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Honored Advisor

Re: How any capitalist

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I have always believed that they should`ve never started farm subsidies, but if you`re going to play "Monopoly" you have to use the rules to your advantage, because when you land on the `hotel on Boardwalk` the other player won`t show mercy.  When all these programs got rolling good, they were sold as a way to "save the family farm".  If you are going to buy into that, having payment limits would have been a must.  The fairest, lesser of two evils would be to divide up the USDA budget equally among everyone that has filled out a Schedule F form, anyone against that idea was probably collecting too much Smiley Happy  Bottomline, they should`ve never started the crap.

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Senior Contributor

Re: How any capitalist

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I've always been a bit disgusted from those screaming socialism with regards to Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare but then advocating crop insurance subsidies.  As far as I'm concerned, every ounce of insurance out there from auto to life should be subsidized if we continue to subsidize crop insurance.  When one looks at socialism, crop insurance subsidies are a lot more socialist than Social Security and Medicare because those two are supposed to be funded from the person receiving the benefits from their working years. 

 

I agree that crop insurance subsidies don't give a big farmer any bigger leg up than the small farmer.  The only exception of course is if the small farmer doesn't qualify for enterprise unit where the large farmer does.  However, this doesn't mean we should keep subsidizing crop insurance.  If the subsidies are removed, it will cost a bit more.  However, it will not cost nearly as much as a lot of the other input costs we sustain each year.  It will not cost as much as seed for example or fertilizer.  I would bet the average American taxpayers has absolutely zero idea how much money they actually have invested in our crop annually.  Almost all families could live decent off of the amount of crop insurance subsidy I received last year on my small mom and pop farm.   

 

 

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Veteran Advisor

Simplify the issue

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I Liked Hardnox's "whats fair , mommy?" quip

 

take it a little further...

 

Little johnny is ten years old ...he gets his allowance, $5 per year of age.....$50

 

Susie is 20, she gets the same $5 per year of age....$100

 

Fair? According to Donny, of course.

 

This assumes that in ten years, little johnny will be 20 and also get the $100 from "mommy"

 

There is no guarantee, however, that the small farmer ever gets bigger, and thus never gets the subsidy that is flowing to the bigger operator. In ten years, little johnny still gets his $50, and no more.

 

Of course, you might argue that with crop insurance subsidies it is all different, you have to go rent the land from a landlord and bid this into the rent....blah blah blah.... but.how many big  operations rent all of their land?

 

See how ridiculous this all gets?

 

How anyone could defend subsidies in a capitalistic country would certainly be a mystery. BTW, where are the capitalistic countries ?

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Honored Advisor

Re: How any capitalist

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Well, the very fact that crop insurance subsidies exist give the bigger farm a leg up. If you had 300 acres with no insurance and got hailed out..big whoop, turn the cows out, skimp on fertilizer next yr and plant beans.  If you have 3,000 acres, no insurance, get hailed out..you got big problems.  If there`s a felt need for crop ins for a 300 acre farm, he could work a little overtime at the factory to pay it, with 3,000 acres you need a sharper pencil. The way all farm subsidies hurt a small farm is they aren`t a disincentive to getting bigger.  This has been a social engineering policy favored by Rs and Ds since before the Earl Butz years of industrialized agriculture.  When these farm programs were sold, the average family farmer`s big tractor was a 806, he hauled his livestock to town in a 10yr old 2-wd 3/4 ton Ford with stock-racks, his grain hauled to town with 2 Parker boxes..that`s the guy that the housewife in Hartford Connecticut wanted her tax dollars to help back in 1980.  That guy is gone and no one of sound mind wants their tax dollars going to the 10,000 acre farmer with a pencil-thin moustache who rents $530/acre land and buys all the $12,000/a land he can find.  I mean bully for him but he doesn`t need tax money at this point. If "they" wanted a farm bill that saved the family farm I could`ve wrote one in 5 minutes...Your first 100 acres is heavily subsidized, after that nothing! That would`ve socially engineered a whole lot of 100 acre farms and disincentivied the bonanza plantations of today...Dang! I Love that word "disincentivized".  Smiley Happy

Re: Simplify the issue

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As an oldtime Republican (which would put me somewhere to the left of BHO and on the other side of the earth from the other guys), I was basically in favor of F2F in '95 that would phase out most farm subsidies. The hugely generous massively costly bailout of agriculture in the previous 10 years could be called a success and the government could go home and save the taxpayers some money (very similar to the very successful welfare reform of that time- farmers may not like assistance programs for other people but believe me, they're a ton better than they were before then).

 

Anyway, lo and behold, things got a little tough in '98 and they backed down completely. Message to farmers- don't clean up your own financial problems because the government will reward everyone who keeps pedal to metal.

 

Once again, time to  put the programs to sleep. Agriculture on the whole is beyond healthy. Further, what the very generous continued assistance and terms of the ETOH legislation have done have built massive war chests for the guy holding onto the most acres before the boom came.

 

As far as fair goes- fair is that they get to keep their booty- they had themselves in position and they reaped the windfall. Fair is also to say, OK, no mas. You've built your balance sheet and you're on your own.

 

As to scaling or capping for the littler guy's advantage, my including that in proposals is merely for the politics- the industry is going to get some subsidies one way or the other but actually a scaled or capped system is just as fair, or unfair as the other.

 

Which gets us all back to whining to mommy- or actually hiring lobbyists etc. to do it for us.

 

I'm fine with none.

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Re: Simplify the issue

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PS. One law of commodity businesses that you can take to the bank- war chests that are fattened during the periodic booms are for use as cudgels on the less well heeled during the troughs.

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Veteran Advisor

Great Post BA, Kudo's

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Great imagry of both what a family farmer looks like, and what one doesn't.

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Honored Advisor

Thank you Red.

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I imagine there are a few young guys on here that don`t know what "stock racks" are and have often wondered what the purpose of stake pockets on a pickup box were for...or a eight-oh-six tractor  Smiley Happy

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Senior Advisor

Re: Simplify the issue

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As near as I can figure out, You don't like those that succeed and you hate those that fail. You're a hard guy to satisfy.

 

So you think that a guy that insures fewer acres should get the same subsidy dollars as someone that farms more? That is interesting in that you don't have to insure as many acres. You sure do worry about other peoples business.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Simplify the issue

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Easy solution to subsidies...just end them all.

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