Want to save the GOP? Stop voting for bills like this

posted at 9:40 am on May 15, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Politico offers Republicans six ways that they can save the GOP, but yesterday provided them at least one concrete opportunity that they squandered. The House passed the latest farm bill with a veto-proof majority, bloating the budget with subsidies during a period where crops receive record prices. Instead of trimming fat from the budget, House Republicans joined Democrats in feeding special interests:

The House yesterday passed a final version of a new five-year farm bill by a vote of 318 to 106, a margin large enough to override President Bush‘s promised veto of the nearly $300 billion measure.

The bipartisan show of support came after intense lobbying by a coalition that included farm groups, anti-hunger advocates, environmental organizations and the biofuels industry. While continuing traditional farm subsidy programs, the bill increases spending on nutrition programs such as food stamps by $10.4 billion.

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer released a statement saying the vote “sends the wrong message to the rest of the country who are not experiencing the boom of the agriculture sector,” and, “This bill is loaded with taxpayer funded pet projects at a time when Americans are struggling to buy groceries and afford gas to get to work.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl assessed the legislation on Monday, listing seven reasons for Bush to veto the bill. First and foremost, the subsidy program exists far beyond its intended purpose. Like many New Deal programs, FDR didn’t intend on making subsidies permanent, and he certainly didn’t intend on turning them into corporate welfare programs. Today, that’s exactly what these programs are. The majority of subsidies go to commercial farms, not family farms, and the average income from a subsidy-receiving farm is $200,000 — an income which Barack Obama considers “wealthy” for tax purposes.

Price supports make some sense for food security when prices are low, but that’s hardly the case now. Thanks in large part to subsidies for ethanol production, food prices have skyrocketed over the last few years. The market distortion has created hunger worldwide while robbing American taxpayers. Thanks to subsidies, Americans pay twice for foolish policy — once with the IRS, and a second time at the store with higher food prices. Small wonder, then, that the average household income for farmers has risen to almost $90,000 and that land values have doubled in the last eight years.

Do subsidies have any place at all at the federal level? I’d argue no, but at the least, we should stop subsidizing commercial farms and let the marketplace dictate prices, using subsidies sparingly to support independent farmers. We have to stop using corn and other foods for ethanol. We should use food to feed people and animals and not our cars. Our inability to deal maturely with our energy requirements has created food shortages and inflation where we can least afford it.

Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 by promising to revamp government and reduce it at the federal level, allowing for lower taxes, lower costs, and sensible policies. If they want to rebuild their credibility, they have to differentiate themselves by not just ending their own habits of feeding at special-interest troughs, but eliminating the troughs altogether. The continued federal intervention in markets continues with full GOP participation, and until that stops, voters will rightly see very little difference between Democrats and Republicans.


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good grief, we’re toast!

canvas on May 15, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Bob Barr is looking good.

ctmom on May 15, 2008 at 9:48 AM

One more good reason to not support republicans – are they trying to get on the endangered species list, too?

Think_b4_speaking on May 15, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Yeah, but McConnell got his $126M for thoroughbred horseracing, so what’s a Republican failure or two for the Minority Leader.

Dusty on May 15, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Thank you Ed. I appreciate that you keep fighting and don’t give up, even as wave after wave of shit like this, McCain global warming crap, Polar Bears, etc. fall on our heads. Thank you very much. It certainly appears hopeless now for any sanity to reign. We may have to get used to being permanent outsiders. Many great people were in their time.

JiangxiDad on May 15, 2008 at 9:51 AM

anti-hunger advocates

Wow, really taking a stand there. What’s next, the anti-bad things lobby?

ReubenJCogburn on May 15, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Folks, the problem goes to the top of our party:

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., netted tax breaks for the thoroughbred horse racing industry in the farm bill worth $126 million over the next 10 years, a provision that helped guarantee his support for the hotly debated bill

I have no problem with a republican seeking tax breaks, but as a “bribe” for his support of a bad, pork filled, beast…uh no.

Weight of Glory on May 15, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Ditto on Barr.

