Monday, May 19, 2008

Friedman Day

Americans finally will start working for themselves today rather than for their government masters. This milestone arrives two days later than in 2007, clearly proving that the era of big government is back with a vengeance. May 19 is Friedman Day, when the Massachusetts-based American Institute for Economic Research calculates that citizens finally will have toiled long enough to fund local, state, and federal spending.

Tax Freedom day already passed so obviously we are spending beyond our means. Government spending has been rising at about 8% since Bush came into office so spending the people's money is a bipartisan effort regardless of Republican rhetoric about small government.

Deroy Murdoch spends a good portion of this article on the recently passed farm bill:

Today’s Democrat-controlled House of Representatives continues this fiasco. It approved a $307-billion farm bill on May 14, by a vote of 318 to 106. The Senate endorsed this largesse the following day, 81 to 15. Among other damage, this legislative monster gives $3.8 billion in disaster assistance to those who already have received $5.2 billion in direct payments for their “historical planting average,” even if they have stopped farming. While typical GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan (unmarried E-4s with four years’ service) dodge and, too often, catch bullets for just $41,591 annually, couples with yearly incomes up to $1.5 million still can receive agricultural subsidies. Democrats consider these wealthy growers rich enough to slam with tax hikes, yet poor enough to soothe with farm welfare. Which is it?

Meanwhile, calamitous ethanol assistance survives, dreadful sugar supports expand, and those who cultivate lentils, chick peas, salmon, and even race horses join the dole. Want a new tractor? Uncle Sam will help you buy one.

Greedy politicians who use taxpayers’ money to buy the votes of equally greedy farmers collectively soil common decency. Furthermore, they are an international embarrassment to a nation that still claims to be Earth’s chief repository of limited government and free-market capitalism.

These trade-distorting subsidies likely will encourage foreign countries to erect retaliatory barriers. Perhaps America’s already porcine farmers will balloon into morbid obesity by wolfing down the wheat, soybeans, and rice they soon may have trouble exporting.

While record-high agricultural prices cause belt-tightening at home and food riots overseas, this farm bill cruelly demonstrates that most Washington politicians don’t give a damn about anything but their reelection prospects.

“Pain at the grocery checkout line? Starvation abroad? Whatever. Just keep me inside the Beltway.”

I don't like most politicians and their party affiliation has little to do with it. It seems that just breathing the air in DC makes one do stupid things with my money, but this farm bill is an affront to every hard working, non farming American who manages to run their business without government assitance. The vast majority of Americans are paying to buy the votes of a small minority. Why aren't they more angry?

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