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July 14, 2013

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Which is to say, the Farm Bill is exclusively about farms, and will be followed by a Food Stamps Bill exclusively about food stamps. For some reason this has enraged many people.

The number of people on SNAP started growing a lot during the Bush administration before the economic downturn. Partly because the means test was lowered. Partly because recipients were exempted from the means test, whether they qualified or not, because they were eligible for other types of aid. And partly because potential recipients were being trolled to sign up regardless of whether they wanted or needed food stamps. More recently, the government has been giving SNAP information the Mexican government to pass on to legal and illegal immigrants to inform them that they may qualify for food stamps.

A lot of the farm aid goes not to farmers, but to people living in Manhattan.

and will be followed by a Food Stamps Bill exclusively about food stamps.

The odds that this will be sponsored by a (R) are approximately zero.

Here's what happens when you send a big loud "F*ck you!" to several million people. They say "F*ck you" right back.

The House (R)'s picked a fight. Good luck to them.

The number of people on SNAP started growing a lot during the Bush administration before the economic downturn.

The number of people on SNAP has grown because a lot of people are freaking poor.

...the government has been giving SNAP information the Mexican government to pass on to legal and illegal immigrants to inform them that they may qualify for food stamps.

Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for the program. So this is simply a lie.

No what enrages people, or at least what enrages me, is that the Republicans in the House made huge cuts in Food Stamps BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO, while subsidizing profitable corporate farms. Then, when that didn't work, they removed Food Stamps, so they could pretend that they just wanted to subsidize the corporate farms and weren't dealing with the unrelated issue of Food Stamps yet. Meanwhile having in effect defunded it out of existance.

Immoral either way.

"Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for the program. So this is simply a lie."
Just because they are legally ineligible for the program doesn't mean they are unable to directly or indirectly take advantage of it.

The Mexican government has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

USDA has an agreement with Mexico to promote American food assistance programs, including food stamps, among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America.
[...]
The partnership — which was signed by former USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista in 2004 — sees to it that the Mexican Embassy and Mexican consulates in America provide USDA nutrition assistance program information to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals working in America and migrant communities in America. The information is specifically focused on eligibility criteria and access.
[...]
When asked for details and to elaborate on the program, USDA stressed it was established in 2004 and not meant for illegal immigrants.
[...]

USDA partnering with Mexico to boost food stamp participation

Charles,

When asked for details and to elaborate on the program, USDA stressed it was established in 2004 and not meant for illegal immigrants.

Your own quote destroys your assertion. Your assertion is not true. Thank you.

Which is to say, the Farm Bill is exclusively about farms...

Which is to say that the House majority has, in effect, declared war on two of its prime constituencies: Corporate farmers, and "family farms" (snicker), because there simply will not be a Farm Bill without the traditional quid pro quo regarding SNAP.

Politics may not be bean bag, but it ain't especially hard to figure out, either.

    Your own quote destroys your assertion. Your assertion is not true. Thank you.
I have another assertion if it ever clears the spam filter.

I have another assertion if it ever clears the spam filter.

No need to wait. Your whole post at 10:16 was simply BS. You presented no quantitative evidence for any of the implications you tried to sneak through, and the plain fact of the matter is illegal immigrants are not eligible for SNAP which casts doubt on the whole of your argument. I mean, if you can't even get that basic fact correct, why should anybody take anything you have to say on this subject seriously?

Russell is correct. The reason we have higher participation in SNAP is because we have more poor. Why can you not admit this obvious fact?

    You presented no quantitative evidence for any of the implications you tried to sneak through,...
I guess I'm stuck until a moderator passes the several comments I've made.

[...]
The promotion of the food stamp program, now known as “SNAP” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA with a statement advising Mexicans in the U.S. that they do not need to declare their immigration status in order to receive financial assistance. Emphasized in bold and underlined, the statement reads,
“You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”

The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to USDA on July 20, 2012. The FOIA request sought: “Any and all records of communication relating to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals, and migrant communities, including but not limited to, communications with the Mexican government.”
[...]

