• “The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.” Charles de Gaulle
    Including farmers, May be sad, but it's true.

    December 29, 2011 at 8:36 p.m.
  • I know of a family from the area that has received millions in subsidies the past 5 years, yet are on medicaid and CHIPS, thanks to accounting practices that show very little income and then recently made a very public donation of money to a local charity.

    This blatent abuse of the system gets my blood boiling.

    I didn't get a construction subsidy when the the housing market tanked. My friend didn't get an electrician subsidy.

    It is time for some serious reform.

    December 29, 2011 at 5:40 p.m.
  • Cutting farmer subsidies will be part of our budget cuts but it won't be done rationally and it's because of the current gridlock caused by the ideologues.

    This is an example of how and silly our government has become.
    The republicans and are blocking all of President Obama's nominees and they have used some procedures to ensure that the government is technically not in recess depriving the president to have a recess appointment. The second session of the 112th Congress starts on January 3,2012 but before that happens, the current session must end... The president will use that 30 seconds or more to appoint Richard Cordray as the director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and possibly another judge

    December 29, 2011 at 4:34 p.m.
  • Born--

    A couple or three points here.

    I should have been clearer on the where your food comes from comment. We get a lot of food from places other than China. But, yeah, I agree--I don't want anything from China, either. We get a lot of produce from Mexico, and the egg production in California is slowly moving out of the country.

    I am not saying let everyone fend for himself at all. I not against government assistance at all. Remember? I am against hypocrisy. Farm subsidies are welfare for farmers, just as Lone Star cards are welfare for low income people. There is no difference. None. Well, except a Lone Star card probably nets the recipient $6000 a year in actual cash versus apparently hundreds of thousands of dollars to a farmer.

    Now, as to the handwriting on the wall, I sincerely hope you do not trade with Walmart or Sam's. You support China when you do. Closer to home, one-third of Chesapeake Energy (the Eagle Ford Shale stuff) is now owned by China. We've been buying oil for decades from the Saudis. This is not new stuff, Born! Every talk to a Customer Service Rep in Pakistan?

    December 29, 2011 at 4:16 p.m.
  • born2Bme

    I 'm in total agreement (as usual) and believe it or not out been saying those same words on another blog this week.

    During this downturn Germany retained their union workforce but they retained their price for the quality products they produced. They didn't coddle to the rich, and they have universal Health Care.

    One of our most prosperous times came after WWII where tax rates were extremely high but we had strong unions and a GI Bill that was used to educate our work force. That couldn't happen today because conservatives would call the GI Bill another socialist program.

    Anyway, thanks for the civil discussion as always.

    December 29, 2011 at 4:08 p.m.
  • Countrychic
    It seems to me that some folks should take a chill pill. The government handing out money to farmers is welfare. No matter how you slice it, it’s still welfare. You can scream and cuss about those people who are on food stamps. May I ask you a question? Why do you decided to paint folks with a wide brush? Here is a question to you, have you take a look at the income level of those on the list?

    December 29, 2011 at 3:59 p.m.
  • The writing is on the wall for a lots of things in this Country. If people don't wake up, and soon, there isn't going to be a USA left. What made this Country great is quickly being sold to the highest bidder.
    People who are always on the quest for the cheapest products are cutting their own throats.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.
  • Born

    You know better than that. I sincerely believe it takes a village but the handwriting is on wall for small farmer.I never said I was against subsidies and I explained its meaning yesterday. The subsides are for the benefit of our country(to a point) because it gives our farmer's an advantage on the world market. It also allows the government to prevent overproducing thereby destabilizing the market.

    About three weeks ago I saw the 60 Minute segment of how Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Warren's son were providing equipment and modern farming methods to underdeveloped countries. Warren Buffet's son said it was a fruitless proposition because once the money was used up, the inhabitants of that country couldn't afford the equipment or the methods to continue farming in that manner.

    We are already at a point where 1% controls most of the wealth but we're borrowing 40¢ for every dollar we spend. Now do we want to keep the small farmer on life support forever and how many other industries should we do that for?

