My wife and I live in a very nice community in Frederick County. One of the things that drew us to this area was the abundance of vast (by our standards) working farms, including all their sights, sounds, and, yes, smells. We love it.
We visit the farms, buy our eggs and our Christmas trees directly from local farmers, and Ive told more than one farmer I believe they are hardest workers I know. They work daybreak to sunset and seven days a week, especially dairy farmers, since cows are apparently rather impatient and wont wait to be milked.
Having said that, Ive also noticed over the last several elections, both national and local, the farmers have overwhelmingly, if not unanimously, supported the Republican candidates. Im not talking about a little bit of support, Im talking about signs ranging in size from small cars, to tractors-trailers, and they are on most every farm of any size.
While Ive never been accused of having a mind like a steel trap, even I started to wonder why the farmers support Republican candidates with such solidity. So, I Googled farm subsidies for Frederick County and, lo and behold, guess what I found? Subsidies yep, big fat ones. You know, the ones that come from the government via our taxes.
In most cases, tens of thousands of dollars, per farm, annually! Now that chaps my butt. I dont have anything against either the farmers, or their subsidies, but please dont decry the size of the government, or the amount of taxes you pay while sticking out your big, greedy hand to get some of that tax money.
Farmers are also generally portrayed as the small family owned and operated farms, and while Im sure that farm exists, you wont find many listed on the aforementioned web site. Most of these farms are either large, or very large, farms and in some cases conglomerates.
In addition, exactly how many types of subsidies are needed? Dont answer, its a rhetorical question. But trust me when I say there are lots of them. Feel free to look for yourself. Now I know what they mean when farmers talk about a bank barn. They probably see their barns as bank vaults.
I have a plan.
Allow the farmers to keep their tax-based stipend, but they also have to post a sign (right next to the political one, and of the same size) that indicates the exact amount of government, tax-based handouts they have accepted from their fellow citizens. Or they can get their fingers completely out of the public trough and carp about taxes all they want. In other words, take your subsidy if you must, just dont be duplicitous about it.
The same goes for both large and small businesses and their support of the Republican party but Ill save that rant for a different column. As one small business owner put it its not lower taxes that will make me hire employees, its people buying our product.
However, to show that Im an equal opportunity ranter, I have something to say about the lawyers and their support of the Democrats.
Again, I did a little digging, and I found that the trial lawyers PACs are giving huge amounts of money to the Democrats. Why? Because while the Democrats might mouth platitudes of the injustice of overly generous lawsuits, actually getting some sort of tort reform accomplished seems to be of little interest to them. Keep reading.
I also wanted to be clear on why someone would not want tort reform. Well, you dont have to be at the top of your class to figure this one out. It appears that: while each tort reform law is different, they all share one or more of the following goals:
To limit the circumstances under which injured people may file a lawsuit
To make it more difficult for injured people to obtain a jury trial
To place limits on the amount of money injured people may be awarded in a lawsuit (whatistortreform.com)
Essentially, if you make it more difficult to file a law suit, make it more difficult to get a jury trial, and limit the amount of possible awards guess what? lawyers make less money. And theyre against this? - go figure. So, now lets review nah, lets not. Im out of the pink stuff for my tummy.
Youd think that by now Id understand that if major amounts of money are being given to one political party or the other, there is unequivocally some sort of quid-pro-quo just underneath the surface. No shovel needed to dig it up a tiny garden spade will do.
The Democrats have another area of support, or as the politicos like to say their base that I will address in a future column. Unions.
Speaking of which, have you bought anything recently that was Made In America? If you have, congratulations for having the tenacity to find it, and the cojones to spend three times more for it. I trust and hope you got what you paid for. If you didnt buy American made products then please refrain from the tired diatribe of lack of jobs in the US. Its not this Presidents fault, nor the last, nor the next. Nor is it the fault of Congress. Its us, the buying public who are not supporting the companies.
If we dont purchase their products which are made here, then they will simply make them somewhere else less expensively so that we will buy them. Bye-bye good American jobs. Cue American Pie by Don McLean.
OK, Ive ranted enough for now. Im going to go support the farmers by having a big glass of milk and a few cookies. If I end up choking on either of them, Im sure therell be someone I can sue and a more-than-willing attorney to do it.
Thats my opinion, whats yours?
Rick Godfrey writes a monthly column for fredericknewspost.com.