Judicial Watch Uncovers USDA Records Sponsoring U.S. Food Stamp Program for Illegal Aliens

“USDA and the government of Mexico have "entered into a partnership to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” the USDA explains in a brief paragraph on their “Reaching Low-Income Hispanics With Nutrition Assistance” web page. “Mexico will help disseminate this information "


The article says ELIGIBLE Mexican nationals. I'm not sure why one would assume that means illegals. I assume it means legal workers who are eligible due to low pay.

I'd like to move the conversation back to Food Stamps as I am beginning to think the meme about The Government conspiring to lure illegals inot the country to get freebies is another one of those rightwing conspiracy theories.

This is what will happen if Food Stamps are cut significatly: a paralyzed woman who already lives on a shoestring will have to cut back on something but I don't know what. She already keeps her heat off most of the winter. She already gave up her flower beds to save on water. She already lost one of her beloved dogs to a treatable condidtion because she can't afford a vet bill.

A wheel-chair bound woman with rhuematoid arthritis will have to start sharing cat food with her cats. She already lot her cable since she couldn't pay it. I pay for staples for her and sneak them into her house (she'd would get mad if she knew I bought things for her). She doesn't have any slack iin her budget to give up unless its her cats and they are her family and solace for a life of unrelenting pain.

A woman who lives on sixhundred dollars a month of SS, plus Medicaid, would have to choose between medicine or food if her Food Stamsp were cut. She heats with wood. She uses water very sparingly. She already gave up her car as unaffordable.

Maybe Repubs in Congress are taking a page from Jonathan Swift and Gov Perry: deny low income people access to birth control and abortion, take away Food Stamps, and let them eat babies. That's would be as "pro-life" as their other values.

I didn't know anything about Judicial Watch so I did some Googling. This is a list of "accomplshments" from Wikipewdia:
"Digging into questions about Barack Obama's ... and his gang's efforts to steal the 2012 elections." [26]
Suing the town of Herndon, Virginia to stop a "day laborer" program on the grounds that it may provide employment for illegal aliens.
Suing the U.S. Senate to disallow the filibuster in their debates over confirmation of judicial nominees, coinciding with proposed efforts by Republican Senate leaders to internally do the same thing.
Criticizing the George W. Bush administration for their guest worker program, obtaining evidence of a spike in illegal immigration denied by the administration.
Initiating a request to the Naval Inspector General for an investigation into the "legitimacy and propriety" of the awards John Kerry received for his service in Vietnam.[27] The inspector general's office subsequently determined that Kerry's awards "were properly approved" and declined to take further action in the matter;[28] the office also responded to Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act request with documentation of its review.[29]
Criticizing the U.S. Navy for securing a public relations firm to encourage Puerto Ricans to vote to keep a Naval testing range at Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Investigating fund-raising activities relating to the 1996 United States campaign finance controversy.[30]
Rejecting the adjudicated innocence of David Rosen, who served as campaign finance director for Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign for the U.S. Senate and had been indicted for filing false reports.
Condemning as murder the death of Terri Schiavo, who lived for 15 years in a diagnosed persistent vegetative state and whose husband wished to allow to die. Her parents wished that she be kept on life support, and were joined in their pursuits by prominent Republicans.
Calling for Republican Tom DeLay to step down as House Majority Leader calling his actions on Medicare "inappropriate" and "unacceptable".[31]
Filing a lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton for alleged fraudulent accounting practices.[32]
Filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service for denying Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for access to Obama White House visitor logs from January 20 to August 10, 2009.


Seems like a fairly flackey organization.

“You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”

From the clips presented here, and the highlight above, it would appear that the flyers and the communications effort were aimed at informing immigrant parents (documented or not, but probably not) of natural born US citizen children that their children are eligible for SNAP.

Maybe we can end this derail here?