Didn’t there used to be a political party that was in favor of smaller government and spending less money?

rbj on May 15, 2008 at 9:58 AM

, voters will rightly see very little difference between Democrats and Republicans.

yeah might as well get stabbed in the front by the democrats, than in the back by the republicans…..

right4life on May 15, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 by promising to revamp government and reduce it at the federal level, allowing for lower taxes, lower costs, and sensible policies.

And the leader of that movement is now pimping his books on H&C and going green on the sofa with Frisco Nan.

whitetop on May 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM

We may have to get used to being permanent outsiders.

the USA is becoming the USSA (united socialist states of amerika) its already too late to stop it. The next 4 years will be an exciting ride…all downhill….

right4life on May 15, 2008 at 10:02 AM

Bob Barr is looking good.

ctmom on May 15, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Bob Barr is a nut, and was a big time porker when he was in Congress. Look at actions, not just words.

funky chicken on May 15, 2008 at 10:06 AM

the USA is becoming the USSA (united socialist states of amerika) its already too late to stop it.

Keep your ideals alive inside like a spark. These cretins who run things now will be dead when your grandchildren will need what you hold.

JiangxiDad on May 15, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Is there ANYONE in DC representing the hard-working, honest, tax-paying people in America?

….chirp, chirp, chirp…

stenwin77 on May 15, 2008 at 10:06 AM

we should stop subsidizing commercial farms and let the marketplace dictate prices, using subsidies sparingly to support independent farmers.

Dead on there. I don’t understand why we subsidize them anyway. There should be a safety net during times of drought or natural disaster that would keep them from remaining solvent. But why are taxpayers forced to pay farmers who make up to 2.5 MILLION dollars a year? If someone is making 2.5 million dollars a year, they don’t need taxpayer money.

I don’t mind supporting farmers that need help. But I do mind the government giving away other people’s money for votes. It is getting worse. No business or family could operate the way our government does. We really need an overhaul.

Of course the D people (Grassly) would say well we spend hundreds of billions in Iraq – they think that means that they have a blank check for everything. That’s the worst part about the Iraq war (well not worse than the soldiers losing their lives).

ThackerAgency on May 15, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Seriously, the only answer appears to be to split America into two different countries. The PAYERS and the RECIPIENTS.

stenwin77 on May 15, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Too bad the delegates to the republican convention won’t just nominate someone other than McCain. Maybe then we would have a chance. Barr for McCain would be a good trade.

duff65 on May 15, 2008 at 10:09 AM

ctmom on May 15, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Unfortunately, Barr also supports a form of amnesty and has flip-flopped on his major issues. He runs on an anti-war platform, but authorized it in 2002. He rallies against the Patriot Act, but voted for it. He’s for tight spending, but voted for Medicare Part D — which McCain didn’t even vote for.

amerpundit on May 15, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Good time to go independent. We’ve limped along all these years voting for candidates based on the “Well, at least he/she isn’t as bad as the Democrat in opposition. This is why the lifespan of political systems like ours will probably be short. Once interst groups realize they can feast off the public treasury with the connivance of those elected to guard it, representative government goes south. I’m normally a pretty optimistic person, but the system can’t last at the present pace and direction. Term limits would set much of it right, but that won’t be done because it would require support by those most guilty. We’re cooked.

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Bush and the GOP had years of opportunities to stop the spending madness, and they proved that they could spend more and be even more irresponsible than democrats had been. Now, for some reason, Bush seems to have found his veto pen. What a shame he couldn’t use it back before the GOP lost congress.

funky chicken on May 15, 2008 at 10:11 AM

McCain needs to speak out against this loudly. He is against it but Obama is, which proves how much of a Washington insider Obama is. McCain was the only candidate with enough balls to come out against farm subsidies in Iowa. He should stand with the president against this bill.

Complete7 on May 15, 2008 at 10:13 AM

Anyone have a link to the roll call on the vote. I have a feeling I need to remind my rep. to start looking for employment in a few months.

Les in NC on May 15, 2008 at 10:14 AM

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Yes. My condolences on your loss. I suffered the same.

