Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Using a toothpick to dig the grave

We've been hearing a lot about the massive amount of waste in Washington. But there haven't been a lot of answers to how to combat it that have gotten very far. Congress even voted down a proposal to end subsidies to massive oil companies.

But the House Appropriations Committee has voted to cut subsidies for agriculture and farmers instead. The bill would lower the threshold that farmers can make and still receive aid. The aid currently costs the federal government $5 billion a year.

To put this in perspective, the government pays billions a year to big oil, one of the most profitable businesses in the world. They give away tax dollars to massive corporations that rake in billions in profits all by themselves. But they won't touch that. Instead, they're going to tighten restrictions on farmers so that they have to be making less money in order to receive aid from the government. They have to be making less than $250,000 a year in order to get aid, compared to oil businesses that make billions and still get subsidies.

And it's not like farmers have it great. Living and growing up in rural farm communities, I know that farmers aren't rich. They're wealth is tied to land, and the money they make is constantly changing. Some years, like this one, there's too much rain and crops rot in the ground. Other times, there's not enough rain and nothing grows. The subsidies given to farmers are meant to keep them afloat through good years and bad.

It just goes to show that the HAC, and Congress as a whole, seems more interested in tearing pennies from the callused hands of American workers than in pulling back their continued funding of big business, taking tiny bits and pieces out of the budget of social programs instead of hacking away money that is given to special interests.

No comments: