« “… honor the memory of Treyvon Martin.” (updated 26jul13) | Main | Transnationalists will simply SWAT us »

19 July 2013

Comments

Russ Steele

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Obama To Detroit: Drop Dead.

This is where blue governance has brought Detroit in the end: not even a liberal Democratic administration will step in to save the pensions of thousands of public workers and African Americans, condemning countless innocents to having their pensions and health benefits gutted in bankruptcy court.

Blue model defenders will point to the cruel exodus of General Motors, the unjust outsourcing of American manufacturing, and the general unfairness of life in the big city as the culprits in the slaying of Detroit. But these champions of the marginalized should keep a few facts in mind.

Detroit has been spending on average $100 million more than it has taken in for each of the past five years. The city’s $11 billion in unsecured debt includes $6 billion in health and other retirement benefits and $3 billion in retiree pensions for its 20,000 city pensioners, who are slated to receive less than 10 percent of what they were promised. Between 2007 and 2011, an astounding 36 percent of residents lived below the poverty line. Last year, the FBI cited Detroit as having the highest violent crime rate for any major American city. In the first 12 years of the new century, Detroit lost more than 26 percent of its population.

And now Detroit’s desperate request for a bailout has been turned down by the Obama White House.

Progressive politicians, wonks, and activists can only blame big corporations and other liberal bogeymen for so long. The truth is that corrupt machine politics in a one-party system devoted to the blue social model wrecked an entire city and thousands of lives beyond repair. The sooner blues come to terms with this reality, the greater chance other cities will have of avoiding Detroit’s fate.

Yep. Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.

Ben Emery

Since the privatization of public services has become the course we have seen our national debt, size and scope of government, and corporate control get way out of hand.

Want to shrink government,

1) End Corporate Personhood and Money is not Speech it is property (Slavery was human beings as property Corporate personhood is property becoming human beings)

2) 5 year moratorium on lobbying and public service

3) Public financing of all public campaigns (investment in our democratic republic)

Get the bribes out of our government and the return favors disappear. This would probably shrink our federal government by 50%.

George Rebane

BenE 758am - Money is not speech, but money does fund speech - e.g. paying for busses and posters to get people to a mass protest. I assume that your prescription is symmetrical wrt union expenditures.

I agree that to "probably shrink government", reducing bribes would be one way. But it is the indirect and historically difficult way. The opposite approach to *certainly* shrink government, long argued by many on these pages, is to legislatively reduce the number of functions government can perform and services it that can render. It is the exercise of those that draws in the corrupt money and outputs corrupt governance. The latter approach would also be a sunshine act visible to all. The former would require an increased enforcement bureaucracy putting in place even more monitoring and snooping practices than already exist today. Look at the 16K new IRS employees required to start monitoring adherence to Obamacare.

fish

Since the privatization of public services has become the course we have seen our national debt, size and scope of government, and corporate control get way out of hand.

Want to shrink government,

1) End Corporate Personhood and Money is not Speech it is property (Slavery was human beings as property Corporate personhood is property becoming human beings)

2) 5 year moratorium on lobbying and public service

3) Public financing of all public campaigns (investment in our democratic republic)

Get the bribes out of our government and the return favors disappear. This would probably shrink our federal government by 50%.


See....all reasonable topics for discussion (you left out the audit the FED from the campaign website though which would have fit in here nicely)....and none require "the blood sacrifice" from yesterdays thread.

See how much clearer life appears are when you stay on the medication.


fish

See how much clearer life appears are when you stay on the medication.


Eeew bad sentence! Proofread....always proofread!

Ben Emery

George,
You know I place unions into the bribing category.

Fish,
Having a private banking cabal controlling our currency is absurd and needs to end. I would like to abolish the Fed but auditing it first to expose how corrupt and they really are is the key. Sanders and Paul pushed to get the fed audited for a small window which uncovered $16 trillion basically given out during the banking crisis in 08'. Where did it go the same banks that caused the crisis. It went to other central banks around the globe and into the bank accounts of wealthy business women and men.

Ben Emery

Getting non profits on the grant and public funding train means they are less likely to bite the hand that feeds them with outing what is actually going on in their respective fields. I have been involved in to many groups who have expertise that contradicts the way things are being done but don't want to rock the boat because of fear of losing the funding and tax exempt status. It is a power tool and ultimately a tool in class warfare.

George Rebane

BenE 1131am - I presume that you also put funding through the government grants tit on par with being funded by corporate interests. If so, I welcome it.

Russ Steele

Detroit is liberalism's showcase. We should never let anybody forget that.

The DiploMad 2.0

Ben Emery

George, 19 July 2013 at 01:04 PM

I do.

Paul Emery

Let us not forget that we being represented in Washington by two Congressmen one (McClintock) a professional politican already receiving government pensions and farm subsidies welfare recipient Doug LaMalfa. Not particularly good examples of citizen politicians independent of government interests.

Ben Emery

Paul,
One of the main reasons I challenged McClintock. He represents his own interests first and the republican party's second and maybe his republican supporters third and those who don't agree with his ideology virtually never.

Todd Juvinall

Yeah PaulE, maybe we should get that commie Barbara Kee to represent this district. Or maybe that liberal from Martinez, career politician George Miller, who took his career daddy's place in Congress.I guess we just need you to pick our guy from now on. What a hoot@

Paul Emery

Todd

You have to admit though McClintock is a career politician and LaMalfa is on the subsidy dole. Do you think someone receiving millions of taxpayers money for doing nothing should be allowed to vote or be elected to congress? Seems like a conflict of interest to me.

Account Deleted

Paul - please name the person who is "doing nothing" and getting millions of the taxpayers money. I agree with the statement and I'm not saying that person doesn't exist, but I'd like an idea of what you are talking about. Do you think sex pervs should serve in elected office? We can make high sounding, but empty statements all day long. You might be interested that La Malfa did vote to end farm subsidies. I don't always agree with McClintock but he is probably one of the most honest and cleanest politicians we have today. After all of his years in the legislative branch his net worth is far below most Dems with an equal number of years of service. He certainly represents my family well on almost every single issue.

stevenfrisch

Here is the record of crop, environmental and disaster subsidies in the 1st Congressional District from 1995-2012

http://farm.ewg.org/region.php?fips=CA01

Here is a good article from the Redding Searchlight on the LaMalfa recipients:

http://www.redding.com/news/2012/feb/18/lamalfas-47-million-in-farm-subsidies-draw/

I might note, it is easy to vote against something you know is going to fail! If I were LaMalfa I would have voted against them as well, knowing full well that Congress would re-authorize them anyway. Good way to inoculate yourself from the critic in the next election cycle.

George Rebane

Stevenfrisch 716am - Knowing that farm subsidies did not start with Lamalfa, and that to remain competitive in commercial farming every farmer must dip into the established federal commons to reduce his costs, how would you advise Lamalfa? How would you behave given that you had to operate a family farm (business) that you inherited? (BTW, interesting mistake embedded in the URL.)

Ben Emery

George,
Your question about what should LaMalfa do about the subsides is what I talked about with my mom and my aunt and uncle. Rural poor and Urban poor. Subsides are a welfare program but rural folks have grown to feel entitled. But are quick to judge those who collect welfare in the city. I will paraphrase my mom "If you don't need it you don't take it, the money isn't free"

Here is the solution, if we had any reasonable import tariff on agriculture we could use the money collected to fund the subsides like we did for much our nations history. Promotes US grown food and funds the subside program.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: George Rebane | 20 July 2013 at 08:03 AM

Wow, a good question George.

First I should note that I am not against farm subsidies. I believe that in certain circumstances some subsidies might be beneficial, if they open and expand new markets for American products, if they respond to legitimate one time disasters, or if the environmental benefit of the investment provides a social good that could not be as efficiently obtained under other circumstances. Second I must note I provided information above and commented on the political ramifications for Mr. La Malfa, not the efficacy of the specific subsidy.

If the fact that farm subsidies did not start with Mr. LaMalfa, that they started to address the 'social goods' I described above regardless of our personal opinions about whether or not they provide those 'social goods', is a rationale for continued support to remain competitive, then the same could be said of any market that is subsidized, such as energy, timber harvest (where we impose tariffs on imported softwood) or mortgages (where we provide tax deductions and guarantees for mortgage backed securities). I'm pretty sure you don't want to set that precedent considering your general objection to subsidies.

In the specific case of Mr. La Malfa's position on the Ag bill I would recommend an approach pretty close to the Cato recommendation to phase down and eventually terminate crop subsidies, continue to provide insurance and to protect against adverse prices and weather events, eliminate producer cartels in such markets as dairy, sugar, cotton, rice (and I might add corn based ethanol).

The place where I differ from CATO is on trade protections for certain agricultural products. I believe there is an inherent good from maintaining agricultural production of food, fiber and certain commodity products in the US, such as products that take a long time to come to production level or products that have strategic importance.

In addition, I believe that there is an inherent benefit from de-centralizing our food systems to create resilience in the face of natural disaster, climate change and price shocks. A valuable co-benefit from decentralizing our food systems would be that locally grown food has a tendency to be healthier and better for the environment because it relies less on pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemical treatments to maintain shelf life. (This may be a rare area of agreement between Mr. Shea and me on a public policy issue).

I believe that Mr. La Malfa's position should be that producers should be protected from natural disaster and unfair trade practices, but the price of their product should not be protected by subsidy. The shift to this would likely take 20 years in order to safeguard against economic dislocation in the agricultural industry, and I would robustly support a gradual rather than a radical shift, in order to protect consumers from rising prices (similar to my nuanced position on energy).

It is important to note that in the end consumers would pay more...Americans spend on average 6% of their household income on food, in the UK it is 9%, in France 14%. The question would be "would paying more for food lower costs in other areas". Americans spend more than 17% of GDP on health care, compared to about 7% in EU countries (many of whom have longer life expectancies). Not to devolve into a health care debate, but could a less subsidized and healthier food system lower health care costs MORE than the increase in food cost? or environmental cost? or could it provide for more stable local economies with local agricultural opportunities?

I think these are question Mr. La Malfa should be asking.

Doug La Malfa actually has an opportunity akin to Nixon going to China; because he lives it, like Nixon lived the Cold War, he can put these question on the table. In the end what is public service if not the opportunity to grapple with issues like this. If one wants to represent the people in Congress they should be the ones asking the tough questions and promoting innovation to find solutions. It is a good think that he voted against ag subsidies, but will he take them when they are available, or use the opportunity to highlight the big questions and solutions?

(By the way, is the error the '47 million' versus '4.7 million'? Isn't that a function of how people can construct html?)

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Ben Emery | 20 July 2013 at 08:40 AM

Now we get to the slippery slope so to speak.

Ben--"Here is the solution, if we had any reasonable import tariff on agriculture we could use the money collected to fund the subsides like we did for much our nations history. Promotes US grown food and funds the subside program."

Generally tariffs increase prices--we could debate who is affected--and tariffs are imposed for one of three main reasons, 1) protect domestic industry from foreign competition, 2) protect inefficient industries from foreign competition, or 3) temporarily protect industry from dumping. In essence a tariff is no different than using a tax to support a subsidy, as Ben points out, it is merely a different collection mechanism, either way the consumer pays.

So the slippery slope is who gets the subsidy.

Simply imposing tariffs is not the answer if you don't address the underlying cause of the problem: special interest agriculture using political power to create subsidies for favored industries.

Subsidies, whether derived from general taxes or tariffs, should be focused on the life cycle analysis of the effect, if they are provided at all.

If reducing prices on sugar lowers other costs we should do it; if it does not, we should not. OR WE SHOULD LET THE MARKET DO ITS JOB. Sugar would be three times more expensive and producers would reduce the level of sugar in their products to save money. Clearly we have ample evidence that subsidies on sugar have adverse health effects, we eat more sugar because it costs less, we increase triglycerides and we pay for it by treating diabetes, heart disease, and the side effects of obesity.

La Malfa could be THE powerful voice questioning these policies (or perhaps Heidi Hall could be;)

George Rebane

stevenfrisch 916am++ - An excellent dissertation, and one that fully and reasonably answers my question. While I may differ with you on some details, your position is cohesive and coherent. I will bring this conversation to Congressman Lamalfa's attention.

In the interval, you should be pleased to know that Doug Lamalfa fundamentally supports the systematic reduction/elimination of such farm subsidies, especially to large ag businesses. The question remaining is well brought out in your Nixon analogy - should Lamalfa use his unique position to spearhead a new and reasoned position to restructure farm subsidies that clearly spells out what national interests are served in retaining which specific subsidies. I have also advised the congressman to take a lead in reforming ag subsidies exactly because he is in the most powerful position to make the needed persuasive arguments.

Again, thanks for the well thought out response.

stevenfrisch

By the way, it is also my contention that eliminating commodity agricultural subsidies would inherently favor more localized food networks. Small farmers by and large do not receive subsidies, so increasing prices of commodity Ag products by removing subsidies would reduce the delta between 'big' Ag and 'small' Ag. This could lead to the creation of tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural areas and begin to reduce the gap between urban and rural wages. This should be a key rural economic development strategy.

Thanks for the positive response.

Paul Emery


George

Either way you've got to admit there's a bit of hypocrisy here. Can you find me a policy statement by LaMalfa that supports your statement that "Doug Lamalfa fundamentally supports the systematic reduction/elimination of such farm subsidies, especially to large ag businesses?" Has he actively proposed that in Congress? Should he be allowed to vote on the farm bill or whatever that authorizes taxpayers subsidies to struggling farmers that his family receives? Are you willing top give the same slack to other businesses that cannot survive without government support?

Gregory

The Feds mucking with agriculture markets dates at least to FDR; getting rid of the Byzantine rules governing fiscal pain and pleasure would take a grand bargain that isn't likely any time soon.

Gregory

From a National Review article that Steve F can google for if he wants the link:

"If farmers on their own are making handsome profits, why, with a $1.6 trillion annual federal deficit, is the Department of Agriculture borrowing unprecedented amounts to subsidize them?

At least $5 billion will be in direct cash payouts. Yet no one in the USDA can explain why cotton and soybeans are subsidized, but not lettuce or carrots. In fact, 70 percent of all subsidies go to corn, wheat, cotton, rice, and soybean farmers. Most other farmers receive no federal cash. Yet somehow peach, melon, and almond growers seem to be doing fine without government checks in the mail."

It would take a a very silly local scale farmer to try to grow corn, wheat, cotton, rice or soybeans, and it would take a profoundly stupid farmer to grow corn, wheat, cotton, rice or soybeans while bravely refusing to take the money being pushed at them.

George Rebane

PaulE 139pm - Did you pay attention Paul? The conclusion from the above dialogue (e.g. 1001am) is that he has not. Both SteveF and I would want him to take a leadership (Nixonian?) position on reforming ag policy. And I have already made clear that my support of any government subsidies should be made on the basis of an explicit statement of national interest, not only the interest of private individuals or giant ag corporations. An example would be that we cannot have our national defense armaments infrastructure be farmed out to the lowest bidders worldwide. And there are other examples that could be cited pursuant to a statement of national interest in light of geo-political realities.

Paul Emery

George

One one hand you say that LaMalfa "fundamentally supports the systematic reduction/elimination of such farm subsidies, especially to large ag businesses." However you also say he has not taken taken a leadership position in the matter. 2:02 20 July. " The conclusion from the above dialogue (e.g. 1001am) is that he has not." Help me out with this. Yes, members of congress should not be allowed to vote on subsidy programs or government spending of any kind that benefit themselves or their families.

George Rebane

PaulE 250pm - how would you enforce such an attempt to eliminate conflict of interest in Congress since the proposed legislation is 1) never clean or single issue, and 2) national laws have wide ranging halos that effect many other facets of access and/or the economy? How would such a stricture work? Who would be able to sue whom for violations of what strength (causality is a complex matter)?

Your apparent suggestion would have laws that are then voted on by a total of perhaps three squeaky clean senators in one case, and, say, five on another bill. But I have long supported single issue bills construed as narrowly as possible (with sunset provisions).

Paul Emery

George

Yes it can be complex but in this case it's pretty simple. LaMalfa will be asked to vote on whether to support a bill that will grant hundreds of thousands of dollars of subsidies directly to his family business. It's simple just to voluntarily recuse yourself from the vote because of a conflict of interest. What is your view on that?

Gregory

Paul, I think it's pretty simple... you want the LaMalfa farm subsidy issue for purely political purposes. Like a boxer concentrating on opening up that cut above his opponent's eye rather than fighting a clean fight.

Paul Emery

No Gregory, I get a bit sick of hearing about the evils of Socialism from this crew and here's a direct subsidy to private enterprise paid by the taxpayers to enhance the income of wealthy land owners and all I hear is excuses when the question is asked. Food stamps to poor people bad, farm subsidies to so called Conservatives OK. Believe me if LaMalfa was a Democrat you (they) wouldn't give him a pass.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Gregory | 20 July 2013 at 01:57 PM

"Yet no one in the USDA can explain why cotton and soybeans are subsidized, but not lettuce or carrots. In fact, 70 percent of all subsidies go to corn, wheat, cotton, rice, and soybean farmers."