JiangxiDad on May 15, 2008 at 10:14 AM

McCain is much, much better on crazy spending than most GOP members. One reason other Senators hate him is that he fights their immoral use of taxpayer dollars to pay off political supporters. Remember Thad Cochran….McCain said he would “make him famous” for all the spending crap he pulls?

Because of that Cochran went out there saying he “feared” a McCain presidency in 2000….was a big part of the “bad temperament” or “not presidential temperament” argument against McCain in 2000. I think we now know what Cochran and Lott and the rest meant when they said “presidential temperament,” right? It meant that Bush would rubber stamp any spending bill that contained goodies for GOP members?

funky chicken on May 15, 2008 at 10:14 AM

Save Republicans? Why? We know the good ones. The ones who have voted consistently for conservative issues and the others who bolt for the warm glow of media acceptance by voting with Democrats. Republicans saw the top of the mountain in 2004. Folks pulled like Hell to get them the majorities they enjoyed at that time. The Republicans (IN NAME ONLY) who are the problem are the Republicans who squandered that majority by breaking party lines. McCain and the RINOs MUST lose before this fever can break. I will not vote for Republicans, I will only vote for conservatives. Republicans who are conservative have nothing to worry about. Republicans as a party stand for nothing. I can’t wait for the party’s losses this November. We have a long way to go before we reach rock bottom and even further to travel before we revisit the majorities of 2004. Thank you John Sydney McCain and Lindsay Graham. May you both lose this November.

Angry Dumbo on May 15, 2008 at 10:16 AM

What we need is a “Save America” third party. At this point the democrats have become socialists and the republicans have become liberal democrats.

duff65 on May 15, 2008 at 10:17 AM

One more good reason to not support republicans – are they trying to get on the endangered species list, too?

Think_b4_speaking on May 15, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Maybe Republicans should change their symbol from elephant to polar bear.

Wade on May 15, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Just “reaching across the aisle” and “getting things done.”

God save us.

PattyJ on May 15, 2008 at 10:18 AM

As good as McCain might think he is on controlling spending, this is all part of the rebranding of the GOP in the image of McCain. Reaching across the aisle means explosive government growth.

Valiant on May 15, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Here’s the roll call. See how your congressman voted. I was disappointed to see that Brady and Poe of Texas voted yes. I’ve given money to Kevin Brady. Not again.

paul006 on May 15, 2008 at 10:19 AM

As I have written here and other places, if there is a problem with ethanol is not that corn is being used, it is that the highly rich in protein corn residue from that process is not being distributed to replace the corn used for cattle feed and even for human consumption. NPR had an article on the use as cattle feed but there is little information being put out about this.

amr on May 15, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Wade on May 15, 2008 at 10:17 AM

I saw the polar bear thing. We have really gone over the edge when a animal whose population has been increasing for years is put on the endangered species list in the name of political correctness and to pacify the global warming nuts.

duff65 on May 15, 2008 at 10:22 AM

McCain just stared his “dealing humanely with illegal immigrants again.”

paul006 on May 15, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Thanks, calling Mr. Jones as we speak.

Les in NC on May 15, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Is it too late to become a Yippie? I just want to be on the winning side.

Akzed on May 15, 2008 at 10:26 AM

funky chicken on May 15, 2008 at 10:14 AM

McCain and Bush are symbols, or rather symptoms, not the disese itself. The rot goes much deeper. The crux is that public money and obligations are being traded by Congressmen to special interests to aid their own re-election. That is why pork and entitlements exist. Until we move away from the concept of professional politicians, and back to that of civilians doing a temporary term, the death spiral will continue.

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 10:26 AM

This is why we need and should now demand that members of Congress, meaning the House and The Senate, be under the same Term Limitation as is the office of the President. We have so many bloated fat cat career politicians who are listening more to these special interest groups and less to the people who put them in Washington. These are the idiots who are wrecking the country and taking money out of our pockets and filling their own pockets instead. The same old Status Quo is no longer working and it is now time that We The People take back government and get good honest people in office who will actually represent us for a change, not special interest!

pilamaye on May 15, 2008 at 10:28 AM

The bipartisan show of support came after intense lobbying by a coalition that included farm groups, anti-hunger advocates, environmental organizations and the biofuels industry. While continuing traditional farm subsidy programs, the bill increases spending on nutrition programs such as food stamps by $10.4 billion.

I would love for these “anti-hunger” advocates to show me the hungry. I live near an impoverished area. I walk through it regularly and I have cooked meals for the people there with a non-government, non-religious group. I’m not saying that the people weren’t glad to get our food, but it appeared to me that they came for social reasons as much as budgetary reasons. And they certainly weren’t starving. They would tell us if they didn’t like the food. Some refused our vegetarian food altogether.

thuja on May 15, 2008 at 10:32 AM

anti-hunger advocates

Wow, really taking a stand there. What’s next, the anti-bad things lobby?

ReubenJCogburn on May 15, 2008 at 9:51 AM

You read my mind. Do the pro-hunger advocates get equal time, I wonder?

misterpeasea on May 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

None of the regular McCainiacs have jumped up on this, so I guess it falls to me to fill in…

uh…Obama’s worse…do you want socialism to reign in America? Do you want the President of Iran in the Lincoln Bedroom (terrye, that was was my absolute FAVE), if you get mad about stuff like this, I guess you don’t care about the war in Iraq. Don’t you know McCain is a veteran? Torture never fed a hungry child..(ok, I made that last one up.) Vote McCain, or you’re a angry toddler!

Sorry guys, had to provide that little public service. I’ve found I need the background ravings of the McCain apologists..it’s kinda like a metronome. As to the original topic, I gave up hope when we put the amnesty ringleader in charge. Our party is doomed. The writing on the wall was there in 2006; after being rebuked the first thing the GOP went out and did was jump on the amnesty bandwagon..and I think that backlash is what we’re going to be seeing this year…oh well. Cheers.

austinnelly on May 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

I saw the polar bear thing. We have really gone over the edge when a animal whose population has been increasing for years is put on the endangered species list in the name of political correctness and to pacify the global warming nuts.

duff65 on May 15, 2008 at 10:22 AM

.
It gets even better – The republicans are running ads comparing Obama to Carter on windfall profits and gas lines, but then put the polar bear on the list, which is going to be similar in terms of impact on pump prices of fuel. Is there no coherence or consistency left in any of them?

Think_b4_speaking on May 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Polititians are nothing more than hogs at the trough.

We have to make a stand somewhere. This go along to get along mode will hang us all.

I am going to support Barr, F – it!

TheSitRep on May 15, 2008 at 10:35 AM

What’s so special about “independant farms”?

Did we provide subsidies to support small hardware stores when Lowes and Home Depot moved in?

Did we provide subsidies for the corner grocer when Winn Dixie or Alpha Beta moved in?

Did we provide subsidies for other small stores when K-Mart or Wal-Mart moved in?

The idea that hundreds of “corporate farms” are going to dictate prices when the last of the “family farms” goes out of business is utterly ridiculous.

If the family farm can’t compete, it needs to go under. Stop wasting other people’s money in order to stop the inevitable.

MarkTheGreat on May 15, 2008 at 10:35 AM

The vast majority of this $300 billion boondoggle goes to food stamps and nutrition programs.

We’re providing fresh fruit and vegetables to school children, which will make Michelle Obama happy since she can’t afford them for her own children on her $300,000+ income.

I’m off to see how my representatives voted on this monstrosity.

Buy Danish on May 15, 2008 at 10:36 AM

This is whats wrong with OUR country. Instead of survival of the fittest it subsidises the weakest. This makes as much sense as paying me to not insulate houses.
My home state of Maine receives more fed. $ than it pays,
I feel ashamed about this but the attitude around here is
working hard makes me a sucker. If you want to know what
“being in the wilderness” is like, move up here. I will not quit or give up like so many “immigrants” from foreign countrys, I will stay and fight for what is right.

aceinstall on May 15, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Folks, the problem goes to the top of our party:

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., netted tax breaks for the thoroughbred horse racing industry in the farm bill worth $126 million over the next 10 years, a provision that helped guarantee his support for the hotly debated bill
I have no problem with a republican seeking tax breaks, but as a “bribe” for his support of a bad, pork filled, beast…uh no.