CharlesWT:

You should realize that trying to persuade me (for instance) of something using links to DailyCaller and JudicialWatch is like me trying to persuade you by using links to Daily Kos.

To be actually persuasive, you need to cite less partisan sources -- as I would have to do, were I trying to persuade you.

You should think about what your favored sources are telling you, that you think the problem with ag subsidies is that A lot of the farm aid goes not to farmers, but to people living in Manhattan.

The problem, as *I* understand it, is that most of the aid goes to industrial agribusinesses, not to "farmers" in any human sense. But most of those business aren't based in NYC, that's not the issue -- it's the giant corporate interests that are the problem, not where they're based.

"...it's the giant corporate interests that are the problem, not where they're based."
I'm no fan of corporate welfare.

[...]
Defeating the bloated farm bill gave Republicans an opportunity to separate these spending items so they could then trim and reform them both. Without nutrition programs for the poor making up 80 percent of the price tag, welfare for Archer Daniels Midland would receive more scrutiny.

So naturally, Republicans followed a moment of clarity by taking a nasty spill off the wagon again.

Last week, the House passed a farm bill containing all the agribusiness largesse of the one it voted down in June. In fact, the crop insurance program and the sugar subsidies were made permanent. But there was no money for food stamps, combining a fiscal disaster with a political one.

Republicans voted for this monstrosity by a margin of 216 to 12. To be sure, some felt pressure from the leadership to vote for the bill since Eric Cantor and company had magnanimously heeded their request to separate out the food stamp spending. And absent some congressional action, the country would have reverted back to the price controls and central planning of the Truman-era Agriculture Act of 1949.
[...]

The Farm Bill & ‘Libertarian Populism’: Can the GOP be pro-worker and anti-government? A bill that showers subsidies on agribusiness is the opposite.

The Farm Bill fits into the context of red states seeking and getting federal tax dollars to subsidize their economies while electing politicains who bitch about high taxes and blame the cost of their own demands on the Other du jour. Red state Republican politicians feed their consituents while running for office on the resentment their voters have in the possibility that someone somewhere other than themselves might be benefitting from federal taxes.


http://visualeconomics.creditloan.com/united-states-federal-tax-dollars/

"Which is to say, the Farm Bill is exclusively about farms, and will be followed by a Food Stamps Bill exclusively about food stamps. For some reason this has enraged many people."

Posted by: Brett Bellmore

What I love about Brett is that he's sooooooooooooooooooooooo flexible with what he 'knows'. For example, a while back on another blog he suddenly went a philosophical about whether or not President Obama was born in the USA. His basis was that he wasn't there, so he doesn't 'know'. This is after years of seeing Brett knowing everything about everything.

And now, he *knows* what the House will do in the future.

Brett, you should really get a job on Wall St; people who actually know about the future might be useful there, and rewarded handsomely.

CharlesWT,

I read the link, but anybody who drags out the Laffer curve loses me pretty quickly.

However, it is interesting to contemplate that our rural denizens have come full circle since the 19th century. No more do we hear cries for Free Silver and raising less corn and "more hell". Now, firmly ensconced in the terrible welfare net that is destroying humanity as we know it, they go off on ideological rants about "individual liberty", which strikes me as a lament that they somehow are not allowed to pick the bank of their choice to cash their crop subsidy checks.

Unbridled 'free markets' busted farmers in the 19th century. Rampant overproduction was a classic market failure.

Which is to say, the Farm Bill is exclusively about farms, and will be followed by a Food Stamps Bill exclusively about food stamps. For some reason this has enraged many people.

Does it occur to you that the reason is that there's not going to be a food stamp bill, at least not one that actually provides food stamps to people who need them?

What exactly do you think are the chances that the gang of a**holes who constitute the GOP House caucus is going to pass a food stamp bill?

Actually, I think there may be a Food Stamp bill. But to be eligible, you have to be over age 65. (Children need not apply.)

Why can't they make an edible food stamp?