I am surprised no one at USDA could answer that question. I have been involved in farm bill legislation and negotiation going back more than 12 years now and I have heard the answer from producers for years. According to the producers corn, wheat, cotton, rice and soybeans can be stored and exported easily, thus they are global commodities. Most other row crops, like lettuce, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beets, must be used relatively quickly or they go bad, thus they are primarily for domestic consumption. Many growers contend that the subsidies should go to global commodities to reduce risk of loss for the government providing the subsidy. Rice doesn't get used, no problem, we have a surplus of dried rice. Lettuce doesn't get used it rots. I am wondering if the author of the National Review article just failed to ask the right question when researching their article. (By the way, we eat local corn in season all the time).

"It would take a a very silly local scale farmer to try to grow corn, wheat, cotton, rice or soybeans, and it would take a profoundly stupid farmer to grow corn, wheat, cotton, rice or soybeans while bravely refusing to take the money being pushed at them."

I agree with Gregory that it would be hard to domestically produce and use all of our wheat, rice, corn and soybeans, we produce a huge surplus annually; however cotton is an other story. It is one of the most heavily subsidized commodities and huge part of that subsidy is cheap water used to grow cotton in places like the southern Central Valley and mid-Texas where cotton really should not be grown. If we factored in fair market value of the water we use for cotton, we should be growing cotton in the areas where cotton thrives under natural conditions, the southeast and mid-south. and the Mississippi River delta region.

Cotton takes about 3 times more water than most other row crops. If we used half the water we use for cotton in California on other row crops for domestic consumption the prices of those crops would fall. If we used the other half for urban water purposes we would not need a peripheral tunnel at a cost of about $35 billion and Southern California would have the water it needs for the next 75 years.

This is how totally screwed up the subsidy system is.

Finally, there are companies looking at more sustainable cotton production, like Patagonia. The Patagonia cotton story (and some fun data on cottons impacts) is found here:

http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2077

Now I am not saying that everyone can afford Patagonia clothes, they are twice as much as cheap Bangladesh produced commodity cotton products even though they last three times as long.....hey wait a minute, perhaps if we acted rationally everyone could afford Patagonia?

Well we are never going to totally eliminate market distortions based on subsidies are we. I guess some people will keep buying 'blood cotton'. :)

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Gregory | 20 July 2013 at 04:19 PM

"Paul, I think it's pretty simple... you want the LaMalfa farm subsidy issue for purely political purposes. Like a boxer concentrating on opening up that cut above his opponent's eye rather than fighting a clean fight."

Paul responded to this appropriately above...but I will too.

I don't want this issue for a political issue, but if Mr. LaMalfa fails to lead, it is inherently a political issue. His family is a huge beneficiary of agriculturally subsidies, thus who is in a better position to lead from a moral position of sacrifice and try to solve the problem? I could really care less if my Congressman is a Republican or Democrat, I want them to lead. If I could see eye to eye with Mr. LaMalfa or Mr. McClintock on an issue I would support them, happily, and have.

By the way, an even bigger consumer of California water, with little return on investment, is alfalfa. You crack the cotton and alfalfa nut and you solve California's water problem for the next 150 years.

Gregory

Frisch, if perishability was the issue, almonds would get the same treatment, and hops, subject to New Deal era marketing orders that iirc are still in effect, wouldn't.

Nice try. I believe it has more to do with what the major crops were 80 years ago.

Paul Emery

Yes indeed Stephen. The meat industry is a huge consumer of resources of all kinds. If we didn't enjoy gobbling animals there would be a lot more food and water to go around. I'm a carnivore but I can't ethically support that behavior. Whoops-got to go. I'm off to the 5 Mile House to eat a critter for dinner.

stevenfrisch

To be fair George you really should be titling the segment below; "The Federal Endangered Species Act Marches On".

"Agenda21 marches on. The latest involves the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to declare two million acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as “critical habitat” for the Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog and the Yosemite Toad under the Endangered Species Act.” And the consequence will be another constraint added to the long list that already prohibits Americans the use of their public lands. And the telling part is that these critters aren’t even being endangered by humans, but other critters. But that don’t make no never mind when Americans need to be herded and corralled into their sustainable smart growth stack&pack future. Congressman Tom McClintock recently summarized an excellent appeal to sanity on the floor of the House in a short speech titled ‘The Real Endangered Species: The Sierra Nevada Hard Working Family’."

The federal Endangered Species Act (7 U.S.C. § 136, 16 U.S.C. § 1531) predates Agenda 21 by 20 years, being passed by Congress in 1973, whereas Agenda 21 was created as an idea in 1993.

I watched the video and could correct several portions, but will comment on the comment that 'these critters are not even being endangered by humans'.

The action taken to protect the Yellow Legged Frog, contrary to Mr. McClintock's contention, has a lot to do with human impact since it was human introduction of non-native fish species for sporting purposes that led to predation of the frog and most likely the spread of the Bd Virus, through export of African clawed frogs to do pregnancy tests. I will agree that the spread of Bd virus is now pretty ubiquitous, but its spread was a human impact.

Todd Juvinall

I would suggest that if the subsidy part of the massive farm bill was bifurcated then maybe Doug would be able to vote no. But Congress shoves everything into omnibus bill and forces people to vote on one bill. I suppose every single Congressman would have to abstain or recuse under PaulE's philosophy. Really naive in my view.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Gregory | 20 July 2013 at 06:21 PM

Yes Gregory your 'off the top of your head' perception (with a little help from Victor David Hansen) is much more credible than my direct conversations with lawmakers, commodity producers, officials at USDA and trade representatives. I stand in awe of your wisdom.

I will grant you that certain products are subsidized due to legacy issues and political power, like milk.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Paul Emery | 20 July 2013 at 06:25 PM

Try the frogs legs.

stevenfrisch

I sense a "Gregory" diversion with all of its incumbent nastiness coming, so I think I will go make dinner.

Bill Tozer

Have you hugged a farmer lately?

Gregory

Frisch, as usual, you whistled past the contrary examples (like almonds) and went right to the ad hominem, as usual.