Weight of Glory on May 15, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Ouch, that hurts. I’m going to have to write him a letter now.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 10:42 AM

The Kiss cure for repubs:

1. Fire and replace every supposed leader in all house and Senate positions. Throw the good out with the bad. A complete top to bottom cleaning. All new appointees must be known fiscal conservatives/small government types and noted for their public speaking abilities–not just behind closed doors. All current leaders must openly embrace their dismissal in a public display that they are taking some responsibility.

2. Every bill, every campaign has to pass this test: does it include fiscal restraint and have a small government bias. If it does not meet both it’s a non-starter.

3. New tax cuts, family values, blah, blah, blah must be put on the back burner. Everyone knows this stuff already. Don’t state the obvious.

4. No retreat on the war on terror and just as importantly a push back against creeping dhimmitude here in the US. Defend at all times our culture and traditions and I’m not talking about cheap patriotic jingoism. Secure the border by enforcing the recently signed laws.

5. Complete support for John McCain in this election especially as regards earmarks, the war on terror and maintaining the Bush tax cuts.

6. Finally make a public apology for the last eight years of having blown their mandate as regards fiscal restraint and small government. Make it and mean it. Renounce pork in public. Re-affirm that as a party they will not stand for fellow party members larding bills no matter what the potential electoral possibilities in their home districts are in recognition that being a Congressman or Senator is not a career. There will never be a “bridge to nowhere” again. TV and full page ads in all leading newspapers in several languages.

7. All new candidates for office must agree to the above.

It won’t save 08 but it will make it a lot less painful and pave the road ahead as the super dem majority ignores all of the above. Large gains could come as early as 2010.

patrick neid on May 15, 2008 at 10:42 AM

I called my rep. His aide just laughed when I mentioned the horseracing part of this robbery and advised his boss to be planning for a career change. The arrogance of these people is amazing.

Les in NC on May 15, 2008 at 10:44 AM

America has but one political party that goes by two names to fool the constituency.

The Bush/Rove GOP destruction legacy lives. The worst President of my lifetime even though Carter is fiercely defending his title.

voiceofreason on May 15, 2008 at 10:46 AM

The GOP needs to save itself. It’s not our job to keep them in office, it’s their job to attract us to vote for them. They’ve taken us for granted and now they’re going to be out of a job – one way or another.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 10:47 AM

austinnelly on May 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Well your point really doesn’t make any sense, because McCain is against the bill. No one has rallied against earmarks and overspending as much as McCain.

Complete7 on May 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

I swear, if the Conservatives would stand firm and make a big big deal out of this, they would get the attention they need.

WE ARE GOING TO CUT CONGRESS/SENATE PAY BY 25% – NOW.

WE ARE GOING TO ELIMINATE MOST OF THE UNNECESSARY PERKS.

WE ARE GOING TO CHARGE CONGRESS FOR THE UNBELIEVABLE HEALTH CARE THEY ARE GIVEN.

That would tell America they are serious. Americans, rightly so, believe our representatives are just a bunch of overpaid blowhards that are skating on our dimes.

stenwin77 on May 15, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Because of higher costs associated with producing grain, especially diesel fuel and fertilizer, the high prices aren’t quite as high on the farm as they appear from the outside. It would be nice to limit subsidies to only the small operations, but then it becomes little more than a special welfare program for people in one occupation–farming. Many of the largest commercial farming operations also have farmland in Latin America, or are looking. Without subsidies for the large operations, Brazil starts looking better and better.

RBMN on May 15, 2008 at 10:53 AM

The party has to hit rock bottom and snap out of its denial on fiscal issues and foreign policy before it can ever become what it was. It really is not that hard. What were we saying in 1994 when we did it last time? Cut the size of government and don’t police the world. It was only after we stopped doing and talking about this that our decline happened. Just go back to 1994′s beliefs and stop flip flopping for Zeus’s sake.

LevStrauss on May 15, 2008 at 10:54 AM

No one has rallied against earmarks and overspending as much as McCain.