    I readily admit that I have a bias because I see this as a accounting problem because I have not spent one day on a farm. I believe we have been underpaying for our food products for a long time. If I'm not mistaken our home grown crops are loaded with insecticides and many farmers have been accused of using unsanitary methods. I don't know what the ratio is to foreign products but I don't disagree with you.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:41 p.m.
  • My point exactly, Mike. Their equipment costs more than anyone even imagines. I think they drove their combines to prove a point. It's danged expensive to farm, but that equipment is a must if you want to farm.
    So what you and EA are saying is let everyone in this country fend for themselves. No subsidies of anykind for anyone? Let the big corporations take control of everything?
    We lose America if we do that. We return to the days of slaves, where there are just 2 classes. Rich and very poor.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
  • Why should I worry where my food comes from? Haven't you seen the news where food from China is often laced with Melamine, even baby formula. Our people are systematically getting poisoned. Shrimp from China and other Asian countries are grown in hormone (and other nasty things) infested waters.
    Since my son developed food allergies and sensitivities, I've done a lot of research on food, additives, hormones, etc. It's enough to make you not want to eat anything but what is grown at home, and even that is coming under attack from the feed that is being sold.
    Why do you think the obesity rate is exploding, the number of illnesses are skyrocketing? Look to the food you are forced to buy and I'm not going to even bring up fast food. That's in a catagory all to itself.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:55 p.m.
  • Spotter, My source on the figure for imported food products comes straight from Washington, D. C. Folks do not realize that so much of our food is not fully handled domestically. There are food processing plants all over the world who process our food for much less than it can be done here. It is cost effective to send it overseas and then 'import' it back. It is also because there are less, yes less, restrictions on imported food than there is on domestically produced food. Go figure!

    Born, I understand about the small farmer. Some of the folks on that list are relatives of mine. But, just like those folks who insist that folks who qualify for welfare are being paid to sit at home, I believe farm subsidies are being paid to folks who can't make a living at their chosen profession.

    I would love very much to make my living as a Spanish language translator. However, my Spanish is very poor and I would never make a living at it. No one would hire me a second time. Should I be receiving a government check to keep plugging away at a profession that doesn't sustain me? By your rationale, I should.

    As for food production, as long as there is food for consumers to purchase, i.e., not a shortage, why should it matter where it comes from? Do you worry about whether the silver in your sterling silver jewelry is from Nevada or Mexico before you buy it? I don't.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:58 p.m.
  • I hear you born2Bme but the demise of the small American farmer started back in the 80s, remember the Farm Aid concerts of 1985. No offense but I've been saying that the small American farmer should have cut his losses a long time ago because of their poor accounting skills, not keeping up with the newest trends(GPS,trends,the market) kept them from competing against the larger farm corporations. I remember back then when they lost sympathy with the American people because they were driving their $125,000 combines to protest in Washington.

    We still have the FDA whether it's imported or exported but I guess you're saying if its homegrown it stands a better chance of being healthy.

    I've given up on being choosy since I've lived this long and I've got accustomed to every thing imaginable having a foreign label on it. We are in a global economy..:-)

    I understand your Norma Rae point of point.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.
  • Unfortunately, the subsidies are the only thing keeping many small, family-based, farmers in business. I don't think anyone realizes just how important those farmers are. Once they are gone, there will be a monopoly, and we all know how that usually turns out. How does everyone like their meat coming in from overseas? We don't know what we are eating. I'd be willing to guess food brougt in from overseas isn't what we think it is. I already refuse to buy meat from the major supermarkets , in the pre-packaged forms. I refuse to buy shrimp unless I can go get it off the boats in PL. The quality and safety of our food supply is fading fast and people are just worried about subsidies. We should be supporting our own growers.
    As it is now, things are stacked against the small farmer. They have to sell their crops right away, usually at the lowest prices, while bigger farmers can store theirs and wait until the prices go up to sell.
    It's just another American institution being lost, much like the mom and pop stores.
    I remember the little stores that we used to have before WalMart moved in. They had such good quality products, now everything is mostly junk from China.