In addition, the insanity of a local farmer producing the subsidized crops I spoke of had nothing with an oversupply and everything to do with a negative return on investment of time and money. If you can buy it cheaper than you can grow it for, why grow it? Grow a crop you can profit from. Is that really such a difficult concept?

stevenfrisch

Wow, Gregory, of the hundreds of agricultural commodities we produce, you came up with the point that almonds are storable and receive almost no subsidies. Of course all you did was find the exception (walnuts are an exception too), rather than invalidate the key point., Isn't that just like you, to find the rare contrarian exception rather than rebut the key point. I expected nothing less. Yes, buddy, its a complicated world, and in the world of agricultural subsidies there are twists and turns, but the broad scope of the issue is exactly as a I laid out here.

Here is what determines markets my friend, PEOPLE. Supply and demand and price sensitivity is not such a difficult concept, I got it years ago. And every day I CHOOSE to spend more money on heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers than I do Safeway crap. You know what, there are a lot of people like me, and we are working every day to make it more affordable for everyone to buy good, clean, unadulterated food. Why can Patagonia sell products based on consumer choice? Because consumers are smarter than you think. Price is ONE variable, but quality and ethics are others, and consumers are voting with their dollars every day. Why do you think Safeway is promoting 'California Fresh' and local food networks are exploding? Because consumers are saying "I want quality over quantity". Because certain products can demand a premium.

I expect you to be derivative, and you are not disappointing. Next you will say, "Hey Frisch can afford it, look at his salary". Have another gin and tonic my friend and stew in your negativity.

Bottom line is you don't know you keister from a hole in the ground. Sad really, because I am now convinced your keister is quite large :)


Gregory

Here you go, Steve, a history of the first five decades of agricultural price supports, let me know if you can find thought supports for the stories you've been told:

"Wheat, cotton, field corn, hogs, rice, tobacco, and milk and its products were designated as basic commodities in the original legislation. On April 7, 1934, the Jones-Connally Act expanded this list to rye, flax, barley, grain sorghum, peanuts, and cattle."

http://webarchives.cdlib.org/sw1rf5mh0k/http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aib485/aib485.pdf">http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aib485/aib485.pdf">http://webarchives.cdlib.org/sw1rf5mh0k/http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aib485/aib485.pdf

From the beginning, farm price manipulations included perishable and non perishable commodities. Rice growers have been on the dole for 80 years, long before LaMalfa was born, and as a freshman congresscritter he has no leadership role, so don't act as if he's been sent to congress to rip up an 80 year old DEM sacred cow that, as a producer, he is as addicted to as anyone.

Try to stay on topic and not keep dragging this through the mud.

Bill Tozer

Detroit is a mess. So, what else is new?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2013/07/19/what-killed-detroit-lets-not-forget-the-who/?wpsrc=AG0002957&clsrd

Todd Juvinall

When I was a Supervisor I also sat as a member of the Assessment Appeals Board. A winery fellow was in conflict with the Assessor on the terms and definitions of the law concerning vineyards. The law at the time as I recall was the vineyards in California did not pay on all the improvements from planting until about five years. Many people then started a business of vineyards and took advantage of the "subsidy" of the taxpayers to start a vineyard. It seemed to work I guess as we now have hundreds of little wineries in the state. So, SteveF, how do you opine on the vineyard subsidy?

Gregory

Hot off the presses...

"The Obama appointee implicated in congressional testimony in the IRS targeting scandal met with President Obama in the White House two days before offering his colleagues a new set of advice on how to scrutinize tea party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status."

A smoking gun if I ever saw one.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/22/embattled-irs-chief-counsel-met-with-obama-2-days-before-writing-new-targeting-criteria/

The tidbit that the attorney defended Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright in 2008, pro bono, was particularly touching.

Paul Emery

More hot off the press stuff. LaMalfa What a guy protecting us from the Socialist takers.

Office of Congressman George Miller

WASHINGTON, DC July 22, 2013 - Fourteen members of Congress voted to keep millions of dollars of their own federal farm subsidies but not to extend nutrition aid for low-income working families, according to a new report issued today by U.S. Representative George Miller (D-CA).

The report shows these 14 Republican members of Congress, who each voted for a Farm Bill that excluded a nutrition title for the first time in four decades, have received more than $7.2 million in government farm subsidies, or an average of $515,279 in handouts. At the same time, they have a combined net worth of as much as $124.5 million, according to public records.

In stark contrast, the typical household receiving aid under the farm bill through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has a gross monthly income of only $744, and their average monthly SNAP benefit—which every member detailed in this report voted against extending— is just $281.

"It's outrageous that some members of Congress feel it is ok to vote for their own taxpayer subsidies but against critical nutrition assistance for 47 million Americans," said Miller. "It's bad enough that the House of Representatives didn't pass a Farm Bill that included authorization for sorely-needed nutrition programs, but to see members of Congress approving their own benefits at the expense of the working poor is a new low, even for this Congress."

As one example, the report shows that Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), with an estimated net worth of up to $5.6 million dollars, has collected at least $1.7 million in farm subsidies but voted to let the nutrition program for working poor families expire.

http://yubanet.com/regional/Rep-Doug-LaMalfa-R-CA-collected-1-7-million-in-farm-subsidies-but-voted-to-let-the-nutrition-program-for-working-poor-families-expire.php#.Ue2Ue6zAJX8


George Rebane

Gregory 1255pm - Not to worry Greg, some of the most astute observers of public affairs here have assured us that the IRS scandal, along with a number of other scandals, are all yesterday's news and will not cause a ripple in how Obama's administration is viewed. Gives a new definition to a teflon presidency.

Paul 127pm - that is truly a pernicious comparison. As noted on RR, the so-called farm bill has been a piece of legerdemain legislation for a long time by hiding the overwhelming part of its cost under things like food stamps and other transfer payments that have nothing to do with farms or farming.