Complete7 on May 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

This is not completely accurate, but your point about McCain’s stance on earmarks is nonetheless well taken.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Farmers profit margins are at an all time high yet we still give them money. We give the same to these useless biofuel companies that are raking in the dough as well as making sure the poor can’t eat.

Someone needs to make the point, What would you rather have $5 Gas or $4.50 gas and $8 Milk, $5 Bread, $9 Boxes of cereal. These Global Warming fanatics haven’t made gas cheaper, yet they made food cost more then people can afford. Al Gore can’t be credited with the internet, but he can be credited with further starvation, food riots, animals left on roads since people can’t afford to feed them, Thanks Al.

Rbastid on May 15, 2008 at 10:56 AM

I’m hungry, can you send toast?

kirkill on May 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

No one has rallied against earmarks and overspending as much as McCain.

Complete7 on May 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

I would argue that Jeff Flake is better. He even has guts to go through line items in the Defense bills and lives to tell of it.

LevStrauss on May 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM

When good compromises with evil, evil always wins. In other words, when Republicans compromise principles with Democrats, Democrats always win.

It is so sad – and now, tragic – that W has been AWOL on all this.

Halley on May 15, 2008 at 11:08 AM

BARR looks good???? Hell NADER looks good!!!!

pueblo1032 on May 15, 2008 at 11:11 AM

How do I become a commoonity activis? Is there some place you go to signup?

Akzed on May 15, 2008 at 11:13 AM

There’s a fact that some here seem unaware of.

Conservatives are a minority in America.

I wish it were different, but that’s just a fact. And anything you do to alienate yourself from the voters in the middle–voters who can be persuaded to go your direction on election day–just makes conservatives even less successful, and even less influential. In politics you get no points for purity. In fact, you nearly always lose points for purity. It’s the quickest way to become a political outsider, if that’s your goal.

RBMN on May 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM

If you want to see how your reps voted, go here.

It is way too difficult to find this info, and ironically I finally found it at the International Herald Tribune. I am now off to make disgusted phone call to my Representative.

Buy Danish on May 15, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Well your point really doesn’t make any sense, because McCain is against the bill. No one has rallied against earmarks and overspending as much as McCain.

Complete7 on May 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

It doesn’t matter. He’s pushing for cheap illegal immigrant labor for big agribusiness in return for the Hispanic vote. Agribusiness gains in private profit and the public social costs are paid by us. It’s a different version of a subsidy in return for special interest votes, just concealed a bit. His version of global warming payouts will follow the same theme, courting the greenies. How’s he feel about polar bears?

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 11:34 AM

In politics you get no points for purity. In fact, you nearly always lose points for purity. It’s the quickest way to become a political outsider, if that’s your goal.

RBMN on May 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM

That is the argument I referred to above, and is why we have McCain as a nominee and a dysfunctional GOP. It is called incrementalism or mission creep.

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 11:39 AM

There’s a fact that some here seem unaware of.

Conservatives are a minority in America.

I wish it were different, but that’s just a fact. And anything you do to alienate yourself from the voters in the middle–voters who can be persuaded to go your direction on election day–just makes conservatives even less successful, and even less influential. In politics you get no points for purity. In fact, you nearly always lose points for purity. It’s the quickest way to become a political outsider, if that’s your goal.

RBMN on May 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Um…and how do we NOT alienate the middle? By moving to the middle ourselves? Last time I checked, being a political insider was worse than being a political outsider.

fossten on May 15, 2008 at 11:45 AM

The Farm Bill has gone from about $125 Billion in 2003 to $300 billion now which makes it’s increase in yearly spending more then the Iraq war now.

JeffinSac on May 15, 2008 at 12:00 PM

I call for a Vote Strike! Vote Strike ’08

ronsfi on May 15, 2008 at 12:10 PM

We have to stop using corn and other foods for ethanol. We should use food to feed people and animals and not our cars

It’s unbelievable that any self-respecting politician could continue to vote for these subsidies. Every state must have some kind of evil farm lobby.

bayam on May 15, 2008 at 12:15 PM

Never let it be said that Ed missed an opportunity to take a cheap shot at ethanol.

