11/11/2013, The Huffington Post, Jason Linkins - When most people think about farm subsidies, chances are they do not immediately think "massive taxpayer money boondoggle that should be cut from the federal budget immediately." They've probably heard about how hard it is out there for small family farmers, doing honest work in the world, keeping everyone fed and maintaining our institutional repository of agricultural practices. Surely, these subsidies are helping to keep an important way of life alive for the True Sons of Soil and Toil ... like, say, multi-billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Wait. What? He's a farmer? (link)One of the things that continue to disgust me about Republicans is the hypocrisy of supporting agriculture central planning and welfare for farmers. Republican profess to believe in free markets and capitalism. Some in Congress are also feeding at the government trough, such as our own Congressman Stephen Fincher of the 8th Congressional District and tea party favorite Michelle Bachmann who has received a quarter million dollars in farm subsidies.
Welfare for farmers is as much welfare as the inner city single mother of four living in public housing. The difference is, many of the welfare farmers are super rich. Here are a few "farmers" we are subsidizing.
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft: Net worth: $15.8 billion, His Kona Residence Trust received $14,429 in barley subsidies from 1996 to 2006.
Philip Anschutz, owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group and co-founder of Major League Soccer: Net worth: $10 billion, His Clm Company received $553,323 in cotton, wheat, sorghum, corn, oat, barley and other farm subsidies from 1995-2003. His Equus Farms received $53,291 in livestock subsidies in 2002.
S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A: Net worth: $6 billion, His Rock Ranch LLC received $4,536 in livestock subsidies in 2003.
Charles Schwab, founder of brokerage firm Charles Schwab Corporation: Net worth: $5.1 billion, Schwab received $525,593 in rice and other farm subsidies from 1995 to 2003.