    December 29, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
  • EdithAnn,

    What's the source of the 70% consumed imports number? I was finding that we have an agricultural trade surplus, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit if we somehow negate that by exporting food to be processed & re-imported.

    Any thoughts on the unintended consequences of farm subsidies explained in my alternative viewpoints?

    December 29, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.
  • GOP_LoveChild,

    An astute observation.

    December 29, 2011 at 11:34 a.m.
  • Go to the GOP HQ on Main St and you'll see the same names on the GOP's high $$$ republican benefactors listed on their own poster outside the door. The same "keep government out of my business" wealthy local hypocrites feeding at our government's feed trough.

    December 28, 2011 at 6:07 p.m.
  • About 70% of the food consumed in America is imported. If it is not directly produced in another country, it is raised here and sent to another country for processing and then sent back (and thus considered an import). Read your labels, folks!

    I just think it is interesting that when we are talking about Lone Star cards, some folks continue to insist that all recipients are slackers who just need to get a job, but when we are talking about farm subsidies, it's all okay because, why--these folks should be paid to stay in a profession that doesn't provide a decent living?

    As will said, it is a bit hypocritical. But let's not forget, many of the elected folks in Washington, D. C. are also receiving farm subsidies.

    December 28, 2011 at 5:52 p.m.
  • Surprisingly, the US has had an agricultural trade surplus for nearly 50 years:

    Here are some alternative viewpoints to ponder:
    • Why Does Anybody Get Federal Farm Aid? -
    • Welfare queens down on the farm -
    • Fast Food: Just Another Name for Corn -

    December 28, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
  • The King Ranch needs millions? Our Sheriff? How about thte HK Ranch? Dont start looking for other types of Incentives theses same people get in Oil Production and a host of other endevours or you will really understand why theses people dont want the needy to get it,,,,,,, they may not!

    December 28, 2011 at 5:11 p.m.
  • The pathetically sad part is, if you search the 77901 zip code, the top 20 recipients 50+% not even "farmers" like Mr. Kubecka in the article.
    Just land owners/trustfund babies who would NOT know what a hard days work is!

    December 28, 2011 at 5:02 p.m.
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    December 28, 2011 at 5 p.m.
  • Seems there is abuse throughout all systems - when something free is given out - someone figures out how to get more than their fair share.

    December 28, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
  • Born2Bme
    I think subsidies and welfare are two different things, although I can see where some people might find similarities.

    Welfare is a safety net programs to take care of our poor.

    Farm subsidies are supposed to give our farmer's an advantage over their foreign competitors and it gives our government some control like crop rotation and and over saturation of the market of some crops. It's been called a form of protectionism and a trade barrier.

    There is abuse in both systems but what are the alternatives?

    The people that think that government does not have a role other than defense will call both of these programs socialism, welfare, and unnecessary.

    I think it's a Walmart-like problem,we want and demand cheap farm products therefore, of the two million remaining farms in the nation, only 565,000 are family operation. We don't depend on that small farmer anymore.

    December 28, 2011 at 4:09 p.m.
  • Definition of SUBSIDY- A grant or gift of money.

    You hit the nail on the head........"a lot of our food is already imported."
    It does NOT need to be!

    I know the hard work of farming. My brother & I spend all our summers and school vacations on the farm. My mother sent us "city kids" to learn the meaning of hard work and we did.
    I know the sacrifices of farming. We lost one of our cousins in a farming accident.
    I have seen relatives who have used their "subsidy $$" to expand & reinvest in their farm/family business.
    I have also seen some who have pi$$ed their "subsidy $$" away. Then want to cry you a river.

