build a dream house for his wife of 40 years.
Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual "direct payments," because years ago the land was used to grow rice.
Matthews is not alone. Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post.
Some of them collect hundreds of thousands of dollars without planting a seed. Mary Anna Hudson, 87, from the River Oaks neighborhood in Houston, has received $191,000 over the past decade. For Houston surgeon Jimmy Frank Howell, the total was $490,709.
"I don't agree with the government's policy," said Matthews, who wanted to give the money back but was told it would just go to other landowners. "They give all of this money to landowners who don't even farm, while real farmers can't afford to get started. It's wrong."
subsidy that benefits millionaire landowners, foreign speculators and absentee landlords, as well as farmers.
Most of the money goes to real farmers who grow crops on their land, but they are under no obligation to grow the crop being subsidized. They can switch to a different crop or raise cattle or even grow a stand of timber -- and still get the government payments. The cash comes with so few restrictions that subdivision developers who buy farmland advertise that homeowners can collect farm subsidies on their new back yards.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Does this irk anybody else or is it just me ?
I don't farm, either. How do I get a piece of this action?
The above tells me something of the character of Mr. Matthews.
Maybe someone can explain what this waste of taxpayers money program is supposed to accomplish. And why it is giving away millions to people who are not the original owners of farmland.
Expecting anything the government does to make sense.........priceless!
I had a garden at one time. Where's my check?
On another thread, I responded to a person extolling the virtues of our socialist society. Unfortunately, there are Dachas here, too!
In november, get out and elect republicans, once they take control of congress they'll stand up for honesty and integrity in government!
"Matthews said he originally was not going to take the money. But he said Petty told him that it would just go to other landowners. "I thought, heck, why should I do that? I wasn't going to give it to somebody else to put in their pocket." Instead, he uses the money to fund scholarships at the county fair and two local high schools, he said.
Mr. Matthews is no better than someone gaming the welfare system, IMHO. And again, what he says speaks volumes...
"Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
Those who count the votes decide everything."
-- Josef Stalin
Though there is debate if he actually said it...
Mr. Matthews uses the money to fund scholarships and you think he is "gaming the system." Some people don't bother to think at all. If he gave the money back it would land in some greedy non farmer's pocket, this was he puts it to a good use, helping some student. How is that gaming the system?
Thank Goodness! Imagine how much the government would have to pay them if they DID plant crops!
Not nearly as much as the fact that poor suffering farmers like Ted Turner get farm subsidies.
Though there is debate if he actually said it...
Wally O'Dell is the one who matters, though.
Doing something with the money he states he should not be getting but is legally entitled to, does not make getting the farm assistance any less egregious.
It's not an all that efficient system in providing money for students. I'd have a lot more respect for Mr. Matthews if he would just not accept the money. He could teach a valuable lesson to those students in doing so.
Like the developers and homeowners in this article, you buy some land from a farmer who is currently receiving these subsidies. Then you get the subsidies.
However, if you don't think the farmer took that into consideration when he listed the selling price of his property, then you are seriously underestimating him.
It's FUBAR. Things have to get back to how they should be (can you imagine T. Jefferson or any other founders of this country going for this shit?) or something bad will eventually hit the fan.
It's like the Roman empire.
What you are about to read is a joke, but it could be real.
TO: Honorable Secretary of Agriculture
I thought I might go into business to supplement my welfare check.
My friend over at Wells, Iowa received a check for $1,000 from the Government for not raising hogs. Right now I'm getting extra help from the government and Red Cross while I'm displaced but when that stops I want to go into the "not-raising-hogs" business.
What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise?
I want to be sure that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all governmental policies. I would prefer not to raise razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I will just as gladly not raise Yorkshires or Durocs. As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be in keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven't raised.
My friend, Peterson, is very joyful about the future of the
business. He has been raising hogs for twenty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was $422 in 1968, until this year when he got your check for $1000 for not raising hogs. If I get $1000 for not raising 50 hogs, will I get $2000 for not raising 100 hogs? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4000 hogs not raised, which will mean about $80,000 the first year. Then I can afford an airplane.
Now another thing, these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I understand that you also pay farmers for not raising corn and wheat. Will I qualify for payments for not raising wheat and corn not to feed the 4000 hogs I am not going to raise?
Also, I am considering the "not milking cows" business, so send me any information you have on that too. In view of these circumstances, you understand that I will be totally unemployed and plan to file for unemployment and food stamps.
Be assured you will have my vote in the coming election.
PS. Please notify me when you are giving out more free cheese.
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