And now you excoriate the work to shed some sunlight on the matter. The effort to separate food stamps from the farm bill is long overdue, and Lamalfa's role (as a farm bill beneficiary) to highlight the farm subsidy component should be lauded not dunned. With 80% of the farm bill's funding going to food stamps (an amount that's a national disgrace in itself), ever wonder why they don't call it the Food Stamps bill? It's time to start calling a spade a spade in that sausage making process.

Paul Emery

George

do you really think LaMalfa will support the food stamp program when it emerges again? If not then we can return to the remarkable hypocrisy of his vote to enhance his family fortune at the expense of taxpayers while ignoring those in need. To quote Todd "What a hoot"

It's safe to assume you would not extend the same slack it LaMalfa were a Democrat.

Paul Emery

Also, isn't the farm subsidies his family enjoys a prime example of "transfer payments" except in this time it's from the taxpayer to the wealthy. Corporate welfare for sure.
You neved did share with me any public statements from LaMalfa that expressed his opposition to what enhances his family fortune.

George Rebane

PaulE 240pm++ - I have no idea what kind of "slack" you believe is involved here in separating the farm bill into its correct components. I was taught that covering up sleaze required slack, not bringing truth to bear on the subject. And I am sorry that you feel that way about "safe assumptions" of your hypotheticals, I certainly hope those don't form the bulwark of your beliefs.

Of course farm subsidies are transfer payments; who here has claimed otherwise? And here are Lamalfa's public statements on the farm bill.
http://www.redding.com/news/2013/may/12/doug-lamalfa-farm-bill-must-end-direct-payments/

Gregory

Paul, you really are a simple creature, aren't you?

I'm going to guess LaMalfa farms still pays much more in taxes than it gets for rice price supports. Any bets? And I'm also going to guess that he'll vote with his party the vast majority of the time, and that the other party has no interest in killing off a New Deal deal, either.

Todd Juvinall

Funny how a lifelong democrat like George Miller, a fellow who I believe has never held a real job and who inherited the safe seat from his papa, actually has the audacity to criticize anyone like Doug LaMalfa. PaulE, you need better critics links.

Paul Emery


Todd on Miller

Oh, so he's a career politician like McClintock who represents part of Nevada County and doesn't even live here.

stevenfrisch

Who gives a darn if Doug LaMalfa pays more in taxes than he receives in subsides? Is that the standard? That each taxpayer should get back what they pay? Talk about a completely derivative statement...it has no bearing on the conversation.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, McClintock represents me just fine as I am sure the uber liberal Miller does his folks.

Paul Emery

But Todd you must admit he's a career politician and carpetbagger. Your team jumped all over Hillary for running for Senate in New York but at least she actually lived there (eventually).

George Rebane

PaulE 742pm - FYI, congressional districts in northern California often cover more than one county. Congressman McClintock does live and has lived in the districts he has represented. Unfortunately he cannot live concurrently in every county that such districts encompass.

Paul Emery

He did not live in the district from which he was elected when first elected. He lived in So Cal and was soon to be unemployed so he went to the want ads and found an opening up here for his professional politician skills. He still lived outside the district after elected and couldn't vote for himself. He was a Resident of Thousand Oaks at the time.

George Rebane

PaulE 617am - Is he all straightened out now? For all the warts you highlight, I consider Tom McClintock to be one of the finest members of Congress, one who gives constant hope that politics is not uniformly rotten.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, you forget one major thing in your quest to discredit Tom. He is our guy, we are in control of the seat he holds because he reflects our opinions. You had a woman (I think), many years ago who lived in Colorado and ran for Wally Herger's seat. You undoubtedly supported that person. So actually under the federal law you don't have to reside in the district you represent. Garamendi did the same thing as Tom did in the beginning. You support him right?

Gregory

"Who gives a darn if Doug LaMalfa pays more in taxes than he receives in subsides? Is that the standard? That each taxpayer should get back what they pay? Talk about a completely derivative statement...it has no bearing on the conversation." -Frisch

I didn't write "more", implying an evenness, that it's OK as long as they pay out more than they receive. I wrote "much more", and probably could have written "much, much more" and remained accurate. It's just one of the money streams created by the Feds who, once started fiddling, can't stop, and it's fundamentally dishonest to whine about one out of context.

Frisch, I look forward to SBC's championing the dismantling of the New Deal price support and marketing order mechanisms. Will you be reaching out to LaMalfa as a possible partner in this endeavor?

Todd Juvinall

I think SBC should refuse to take any grant money or other sources of funding from the taxpayers. I find Frisch's position on taxpayers money totally hypocritical. He should self examine his position and simply shut up when it comes to "non-profit" issues. I think PaulE would or should support my position on SBC. But I bet he won't.

Gregory

Todd (8:59) you don't have to go that far back to find a Dem schlepping their carpetbag into Nevada County. Clint Curtis (D-Mars), a delusional conspiracy theorist (deemed to be representing extraterrestrials by a lefty free rag in his native Florida) in the area to get a JD at a local mill, ran against McClintock a couple years back. Ben E. (D-Uranus) was the only 3rd party candidate on the ballot and still couldn't outpoll the seriously flawed Democrat on the ballot.

Ben apparently did mistake his showing as a top 3rd party performer as something other than an anomaly caused by the presence of the most seriously flawed major party candidate of any November ballot I've ever been handed.

Todd Juvinall

Gregory, I had forgotten about that fellow and now I remember. He even wiped out BenE in the votes and the local Dem Central Committee supported the nut from Florida. Thanks. I would suggest PaulE never wrote anything against the nut from Florida as he does against McClintock or Doug LaMalfa.

Gregory

Let me apologize to Ben for an egregious error; that 10:39 should have read, "Ben Emery (G-Uranus)".