Sinner on May 15, 2008 at 12:19 PM

It is best that things get worse, most of these whiners don’t remember a really bad economy, not to mention the countless sacrifices that were necessary to win WWII or defeat the Soviet Union. Higher standards of living are not a birth right for Americans. People work hard to squeeze out a profit and the government looks at this success as a problem.

Angry Dumbo on May 15, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Never let it be said that Ed missed an opportunity to take a cheap shot at ethanol.

Sinner on May 15, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Hey, there’s nothing cheap about ethanol.

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 12:25 PM

If you want to see how your reps voted, go here.

It is way too difficult to find this info …

Buy Danish on May 15, 2008 at 11:34 AM

The Clerk of the House reports every roll call vote. Just bookmark this page.

paul006 on May 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM

WE ARE GOING TO CHARGE CONGRESS FOR THE UNBELIEVABLE HEALTH CARE THEY ARE GIVEN

They need great health care since they are owned by K Street, they need to be kept around to do their master’s bidding. Why should any of them represent me. They get their congressional pay whether or not they work. And K Street pays them if they do what they are told. They even pass laws to make their favorite forms of bribery legal.

snaggletoothie on May 15, 2008 at 12:33 PM

They get their congressional pay whether or not they work.
snaggletoothie on May 15, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Case in point. 3 Senators campaigning full time for President for the last year and a half. Salary and perks intact. No wonder they are willing to buy votes to get re-elected.

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 12:43 PM

I see a lot of confusion here regarding subsidies and tax breaks.
A tax break is not a subsidy. A tax break allows an entity (corporation or individual) to keep the money they earn. That is not a subsidy. A subsidy is a payment from the government using taxpayer money. The only way someone conceives that a tax break is a subsidy is if you believe all income belongs to the government and therefore a tax break is the government giving that entity the government’s money.
Now, there is something perverse in a government saying “If you perform in a way that we in government deem appropriate, we’ll let you keep more of the money that you earned.Be grateful, you miserable wretch that we allow to exist!” And granted, it can be used to, in essence, bribe people with their own money.

Amendment X on May 15, 2008 at 12:44 PM

I am so sick of our government, Republicans and Democrats alike. All they know how to do is spend, spend, spend. And when things get really bad, they will be too old to deal with the problems they have created. The youth of today will have to deal with the crap these people have brought us. I think it’s time to go back to the founder’s idea that “taxation without representation” is not acceptable, and get rid of the powers that be to go back to our constitution.

Trtle2001 on May 15, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Just like the Demo party, the GOP cannot be saved as is. Just like a building damaged in an earthquake, you have to bring it all down and start over.
What Trtle said. Maybe we could throw the imports from China into the harbors and tell them to stick it where ‘man-made global warming’ came from…I can dream.

Christine on May 15, 2008 at 1:43 PM

I agree on the sentiment regarding the farm bill, but lets not pretend for one second that voting down this bill would do anything but CRUSH any chances we might have this fall.

DaveS on May 15, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I saw the polar bear thing. We have really gone over the edge when a animal whose population has been increasing for years is put on the endangered species list in the name of political correctness and to pacify the global warming nuts.

duff65 on May 15, 2008 at 10:22 AM

The polar bears were put on the endangered species list to prevent drilling in ANWR. Check. Mate.

cjs1943 on May 15, 2008 at 1:52 PM

It is too sadly ironic that anti-hunger lobbyists were among those promoting this travesty of farm-corporate welfare.

Not only are our congresscritters in love with pork, but they heart the corn that feeds it.

Someone from the Heritage Foundation needs to educate our representation in Washington before any funding bill comes up for a vote.

onlineanalyst on May 15, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Hmmmm… just hit me… 300 billion…

There are 300 MILLION people in the US… so… thats $1000 for every man woman and child in America….

So, me and my two kids? $3000 they are spending… Wow….

Romeo13 on May 15, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Yes, and also to save them

1. Get a clue

This is actually the most important step, and having listed it first is encouraging. Acknowledgement is the first step to improvement.

2. Cut the crap

I agree with the diagnosis but not with the solution. Here’s a humble suggestion:
Get off the holier-than-thou-pedestal/horse, and quit pontificating for unrealistic and perfect status on: humanity, decency, sex, religion, marriage, sexual preferences, bla, bla, bla.