In the manner of George Zimmerman, I find the House Republicans' behavior in this food stamp walkabout mischievous at best, most probably suspicious, and likely dangerous with intention to steal and perhaps cause malnutrition and even death to a bunch of Americans.

It's time for food stamp recipients to massively gun up and patrol the neighborhood and bring it the f*ck to the perps.

"Does it occur to you that the reason is that there's not going to be a food stamp bill, at least not one that actually provides food stamps to people who need them?

What exactly do you think are the chances that the gang of a**holes who constitute the GOP House caucus is going to pass a food stamp bill?"

Posted by: byomtov

That's what gets me - anybody who's not stupid can see what's going on in almost any situation where A is severed from B in a bill; the only reason is to pass A and sh*tcan B. And in this case, given the behavior of the GOP, it's doubly certain.

If B can't pass without A, on it's own merits, B SHOULD be sh*tcannned. Let Democrats make the case for Food stamps on it's own merits, without bribing farm state Reps with the taxpayers' money.

Brett, glad you are good with dropping all of the programs in the House Farm Bill. Because they cannot, on their own merits (assuming there are any), get passed. So obviously they should be dropped.

It does have the virtue of shrinking one part of the government and saving the taxpayers some money. But I have to wonder why all the small government enthusiasts in the House Republican caucus bothered to pass it at all.

Wait a minute Brett.

A while ago you were assuring us there would be a Food Stamp bill. Suddenly all that's changed?

As to the merits, I'd say food stamps are a lot more worthwhile than farm subsidies and whatnot that the GOP has no problem with. So if the Republicans, or you, want to make the case that sending huge sums to millionaire farmers is just a wonderful all-American idea, but trying to help poor people buy food is the first step on the road to totalitarianism, go ahead.

But I think your argument is not a strong one.

Bellemore, true Jacobin that he is, has put forward the view that politics should be dispensed with, a view not at all uncommon to ideologues.

Alas, the GOP Farm Bill, without SNAP will go to the Senate to die in ignominy. And what has the GOP gained with this show of purity? Why, nothing, nothing that is, except pissing off many of their farmer base and enraging the poor.

It's time to put the conservative movement on suicide watch.

I'm sure there'll be a bill, I never said anything about it passing. For that matter, if the Farm bill goes down in flames without Food stamps in it, I'm cool with that.

Basically, I'm in favor of a single subject rule for legislation, I think log rolling a bad way to pass laws.

Basically, I'm in favor of a single subject rule for legislation, I think log rolling a bad way to pass laws.
You, um, want to remove negotiation and quid pro quo for the democratic process (boggle).

This actually explains why I don't see eye to eye with Brett, ever. He and I appear to have completely different perspectives on the way government at any level works. I regard government as fundamentally a process of persuation, one that involves offering participants some benefit. In order to do that, you must in principle negotiate, you must in principle trade. I have no idea how Brett thinks democratic governance does (or should) work.

Let Democrats make the case for Food stamps on it's own merits, without bribing farm state Reps with the taxpayers' money.

Let rural state (R)'s make the case for agricultural subsidies on their own merits, without bribing about 46 million other people with the taxpayers' money.

Especially given how much of the ag subsidies go to 'farmers'.

Here's the case for food stamps: people need to eat, and a lot of people in the US are poor.

Personally, I'm fine with unbundling ag subsidies from SNAP. The reason they're bundled in the first place is to make the constituency for ag subsidies large enough to get passed.

Logs roll in all kinds of directions, dude.

I said I'd be cool with the Farm bill going down in flames. Chiefly if the flames could also consume all those old permanently enacted controls that the various farm bills just set aside for a while, like somebody resetting the timer on the bomb instead of disarming it.

You have a good case for food stamps, you ought to be able to pass it stand-alone. You can't, that's a commentary on the merits.