Paul Emery

Clint Curtis? Who cares. I didn't voter for him. All I'm reflecting on is the support from most blatters on this blog for McClintock, the carpetbagger and professional politician and and corporate welfare taker Doug LaMalfa and what hypocrisy that represents.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, just pointing out your blatant hypocrisy. BTW, what is a "blatter"?

Paul Emery

What does it sound like Todd? Be creative.

You voted for these Guys Todd. I didn't vote for Curtis. Big difference.

Gregory

Paul, can you point to any rice grower in the country who rejects the Agriculture subsidy?

Your finding of hypocrisy here seems to be akin to your support of private school vouchers as long as the school adopts pricing policies that assure they will shortly go bankrupt.

Paul Emery

Wow Gregory, what a leap of topics! You must be referring to my support of vouchers to private school as long as they support the total tuition. Yes I believe that. Private schools don't have to accept vouchers, it's their choice.


This is my opinion. Where do you find the

definition: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not

So if you're opposed to government giveaways or welfare and you support someone who is on the take, that's hypocritical. If you are opposed to professional politicians and support McClintock, that's hypocrisy. Does that make any sense?

Paul Emery

clarification:

definition of hypocrisy: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not

George Rebane

PaulE 107pm - Apparently perfect is the enemy of good, so given the resumes of almost all politicians today, what should the voters' policy be in supporting a politician?

Paul Emery

George

Good question. Perhaps it should be the other way around. For example don't pretend to be opposed to career politicians and then go ga ga over one just because he supports your views. Also don't pretend to be opposed to government handouts and then support subsidies to wealthy families and oppose food stamps and "transfer payments" to the poor and medical assistance to the uninsured. It just makes you look silly.

George Rebane

PaulE 209pm - I take that to mean that you have no better answer. And your conclusion that I oppose all kinds of transfer payments kind of terminates this discussion.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, what is a blatter? The reason I call you a hypocrite is because I just don't remember you writing or espousing the number of words you use to diss republicans when it comes to other candidates like Curtis during the campaign. You absence of words and analysis of anyone other than a republican makes ou irrelevant in the discussion of politics and journalism.

I use your lack of criticism of Ben Emery and his ridiculous positions on most issues as a example here on a daily basis. You only engage in a negative way the right, never the left. You are a poster child for why the press gets a "used car salesman" number in importance. If you want respect for your trade I would suggest a lot more critique of the lefty candidates of the democrats or others you say you never vote for.

Paul Emery

I didn't diss McClintock. My critique is for his supporters that claim to want citizen politicians rather than professional politicians, which he is the poster boy for. I rather appreciate some of his Libertarian positions especially his opposition to the feds grinding down on medical marijuana distributors and cultivation in states that permit it. I do find him to be a man of convictions many of which are unpopular with the Republican base. He makes himself available to the press and talks with those with opposing views. I personally have no opposition to professional politicians. It's your side that has raised a fuss about them.

LaMalfa is a pedestrian Republican. Very average and predictable

More on McClintock:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/09/bipartisan-amendment-seeks-to-halt-obamas-medical-marijuana-raids/

"A forthcoming amendment to H.R. 5326, a key appropriations bill currently being debated in Congress, will give the House of Representatives an opportunity to rebuke the Obama administration’s rapid fire raids on voter-approved medical marijuana facilities in the states that allow doctors to recommend the drug.

Three California Republicans and one New York Democrat, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Sam Farr (D-CA) and Tom McClintock (R-CA), plan to introduce the amendment this evening, according to action alerts circulated Wednesday by the nation’s largest drug reform advocacy groups. "

Todd Juvinall

Once again PaulE fails to answer our questions. So, since I tried to get his side of this and he refuses to answer, then I must be correct in my observations. Your non answers are as good a gold. Thanks.

Todd Juvinall

Oh and the above post by you actually proves my point beyond a resolvable dobt.

What about old George Miller there PaulE. I bet he is your pal since he is for MJ.

Paul Emery

Proves your point about what? McClintock is not for Marijuana. He's just opposed to the Federal hammer used on states that have legalized it for medical and recreational use. People like you who blab away about big government are silent when confronted with the Feds rooting through our gardens. Hypocritical? Sure

Todd Juvinall

Typical dodge.

Paul Emery

Once again what point did you prove Todd ?

Gregory

Paul, look at it this way: you think LaMalfa Farms should operate at a disadvantage by being the only rice producer not to take the money shoved in their direction, and you think private schools shouldn't charge more than what the government is willing to put into a voucher, which has always been *way* below what conventional public schools get.

Even the Yuba River Charter School, easily the worst performer in Nevada County with an Academic Performance Index of 2 (2nd decile, 10-19%) compared to California schools as a whole and an 1st decile API compared to their 100 most similar schools despite having more college educated parents than any other school in the area (as far I I've found, not yet a complete survey).

In fact, despite being the absolute bottom of their list of 100 most similar schools for academic performance, the Yuba River Charter is looking forward to about $10 million to build their own school suited to Waldorf/Steiner "education". They were even trying to make an end run around an environmental impact report.

That voucher you think should be enough for a private school insures they could never admit more than a handful of voucher students. Hell, even YRCS has, I've been told, essentially required family involvement in their endless fundraisers as they can't operate on the funds the state gives them.

Your denigration of the LaMalfa family for operating like every other rice farm is also akin to the feces tossed towards Ayn Rand for taking Social Security when she became eligible. Yes, she was loudly against the system, but as she was forced to contribute she had every right to demand the benefits they ostensibly funded.

Same thing with the LaMalfas, who are not beholden to the Emerys of the world and do not have to operate at a competitive disadvantage in their market because a LaMalfa was elected to Congress.

Paul Emery

Gregory

I thought you were for "free markets"? How come this doesn't apply to the LaMalfa's enterprise?

Ben Emery

Paul,
It is all about the perception of the role of government.

If you think government is bad and corrupt you would be a damn fool not to take advantage of "free" money if you qualify whether it is needed or not.

Vs.

