Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Mr. Farm Subsidies Porker Champ)
Posted January 12, 2011on:
One of the biggest and most wasteful pork filled slush programs is the $30 billion annual farm subsidies program. And one of the biggest porkers for this program just happens to be Rep. Frank Lucas (R Iowa). so guess who the Republican leadership has appointed as chair of the House Agriculture Committee. One more Good Old Boy Washington Thief in a position where he can really get his hands in the tax payers pockets. Every time I look over the credentials of another Republican committee appointments I find another shake and bake porker! So what are we tax payers to expect from this Congress that will be different from the last two?
I am beginning to think that only a meteor making a direct hit on Washington DC will save our nation. BB
Posted by Tad DeHaven
The Washington Times says that the upcoming farm bill re-write could “sow division in the GOP.” While House Republican leaders John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy voted against the 2008 farm bill, the new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), is a dedicated supporter of farm subsidies.
The Times recalls Boehner’s comments on the 2008 farm bill:
“The farm bill has often been abused by politicians as a slush fund for bizarre earmarks and wasteful spending projects, and the latest version … is no different,” Mr. Boehner, then the GOP minority leader, said at the time.
It’s too bad then that the Boehner-friendly Republican Steering Committee, which decided the committee chairs, didn’t appear to blink at handing the agriculture committee gavel to a key supporter of the “slush fund.” And it’s not as if Lucas has been circumspect in his intentions. Lucas’s agriculture issues section on his website, which hasn’t been updated since the Republicans took back the House, makes that perfectly clear:
As Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee, I have long been a champion of voluntary agriculture conservation programs. During the drafting of the 2002 Farm Bill, I worked to secure the largest ever increase in programs such as Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Reserve Program, and many others. In the 2008 Farm Bill, I advocated for renewable energy provisions to be included in the farm bill which would allow rural areas to play a larger role in making the U.S. less dependent on foreign sources of energy. I am proud that the 2008 Farm Bill devotes a funding stream to renewable energy research, development, and production….
[I] will work closely with Chairman Peterson and other members of the committee to ensure that cuts are not made to agriculture producers – farmers and ranchers. (So where will they be made Mr. Rep. Lucas? Perhaps to that man standing over there behind the tree? BB)
Lucas isn’t shy about touting his support from the myriad farm lobby groups either:
I have been proud to receive recognition from various agriculture groups for my work in support of their concerns. The American Farm Bureau Federation has presented me with its “Friend of Farm Bureau” award for supporting Farm Bureau issues in Congress in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006. In both 2002 and 2003, the National Farmers Union recognized me with the “Presidential Award for Leadership” for issues important to rural America. NFU also recognized me with the “Golden Triangle Award”, which is given to those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership on issues affecting family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. In 2002 the Oklahoma Wheat Commission presented me with their “Staff of Life” award for voting in favor of wheat growers and farmers 100 percent of the time. And for two years running, the National Association of Wheat Growers named me one of only 11 “Wheat Champion” Members of Congress for superior action in Congress in support of the wheat industry.
Last year, Lucas criticized the Obama administration for proposing some minor agriculture program cuts, including a proposal to limit direct subsidy payments to farmers with more than $500,000 in annual sales. (I really don’t think we are talking about the family farm here do you? By the Democrats reconing during the Bush Tax cuts debate these $500,000 guys were twice over “millionaires and billionaires”. i won’t go that far but I will say I don’t think they need any hard earned tax dollars from someone else. Or, another way of saying that: someone else’s money! which is supposed to be a liberal thing not a conservative Republican thing. Of course the thing is is that there are not many Conservatives in Washington; there are just a bunch of politicians. BB)
Frank Lucas criticized the Obama administration for merely wanting to deny farmers with a half million dollars in sales from grabbing taxpayer money, but take a look what he has to say in a section on his website on “lower taxes and government spending:”
Spending in Congress has reached historic levels during the 111th Congress. The fiscally irresponsible behavior of former Speaker Pelosi and President Obama has driven our national debt level to the point that it is almost equal to the size of our entire economy. This is unacceptable and it must stop.
I have opposed – and will continue to oppose – spending initiatives that dramatically increase the size and scope of the federal government while adding to our already massive national debt. I have long been a supporter of tax reform and will continue to fight against increases in taxes and wasteful federal spending. Congress must get back to the business of fiscal responsibility and strive for a balanced budget without raising the taxes of hard-working Americans. (Now people this is what I call a two faced swindling Son of a Gun when I’m trying to be nice about it. So don’t get me mad! BB)
Lucas must know that “taxes of hard-working Americans” are pouring into the pockets of generally high-income farm businesses at the rate of $15 billion to $35 billion annually. While Lucas may be a “Wheat Champion” he sure isn’t a Taxpayer Champion, at least not on agricultural issues.
See this Cato essay for more on agriculture subsidies. (Be sure and check out this site for some interesting history of how American Agribusiness calling themselves farmers have gotten wealthy off of the tax payers. It has been a scam since the beginning in the late 1800’s. BB)