Thursday, May 19, 2011

Michele Bachmann - Congressional Mobster

Congress votes for subsidies, then receives the subsidies - as well as campaign funds...what a racket! But I thought that was illegal? Are sitting members of Congress above the law? Silly me, OF COURSE THEY ARE!

Would you walk up to a total stranger on the street and pay them to rob you? Of course not. But when we give mammoth American-based multi-national corporate conglomerates tax breaks, and then they use this money to hire lobbyists to give money to our elected officials to represent them (instead of us) in legislation that costs taxpayers even more money (including lost tax revenues), and then members of congress personally benefits themselves from bribes "campaign contributions", that's exactly what we're doing...paying a total stranger to rob us.

With farm subsidies (just like with billions of dollars in taxpayer-paid subsidies for big oil that the Republicans just voted on to continue), the big corporations are using these subsidies to finance lobbyists to bribe sitting members of congress to introduce and vote on legislation that is financially beneficial to them. And our Supreme Court says this is all legal! 

If you ask me, I think most of our elected "representatives" on The Hill are nothing more than a bunch of congressional mobsters. (click photo to enlarge)

The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (H.R. 2646) was first introduced by former Chair of the House Agriculture Committee Larry Combest (Republican -Texas) in 2001.

The Farm Bill Extension Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419) had re-authorized these agricultural programs for 5 more years, set to expire next year. When that bill first went to the Senate floor, eight sitting senators had special reason to pay close attention: They or their relatives stood to collect millions, as they did in federal payments from 1995 to 2005, according to government records compiled by a non-partisan environmental group.

At the time, the Republican conservative think tank group, the Heritage Foundation, was against it: "Record farm incomes provide a welcome opportunity to reform the antiquated, Depression-era system of expensive farm subsidies. Regrettably, the Senate farm bill fails to modernize these programs. If the bill is enacted, Americans will continue paying billions in taxes and in higher food prices annually for a program that distributes most of its benefits to millionaires."

Read: House Approves 286 Billion Dollar Farm Bill (Michele Bachmann was one of only 18 Republicans who voted for it).

As it turned out, the Republican "social conservative" Michele Bachmann was something of a welfare queen. The radical anti-government Tea Party insurrectionist has taken more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts thanks to corrupt farming subsidies. She had been collecting for at least a decade - - - getting free money from hard-working taxpayers. Was that the Christian thing to do? Taking from the poor (me) to give to the rich (her)? Bachmann and her husband own a Christian counseling practice in Stillwater, Minnesota. As anti-abortion activists, they use to frequently pray outside of medical clinics that performed abortions, and also served as sidewalk counselors.

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 is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. But Michele Bachmann, the hypocritical "Christian", doesn't believe in Medicaid, Pell Grants, and food stamps for the poor; or Medicare and Socially Security for the working-class. That's a big social conservative NO CAN DO! But it's OK for HER to get a free hand-out.

According to the organization’s records, Michele 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. 

The Bachmann family farm is located in Waumandee, Wisconsin. Since the death of her father-in-law in 2009, the farm and its buildings have been rented out to a neighboring farmer who maintains a dairy herd on the farm. Does HE get government hand-outs too? And if so, will someone please tell me exactly how the money is spent? 

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.

And just like the other hypocritical "Christian" Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann also supported suspending capital gains taxes - - - taxes that rich people pay, but they cry about the debt, but only want to cut programs that hurt the elderly, the sick, and the poor. Yet corporate welfare (i.e. Exxon-Mobile, Boeing, GE, etc) is OK, as are farm subsidies for Michele Bachmann.

Michele 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/congressional mobster on Capitol Hill.

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. Even the free-market think tank the Heritage Foundation criticized Grassley on his deep connections to farming interests and his stubborn lack of transparency. 

And 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 once 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.

But it doesn't end there...the so-called Blue Dog Democrats are on board with this welfare-for-the-rich thing too.

Max Baucus, the fiscally conservative Democratic senator from Montana who did his best to sabotage the health care reform process before it ever began, collected $250,000 in taxpayer subsidies to his family’s farm while fighting to keep Americans at the mercy of free-market health insurance. Also, he's one of our "honorable" senators that wanted to end extended unemployment benefits for the jobless unless it was "paid for" - and that 99 weeks was "sufficient".

Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, another Democrat, also helped hold the line against so-called socialized medicine for Americans who need assistance, even though her family farm business follows the socialized subsidy playbook to a T. The Lincolns pocketed $715,000 in farm subsidies over a 10-year period, and the senator even admitted to using $10,000 of it as petty cash in 2007.

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Sandlin of South Dakota stayed true to her conservative free-market roots by voting against the public option - but her daddy, Lars Herseth, a former South Dakota legislator, collected a welfare jackpot of $844,725 paid out between 1995 and 2006.

Farm subsidies have become so corrupt that payments sometimes go to dead people for years. Federal farm subsidies, which were originally meant to help struggling farmers survive, are now little more than taxpayer robbery, taking taxpayer wealth from working Americans and sending it to the have-mores. According to 11 years’ worth of Environmental Working Group data that tracks $200 billion in subsidies, the wealthiest 10 percent of “farmers” have collected 75 percent of the money. That’s exactly the kind of socialism that Rep. Bachmann and her elite ilk like.

And farm subsidies are just the tip if the iceberg! Didn't most of these assholes just vote to extend more government handouts to big oil companies while denying unemployment benefits to those who were laid off from their jobs and are struggling just to survive during the Great Recession? And all the Republicans want to kill Medicare now. Go figure.

And tell me, just how do our government "leaders" find so much time to run the country, campaign, stump at Tea Party rallies, and make all those Fox News TV appearances - - - all while writing a book? Yet evidently people like Michele Bachmann manages to find the time (a ghost writer?). But most Americans, if they're lucky enough to have a job, can barely manage a 40-hour work week....they're too busy working to pay taxes to congressional mobsters like Michele Bachmann. 

Is this who YOU would want in the White House...a radical far-right-wing social conservative "corporate welfare enabler" hypocritical thief, who only wants to steal from the poor and working-class to give to the rich? I didn't think so.

* Post excerpted from these sources:

Michele Bachmann In Talks To Publish Book In September 

Farm Bill Extension Act of 2007 

Michele Bachmann: Welfare Queen 

Farm payments benefited legislators 

Michele Bachmann 

The Hertiage Foundation 

Bachmann Statement on the Failure of the Bailout Bill

1 comment:

  1. The senator once 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.