Friday, October 01, 2004

The Bush Betrayal: Chapter 7

We continue coverage of this awesome book with another small sample:

        Chapter Title: Bush's Farm Fiasco
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My dad always says to me things like 'but Kerry's gonna raise taxes'. I tried to tell him that Kerry's only going to increase taxes on those making over 200k a year, but decrease them for everyone else (both Bush and Kerry promise to cut taxes).

I also point out that Bush, while lowering some taxes, increases taxes through back-door means that actually end up costing U.S. taxpayers more - a lot more. Dad's definitely not buying that - too abstract - and I understand - this stuff is not easy to explain - but Bovard knocks it out. Example after example after example - after example. Dude puts it down in black and white. Many government policies were horrific before Bush came into office - he's just managed to make some of them - e.g. farming policies - even more horrific, much more horrific.

This chapter centers on the 2002 farm bill. But first, one quick fact from the introduction section concerning those poor midwest farmers we always hear so much about:

The average full-time farmer has a net worth of more than a million dollars.2

Doh! WTF?!

But here's a paragraph of criticism, also from the intro, of the 2002 farm bill by Republican Congressmen. And remember, both houses of Congress and the Presidency all belong to the Rethugs - so this travesty is all on them.
Some Republicans were aghast at the final bill. Sen. Lugar complained that the bill creates "a huge transfer payment from a majority of Americans to very few" and also warned that the lavish new subsidies would result "almost inevitably" in "vast oversupply and lower prices."17 Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Aomplained that the "legislation will cost the average American household $4,377 over the next 10 years -- $1,805 in taxes and $2,572 in inflated food prices because of price supports."18(PDF) Flake observed that 90 percent of the $50 billion increase in handouts "will go to farmers producing just five crops: wheat, corn, rice, cotton, and soybean. Two-thirds will go to just 10% of farmers." 19(PDF) The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of subsidies would increase almost 80 percent over the following six years.20

20. Philip Brasher, "Critics Decry Farm Bill Price Tag," Associated Press, May 7, 2002.

Here's a link to the 2002 Farm Bill - and isn't it nice that we get a nice little re-election picture of W.? I certainly thought so.

Thought I'd link to a couple of editorials on the Farm Bill that I found on the Environmental Media Services page. No, I've never heard of them either, but they listed a couple of articles which is quite harsh on Bushco. I stole some stuff from them:

Washington Post: "Mr. Bush signed a farm bill that represents a low point in his presidency -- a wasteful corporate welfare measure that penalizes taxpayers and the world's poorest people in order to bribe a few voters..."

Wall Street Journal: "Senate and House conferees this week unveiled their final farm bill, a 10-year, $173.5 billion bucket of slop that has even Washington agog....Where, we wonder, is the adult supervision?"

I'm not sure if the WaPo editorial page is supposed to be liberal or wacky, but I'm darn sure that the WSJ editorial page is way right-wing, so their criticism is tough.

Link to original article (and Chapter 1 - Introduction) here.

Link to previous chapter.

Chapter 8.

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