Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Michele Bachmann: Welfare Queen

Michele Bachmann: Welfare Queen

Posted on Dec 22, 2009
By Yasha Levine

Michele Bachmann has become well known for her anti-government tea-bagger antics, protesting health care reform and every other government “handout” as socialism. What her followers probably don’t know is that Rep. Bachmann is, to use that anti-government slur, something of a welfare queen. That’s right, the anti-government insurrectionist has taken more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts thanks to corrupt farming subsidies she has been collecting for at least a decade.

And she’s not the only one who has been padding her bank account with taxpayer money.

Bachmann, of Minnesota, has spent much of this year agitating against health care reform, whipping up the so-called tea-baggers with stories of death panels and rationed health care. She has called for a revolution against what she sees as Barack Obama’s attempted socialist takeover of America, saying presidential policy is “reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.”

But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.

However, Bachmann doesn’t think other Americans should benefit from such protection and assistance. She voted against every foreclosure relief bill aimed at helping average homeowners (despite the fact that her district had the highest foreclosure rate in Minnesota), saying that bailing out homeowners would be “rewarding the irresponsible while punishing those who have been playing by the rules.” That’s right, the subsidy queen wants the rest of us to be responsible.

Bachmann’s financial disclosure forms indicate that her personal stake in the family farm is worth up to $250,000. They also show that she has been earning income from the farm business, and that the income grew in just a few years from $2,000 to as much as $50,000 for 2008. This has provided her with a second government-subsidized income to go with her job as a government-paid congresswoman who makes $174,000 per year (in addition to having top-notch government medical benefits). “If she has an interest in a farm getting federal subsidy payments, she is benefiting from them,” Sandra Schubert, director of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, told Gannett News Service in 2007, when the subsidies to Bachmann were first publicly disclosed.

But Bachmann isn’t the only welfare recipient on Capitol Hill. As it turns out, there is a filthy-rich class of absentee farmers—both in and out of Congress—who demand free-market rules by day and collect their government welfare checks in the mail at night, payments that subsidize businesses that otherwise would fail. Over the past couple of decades, welfare for the super-wealthy seems to be the only kind of welfare our society tolerates.

In the 11 years for which the Environmental Working Group has compiled data, the federal government paid out a total of $178 billion to American farmers. We’re not talking about the Jeds here. The bulk of subsidies go to the wealthy, not small farmers, as Ken Cook, the group’s president, explained to the Central Valley (Calif.) Business Times:

American taxpayers have been writing farm subsidy checks to wealthy absentee land owners, state prison systems, universities, public corporations, and very large, well-heeled farm business operations without the government so much as asking the beneficiaries if they need our money. ... Even if you live smack in the middle of a big city, type in a ZIP code and you’ll find farm subsidy recipients.

Chuck Grassley, the longtime Republican senator from Iowa who warns his constituents of Obama’s “trend toward socialism,” has seen his family collect $1 million in federal handouts over an 11-year period, with Grassley’s son receiving $699,248 and the senator himself pocketing $238,974. Even Grassley’s grandson is learning to ride through life on training wheels, snagging $5,964 in 2005 and $2,363 in 2006. In the Grassley family they learn early how to enjoy other people’s money.

Sen. Grassley railed against government intervention in the health care market, telling The Washington Times, “Whenever the government does more ... that’s a movement toward socialism.” As the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, he ought to know, especially because the government has done more for him and his kin than for Americans struggling with high medical bills and mortgages. Even the free-market think tank the Heritage Foundation criticized Grassley on his deep connections to farming interests and his stubborn lack of transparency.

Then there’s Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., whose family has been on the government take for at least the past 11 years, pocketing some $500,000. The senator recently held a “prayercast” with Michele Bachmann to beseech God to kill health care reform as soon as possible because it would bring an evil socialist spirit into America. Like Bachmann, Brownback has a fierce belief in God, the free market and a two-year limit on all welfare benefits—unless it’s welfare to rich Republicans who don’t need it.

This is the type of shit I have been talking about for years. When the world welfare is brought up you usually think of the fat black woman in the projects with too many kids she couldn't afford but in reality, it usually goes to rich white people.

Corn alone is subsidized to the tune of about 7 Billion dollars per year going to states such as Minnesota, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, etc... Yes, mainly red states, mainly states that are more rural and more conservative; the very ones who can't stand other people getting something for nothing. Lets not forget that along with corn and dairy the tobacco industry as well as sugar, cotton and almost anything you can think of is subsidized by your tax dollars. Corn, sugar, tobacco???Do you see a problem with subsidizing the very things that are killing Americans and making us fat and unhealthy and raising health care costs?? Not to mention that almost all oil companies (who make billions in profits) and mining companies also receive federal subsidies and these subsidies are typically going to more rural and poorer states with smaller urban areas who generally receive more money back from the federal government than the taxes which are collected from them. This means that IL, CA, NY, MA, FL, NJ, CT, WA, OR, etc. all have to pay for the corn, tobacco, cotton, sugar, cows in places like KY, TN, SC, AR, UT, LA, MS, AL, OK, NE, etc.

Michele Bachmann is a Socialist!!!


Shaw Kenawe said...


Don't confuse our conservative brethren with facts--the fact that socialism is practiced all over this country in the form of farm, tobacco, dairy subsidies.

And it was a wide-spread practice under conservative presidents and happily encouraged in conservative red states.

All our conservative brethren listen to are the gurglings of idiots like Beck, Bachmann and Palin who squawk "Socialism! Socialism!" while ignoring the fact that it is as American as apple pie, mooseburgers, and FOX News charlatans.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I meant Toad, not TAO. Got a bit ahead of myself.

Toad734 said...

Ha, American as mooseburgers... I like that one.

I did a post on this same subject a long time ago if you want to check it out:http://toadthoughts.blogspot.com/2005/07/time-to-end-socialism-in-united-states.html

Some number are outdated as I now pay 10.25% in Sales taxes not 8.75% and I am sure some of the other numbers have changed as well since I wrote this.

Mike's America said...

Oh, I get it... You just hate women...

It's not just Sarah Palin.

Toad734 said...

No, I hate hypocritical morons who think Adam and Eve used to ride dinosaurs to church every Sunday and that God made women to both satisfy yet damn men...Oh wait, that's what you believe...Oops!

Toad734 said...

Unlike you, I can actually have relationships with women, women like me and I spend a great deal of time with women...Sorry that isn't how your life turned out but don't project your prejudices on other people.