I actually agree with Brett on the matter of single issue bills. The current SOP has two purposes:
1) vote buying. Even those congresscriters that are in favour of something say initially no, when they can get something for switching to yes
2) getting stuff through that would never pass on its own merits or blocking stuff that would by adding unrelated poison pills. Abortion restrictions in a motorcycle safety bill is just the newest iteration. And Obama (as many before him) has put things that the cons don't like into defense or other budget bills.

Neither thing one should be proud of in a working democracy. What imo makes it worse is the now well-reasoned general assumption of bad faith on part of the other party. Since promises of 'you vote for my bill, I'll vote for your bill' are not worth the paper they are never put to in the first place, the bundling has become the only way to get anything done (apart from bipartisan feeding of the MIC of course).

I said I'd be cool with the Farm bill going down in flames.

No doubt.

My point overall is that this particular move by (R)'s is likely to be an own goal. The reason SNAP (and its various antecedents) were bundled with ag subsidies was to build up the constituency for ag subsidies, which don't have a very large natural constituency.

Rightly or wrongly.

Chances are that, medium to long run, decoupling them is going to make ag subsidies a harder sell.

Depending on point of view, you might see that as a good thing, or a bad thing.

I'm just pointing out that it's a thing.

"You can't, that's a commentary on the merits."

So if a measure passes the lunatic controlled House, it has merit-but when it fails in the Senate, does it get demerits?

As for negotiations and 'log rolling'...this behavior was baked into the cake by the Founders. As a self described "originalist" the fact that you appear to overlook this is rather disconcerting.

On second thought, maybe not so much.

Brett,

You started out by wondering why people ar enetaged over the split into two bills. I think you've gotten your answer, but in case it's still not clear, here it is.

Many of us see food stamps as important, and agricultural subsidies as a waste and boondoggle. The purpose of the split, quite plainly, was to pass the subsidies but not food stamps. We find that maddening. It's not the split as a matter of procedure, as you want to claim, but rather its obvious purpose.

Now do you get it?

Oh, and no talk of "merits" please. The House majority (which actually represents a minority of voters) has chosen to be controlled by its most lunatic elements. Those who make decisions about "merits" are the ones least able to do so.


Posted by: John Spragge: "I have no idea how Brett thinks democratic governance does (or should) work."

I think that you do, just that your mind doesn't want to go there :)

I'm awed at the idea of a rule that all legislation had to be a 'single rule'. What would, say, the defense budget look like? How many laws would that be?

Brett: "You can't, that's a commentary on the merits."

No, it's not. It's a commentary on the political power behind the bill. The farm bills are the way that they are because (a) farm states have disproportionate representation and (b) much, if not most, of the money goes to large and rich interests who can afford serious lobbying and bribes.

I would say that I find it interesting that an alleged libertarian such as Brett can use the word 'merit' in terms of the political feasibility of a bill's passage, but I really just find it disgusting.

Chances are that, medium to long run, decoupling them is going to make ag subsidies a harder sell.

Good point, russell. I don't know that ALL ag subsidies are bad, but I do have a particular point of view that says that subsidies that go toward lining the pockets of those that don't in any way need further lining (e.g. the Fanjul brothers) are not achieving the initial goals of farm subsidies.

Hopefully, I say.

I said I'd be cool with the Farm bill going down in flames. Chiefly if the flames could also consume all those old permanently enacted controls that the various farm bills just set aside for a while, like somebody resetting the timer on the bomb instead of disarming it.

Brett, I'd be cool with it, too. Unfortunately, that isn't how things are set up. Absent a Farm Bill, we revert to the argicultural restrictions and subsidies of circa 1950. Which were actually worse than recent Farm Bills. You can't get rid of those without actually passing some legislation to actively do so. Unfortunately, I see no sign of that happening any time soon -- or ever. Do you?

"Good point, russell. I don't know that ALL ag subsidies are bad, but I do have a particular point of view that says that subsidies that go toward lining the pockets of those that don't in any way need further lining (e.g. the Fanjul brothers) are not achieving the initial goals of farm subsidies.

