Sickening Corporate Welfare

Thursday, August 30th, 2007 10:10 am by Neal

Yuval Levin, writing at the Corner, explains the map above of New York City:

Have a look at the map of Manhattan (used recently by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in a speech). The red dots indicate people who live in Manhattan (and so clearly are neither hurting for money nor tilling the soil on the family farm) but receive agricultural subsidies from the federal government.

The larger red blobs mark people receiving more than a quarter of a million dollars in farm subsidies annually.

The farm bill passed by House Democrats in July would continue giving millionaires farm subsidies (setting the income threshold for payments at $1 million a year, and keeping loopholes in place that allow some making much more to qualify). The Bush administration has proposed sharply reducing the income threshold to $200,000 a year and ending many of those loopholes. That would reduce the number of subsidy recipients by less than 40,000 (of the current million or so recipients)—though I suppose it might put some rooftop gardens on Park Avenue out of commission.

In a later post, Levin clarifies his initial statement by noting, “the map, after all, depicts the results of that very bad Republican farm bill, since a new very bad Democratic farm bill has not yet been enacted.”

That map starkly demonstrates Washington’s bi-partisan love affair with corporate welfare.

Fiscal conservatism is dead in DC.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn chimes in saying, “Those of us who oppose this corruption do so regardless of who’s shoveling it out.” Amen to that. He also points out an article he wrote five years ago on the hideous Republican farm bill:

As far as I can tell no actual farmers – that’s to say, guys in denim overalls, plaid shirts and John Deere caps with straws in the stumps of their teeth – will benefit from the so-called farm Bill. Almost three-quarters of the subsidies will go to 20,000 multimillionaire play-farmers and blue-chip corporations with some canny land investments. Among the lucky ‘farmers’ piling up the dollar bills under the mattress are CNN founder Ted Turner, ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson, the oil company Chevron, and dirtpoor hardscrabble sharecropper David Rockefeller… [The legislation] is designed to help Republican fortunes in the ‘farm belt’. Judging from this Bill, the farm belt runs from Park Avenue, down Wall Street, out to the Hamptons and then by yacht to Martha’s Vineyard – or, as I like to think of it, Martha’s Barnyard.

Absolutely disgusting.

UPDATE: Click here for a nationwide zoom-capable map courtesy of the Environmental Working Group’s Farm Policy Analysis Database.

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