Accept that conservatives are fallible humans, like all other. You’re not worse, but you’re not better, and heaven and hell await all of us. Quit talking about it. Make it a mute topic.

3. Beg for help

If the others are addressed, this will happen, though asking is better than begging, but don’t take anyone and anything for granted. Ask constituents to get involved. They want to be asked, and want to be a part of something, but you must follow through on your babble.

4. Burn the Bush

But burn him with cold fires. Give credit and explain 9/11 and the times, then assess current needs, and offer practical solutions, not pie in the sky. Times are different and the thinking must adjust, and rapidly. Be principled, but flexible too. Above all be bold.

5. Change the pitch — and your face

Don’t spare the lefties a thing. They won’t. Get in their faces, in the old style of Karl Rove. On “your face” be who you are, and all are welcome. As related to item 2. quit judging people by their anything, except for what they will do to solve problems for the good of the country, and the local principalities. Be absolutely honest, yourself, no matter what, work for synergy where it matters, while maintaining individuality. Stand your ground.

6. Fan the fear

Nah. Just get rid of PC. State the facts and what you will do about them. Forget the multi-culti BS and the PC mania. The folks will get it exactly. They sense what protects them – it’s instinctive.

I’ll add one of my own

7. Remember Reagan and keep the tent as wide as possible. See my write-up on 2. to get over yourselves, and be less judgmental. It will help everyone.

The American people want change, but not the kind Obama offers. His is vacuous and will tax us into oblivion, offering programs for sheep to vote for him. The middle class knows better, and fortunately it is very large in this country, still.

Finally, tell the constituents to get on board, do something, or shut up.

Entelechy on May 15, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Here’s a link to see if your senator voted for this. It might be good if we let our respective Senators know that whatever farm votes they gained or kept with this vote, they lost ours.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00130

scotta on May 15, 2008 at 3:36 PM

The Clerk of the House reports every roll call vote. Just bookmark this page.

paul006 on May 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Thanks. I went there first, but (unless I’m missing something) it doesn’t break votes down by party and I don’t have time to look up every rep in my state to see how they voted.

Buy Danish on May 15, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Entelechy on May 15, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Good points, but with all due respect, until we rid ourselves of professional politicians for life, this is just a face lift. I notice none of the party leadership got excited till they realized they are going to lose badly and are now searching for a silver bullet. They aren’t chagrined because they conducted themselves poorly, they are upset because the results will have negative splashback on them. They are only concerned about their own careers. Enact term limits, eliminate pork which ensures re-election, and the party will regain vibrancy/focus. There is no excuse for people like Ted Stevens and Don Young to be representing the GOP.

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Once interst groups realize they can feast off the public treasury with the connivance of those elected to guard it, representative government goes south. I’m normally a pretty optimistic person, but the system can’t last at the present pace and direction. Term limits would set much of it right, but that won’t be done because it would require support by those most guilty. We’re cooked.

a capella on May 15, 2008 at 10:11 AM

I agree wholeheartedly. Democracy seems to be eating itself in America. Greed is rampant. God Bless and save America.

Ernest on May 15, 2008 at 6:09 PM

I believe there is a large conspiracy against the Republican party to destroy itself from within. I cannot believe that their stance on illegal immigration, energy, global warming and other issues is in the interest of the party or the country as such.

It is impossible for the people in Washington to be that stupid. They must have a bigger issue !

SIJ6141 on May 15, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Are they still telling them not to farm a %age of their land?

- The Cat

MirCat on May 15, 2008 at 7:05 PM

In order to cut congressional pay by 25%, you need to shoot 25% of them – that would be a good start.

rgranger on May 15, 2008 at 10:27 PM

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/ does a good job on who voted how. And this site is good http://www.opencongress.org/

amr on May 15, 2008 at 10:33 PM

It might be interesting if Shrub had the male equipment to carry through with his veto threat just to make them vote again. They are calling his bluff. He should ante up and call theirs.

{^_^}

herself on May 16, 2008 at 6:51 AM