Hopefully, I say."

Posted by: Slartibartfast

I hope so, as well, but those Ag subsidies didn't come out of a an accidental typo by somebody in the bowels of the House; they were put there by people with clout (that's why I poo-pooed the idea of 'merit').

"Unfortunately, I see no sign of that happening any time soon -- or ever. Do you?"

About the only way I see that happening, is if we DON'T pass a Farm bill, and they DO kick in.

@Slartibartfast:

I don't know that ALL ag subsidies are bad

I think that some level of farm subsidies probably make sense, primarily because I don't believe the invisible hand of the market will solve everything. We need to have an agricultural policy that deliberately produces more food than we need in the average case so we won't face famine- or simply grossly inflated prices- when there's a bad year. Unfortunately, long-term overproduction tends to drive farmers out of business, so we need to interfere with the markets to get the socially optimal solution.

Incidentally, I think this is an example of why farm subsidies and food stamps belong in the same legislation. They are, or at least were, attempts at providing some kind of food security. Farm subsidies try to preserve food security by making sure that we consistently produce enough food that there won't be shortages. Food Stamps try to make sure that enough of the food we produce makes it into everyone's hands that nobody starves. These are fundamentally similar goals.

Sugar subsidies don't really fit into those noble objectives, Roger. Nor, I must say, do ethanol subsidies.

@Slartibartfast:

Agreed. Our current system of farm subsidies does a much better job of rewarding entrenched agricultural interests than it does in promoting food security. I just think this argues for reform rather than elimination, because a more rational system of subsidies would serve a valuable function.


This is from Balloon Juice and it's such a perfect description of the the hypocritical shambles that passes for current conservative thought that I couldn't resist posting it over here:

The latest in the Christie/Paul Jr. mudfight (via):

“I find it interesting that Senator Paul is accusing us of having a gimme, gimme, gimme attitude toward federal spending when in fact New Jersey is a donor state, we get 61 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington,” Christie said. “And interestingly Kentucky gets $1.51 on every dollar they sent to Washington.”

Perhaps I’m confused, but I thought Chris Christie wanted to win a Republican primary. The primaries that matter are in taker states, like Kentucky, not maker states like New Jersey. Can Christie win by rubbing the Teatards’ noses in the fact that they are living in welfare state that sustains itself by a regular, vigorous suckling at the federal sugar teat? Even those benighted morons must realize that Kentucky’s $1.51 isn’t all welfare queens driving Cadillacs and young bucks buying t-bones with food stamps. Can they handle the fact that their diabetes test strips, Medicare scooters and Marlboro-yellowed dentures are financed by coastal elite secular humanists who receive a mere $.61 for every hard-earned dollar they send to DC?"

Of course the biggest paracites aren't the Republican base voters; that honor goes to the Republican corporate sponsors.

Christie probably knows he can ignore most of the most-conservative voters. if he appeals to the more moderate voters of the rest of the country, he'll do fine. just like Romney did. remember, Romney lost much of the deep south and mid-west to the "conservative" firebrands. and it didn't matter a bit because he won the big states.

IMO, it's a huge mistake to think Christie can't get the nomination because he's not playing to the militant wing of the GOP. there are more than enough non-hardcore "conservatives" to get him over the line. and, his amusingly gruff and combative persona is exactly the kind of thing the media loves.

if he runs, he'll do fine.

Laura,

I have to admit I laughed hysterically at your last comment. The reason that NJ only gets .61 is because of all the big pharma and financial companies paying exorbitant taxes along with the incredibly wealthy.

While government mandated programs cost more than the folks in Kentucky could ever possibly afford based on their tax base. To require them to spend the money and then blame them for spending it is ludicrous.

Marty, corporate income taxes amount to only 7.9 of the fed's yearly take from the nation as a whole and Big Pharma, if they pay any taxes at all, are only part of that, so, no, Big Pharma's presence in NJ doesn't explain why NJ or blue states in general pay out more taxes to subsidize red states.