    December 28, 2011 at 4 p.m.
  • Yes, a lot of our food is already imported, but just think about it. What if all of our farmers went bankrupt and they were forced to sell their land off. Now we are talking farmers and cattle ranchers. The land would be bought up by no telling who, to be used in anyway they saw fit. Kiss your water rights goodbye. Now, think about boycotts, the ability to poison our food gets a whole lot easier. Talk about taking out a lot of Americans the easy way.
    Do you really want to set up that scenerio? Do we really want to lose our ability to feed our own Country in case of wars between countries?
    Another thought. The only people who care about the land in this Country are the people in this Country. You say that handouts are handouts? Not in every case. Farmers don't sit on their behinds. They are out there putting all their blood, sweat, and tears into the land they love. They cannot control the weather. It is not their fault if there is a drought, or floods, hurricanes. They cannot buy 1000 dollar equipment. Their equipment runs into the 100,000x? range. Who in their right mind would stick their necks out on the line like that without some kind of promise from the government that if unforseen events happen, they won't lose everything?

    December 28, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
  • Countrychic,

    It's a fact. You have all different types of "welfare". This just happens to be "farmers welfare".

    I'll give you a prime example, as one side of my family are farmers.

    Cousin #1: Runs his farm as a business-24/7,365. He has diversified his crops, always looking to expanded his acreage he farms, he price shops to get the best price on equipment. His barn is very organized, equipment taken care of & employs several workers year round. He is very successful, has a great business sense, works hard and never complains. He & his wife have received over $1.3 MILLION since 1995 in Farm Subsities for their "chosen career/family business".

    Cousin#2: Runs his farm as he has the last 20+ years, never looks to expand or diversify his acreage or crop, does not price shop his equipment. He has no business sense. His barn is junky & very disorganized. Actually his barn looks like a junkyard! He is too busy doing other things/hobbies, mainly complaining and not tending the farm. He's not married and has collected $750,000+ since 1995 for his "chosen career/family business".

    Cousin#3: Has never farmed, ever!! Since he has land in his name and it is leased to farm, he too receives a subsity check.

    All 3 cousins are cousins and not brothers.

    So, how is it that "Farm Subsities" are NOT a form of welfare??
    Do the farmers pay taxes on the subsities they received or is it nontaxable income??
    I am calling it as I have experienced in my farming family, another form of welfare.

    December 28, 2011 at 3:11 p.m.
  • Country Chick, look at the names on these list. In Dewitt County, as well, some of the wealthiest cictizens in the area are taking these hand outs. THey are TAX TAKERS and YES it is WELFARE.
    When one of these recipients with bumper sticker decrying Obama as a socialist drives a $60,000 truck and takes money from governement, it is a bit hypocritical.

    December 28, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
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    December 28, 2011 at 3:04 p.m.
  • okay, so vicad deleted my first comment. i'll try again. how dare you people criticize these poor people. at least they try and earn an honest living not like all the others who want to do nothing for themselves and expect handouts from the gov. they have probably never received a handout out from anyone. shame on all you haters!!

    December 28, 2011 at 2:27 p.m.
  • Born--do a little digging--so much of our food is already imported.

    But, back to my original statement--a handout from the government is a handout from the government. Whether it comes in the form of a multi-million dollar farm 'subsidy' or in the form of a Lonestar card, it is all the same, isn't it? I just get a little confused when some handout are not okay and some are.

    December 28, 2011 at 2:23 p.m.
  • You cannot look at this as welfare. Farmers have to have some very expensive equipment just to get the crops in. The weather is not something they can control, nor are the prices of fuel, equipment, cost of seed, and a number of other things.
    Without help, most of the local farmers would already be out of business and we would be at the mercy of foreign growers. A very large part of our economy would die.

    December 28, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
  • Compared to other major agricultural producers around the globe, the U.S. ranks near the bottom of the subsidization and tariff scale.

    Here are some real facts about farm policy:

    December 28, 2011 at 1:32 p.m.
  • It is welfare.
    You can search by name or location(state or zip code) for the amounts(s) the recipients receive.

    December 28, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
  • Just making a statement, Riverboat, but I know you know there are those who are against welfare. You've been reading the comments on this forum probably longer than I have.

    December 28, 2011 at 12:39 p.m.
  • It's welfare for farmers.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
  • And what "subsidies" did affected local lawn care company owners receive?
    Call it what it is - socialism.

    December 27, 2011 at 11:01 p.m.