Government programs are there to help those in need and we better only use them when we actual need the help. If I take the help when it is not needed it might mean somebody else doesn't get it. I don't want to be that person who needs the help but cannot get it if and when my time comes. It is looked upon as a hand up not a hand out.


Paul Emery

Ben

I think it's safe to call the LaMalfa's a welfare family. They've been hooked on government subsidies for years with no end in sight. They should be the last ones to complain about a granny state. They get the big bucks though. Food stamp subsidy is not good enough for them. They need millions to feed their hunger.

Ben Emery

Paul,
From the little I know about LaMalfa and his rice business you are correct. As I said it is about perception of the role of government.

I worked for a guy roofing for a major county in CA and my boss used to talk about how inefficient government was while at the same time over charging hours, tearing off and replacing roofs that didn't need it, spending hours every day sitting at restaurants while on the clock. I challenged him on his participation in the very inefficiency he always complained about. He said (paraphrasing) that is just the way it is done. My reply was basically, the way it is done is the way we choose to do it. He disagreed. I quit that job, sold my truck, sold my tools, and moved to Hawaii.

There is more to it than that but you get the idea.

Just as a side note on that job I and a coworker were sent home on the first day because we weren't clean shaved and he was going to run a good Christian crew. I joked and asked him if he would have sent Jesus the carpenter home for having a scraggly beard. He didn't think it was funny.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Gregory | 23 July 2013 at 09:09 AM

Actually Gregory, we have supported gradual reductions in price supports, and changes in the crop insurance programs. If Congressman LaMalfa approached us about supporting that position we would jump at the chance. Instead he is going to continue to be one of the largest recipients of 'welfare' in the House of Representatives while cutting food aid to poor people, and Once again you prop up a false premise to support your delusional claims.
probably going to church on Sunday and professing to Christian values.


Posted by: Todd Juvinall | 23 July 2013 at 09:21 AM

And of course Todd is delusional as well; under my leadership SBC has reduced the percentage of our budget coming from public sources by more than 50%, to less than 15% of our total budget. If I had my way we would be totally free of any government grant funding in the future, but alas, as a private sector entity we find there are services we can provide more efficiently than government does. In short, I would rather my organization earn its money so we don't have to answer to anyone but ourselves. Of course I don't expect Todd to understand that since he is functionally illiterate.

By the way George, you do realize that under your voting test Todd would not be able to vote, right?

Gregory

"Actually Gregory, we have supported gradual reductions in price supports, and changes in the crop insurance programs. If Congressman LaMalfa approached us about supporting that position we would jump at the chance."

Talking about Delusions! You think LaMalfa or McClintock should come to your doorstop, hat in hand? Why don't you get off your own fat 501c3 arse and approach LaMalfa with an offer to help him, rather than the other way around? Prove you're trying to work with Congresscritters representing the Sierra Nevada.

Paul Emery

Why should he(LaMalfa) come forward. He's the one sucking the government tit. Welfare for millionaires is what he enjoys.

stevenfrisch

Golly Greg, you really don't know shit do you? Have another gin and tonic and collect unemployment, or SSI or whatever it is you do.

Todd Juvinall

Posted by: stevenfrisch | 24 July 2013 at 07:28 AM

Steve Frisch, you are truly a double talker. SBC's 2011 990's shows 800K in public money (you have your bureaucratic think-speak on that one). Now you can say that that is made of of grants, loans or individual contributions (as you do) or you could finally for once be honest. If a person gives money to your SBC and takes a tax write-off, is that not a subsidy to them? You are too funny. I think you are a bit slow on the uptake.

Also for PaulE, if (and I don't know if you have ever owned a home) you own a home and take the deduction on the interest against your taxes, (or a kid, or a home business) then you are a subsided American. LaMalfa's family has a 1800 acre rice farm that hires hundreds of your favorite people, the low income farm workers. They have families and little chillin. You like little chillin right? Anyway, he is a successful farmer, feeds thousands of people and many would starve without his rice yet somehow you try a strawman on the subsidy issue. I would say get your own house in order before you cast stones.

Todd Juvinall

Here is the link to a story I did on the double-speak of Form 990 as filed in 2009 by SBC. You will see what a crock SteveF if stirring about his income.

http://sierradragonsbreathe.blogspot.com/2011/12/sbcs-2009-990-filed-with-ags-office.html

Gregory

"I thought you were for "free markets"? How come this doesn't apply to the LaMalfa's enterprise?"
-Paul

Paul, this tact of yours is an old schoolyard bit of illogic. The LaMalfa family business operates like everyone else in that line of business. They don't have to be purer than Caesar's wife in order to be in that line of business and be a Congressman, and, to go back to another point, a freshman congressman isn't in a position to lead on anything.

Gregory

"Golly Greg, you really don't know shit do you? Have another gin and tonic and collect unemployment, or SSI or whatever it is you do."

Golly Steve, I don't know you; does that fit your first question? And to your command, no, I don't collect any government checks. Sorry. Send me some of yours if it would make you feel better.

Paul Emery

Todd

You're getting goofy on me again. What does a tax deferral have to do with millionaires receiving millions government subsidies for a business that cannot compete in the marketplace? I guess I'm entitled to government bucks to subsidize my concert promotion business or you should get money for your failed real estate ventures that led to foreclosures.

Gregory

So it's not a conflict of interest to cast a vote for subsidies to your family business. What do you consider a legitimate conflict that should recuse the vote of a Congressman?

Todd Juvinall

As usual no answers from PaulE.

Gregory

Paul, be rational (and I mean that in a literal sense): Just what is the percentage of the entire agriculture bill does the LaMalfa Farms rice subsidy represent?

LaMalfa didn't put it in; indeed, it's been there for four score years. What you are, in effect, saying is that no farmer of commodity crops should be allowed to cast a vote in Congress unless it's a vote you like.

Just wondering... have you been as huffy on DiFi's past conflicts of interest?

The comments to this entry are closed.