Also the corporate parasites I was referring to don't necessarily have to be based in NJ--why would you jump to that conclusion? The corporate farms recieving subsidies referred to in the article up thread (set in Arkansas, a red taker state) are examples of parasites demanding federal tax subsidies.

Blue states simply have less subsidized economies than red states. That's the explanation for why NJ gets back only about sixty cents and Kentucky gets back more than they pay out.

The same phenomenom exists within Washington state. The blue side of the state pays out while the red side takes in because the blue side has an economy of small businesses, big businesses, unions,and living wage jobs, all contributing taxes. The red side has subisdized farms, subsidized timber industry, subsizied ranching, big government socialist institutions like Bonneville Power, more expense per person for mail service, more expense per person for roads,,,if it wasn't for the influx of federal dollars no one would live over there.


",,,if it wasn't for the influx of federal dollars no one would live over there"

Despite your despising of all things rural, this isn't true. Nor are your other conflicting assumptions. Yes, as I lightheartedly blamed on pharma, business or

economy of small businesses, big businesses, unions,and living wage jobs, all contributing taxes

certainly apply to NJ. Although it's been a long time since a union contributed to the general food in any way.

Again, the "subsidization" of all those things is not why people live in Kentucky. The "subsidization" primarily pays for federally mandated costs.

But I did notice you changed from Kentucky to Washington. So maybe you really don't know anything about Kentucky except some mental image you have that generates pretty hateful characterizations.

So maybe you really don't know anything about Kentucky except some mental image you have that generates pretty hateful characterizations.

I think Laura lives in Washington, so she was giving an example she knows and she started off with Kentucky, cause she quoted Chris Christie, who seems to be in a war of words with Rand Paul.

Knowing more about where people are coming from is helpful to avoid hateful characterizations. You may want to try it.

The "subsidization" primarily pays for federally mandated costs.

Assuming this is so, can you explain why it is relevant to the basic point?

For the record, I have no particular animus toward rural states and/or rural parts of states. I'm just trying to understand your point a little better.

Regarding Kentucky, beautiful state, but I think Christie was referring to the rear end of the racehorse ---- Rand Paul.

As for the rest of the horse, according to something called the Potomac Tea Party Report, the federal government helps Kentuckians tie on the feedbag.

I further suspect the Department of Agriculture subsidizes research into blue grass improvement and veterinary prevention of various equine parasites. Grass rhymes with ass, which spurs the mind to think of Mitch McConnell, who along with Paul, is a parasite of a different color, since they seem O.K. with labeling various humans with the "parasite" title unworthy of subsidy.

Now, I've nothing against Kentucky's dependence on subsidy, but I believe in the Republican insistence on avoiding political correctness, so I' ll follow their lead in designating who is a parasite and who is not.

As for Christie's opinion of Paul, he should talk, since a comparison of New Jersey parasitism with Kentucky's shows the former to have more than ample parking in the horse' s rear.

While government mandated programs cost more than the folks in Kentucky could ever possibly afford based on their tax base.

and which programs are those?

Hateful? I don't think it's a matter of being hateful toward people who receive federal subsidies so much as being sick of hearing from some people who receive (or represent those who receive) them about the evils of the government spending they live off of. Even if you own a corner store in a heavily subsidized state, you benefit even without directly receiveing the subsidies, since your business is only viable because subsidized people patronize it.

And let's not forget the derision some of the same people express for the liberal, coastal elites who pay for it.

If they weren't spouting off about it all the time, we wouldn't be talking about them at all. Don't mistake defense for offense.

"You may want to try it."

I really don't understand this, you have an example for me?

Marty: there are a number of people around who avoid hateful characterizations.

Why not try to be one of them?

"Why not try to be one of them?"

Same question as for lj. I consider myself one, counter example?

While government mandated programs cost more than the folks in Kentucky could ever possibly afford based on their tax base.

again, which programs?

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