Friday, May 02, 2008

Congress At Work

Since food prices have risen so high and farmers’ income is at its highest level ever, Congress is working feverishly on passage of the Farm Bill. Yes, that’s the bill that will provide billions in federal money to farmers, whose products are selling at all-time high prices, and whose profits are the highest they’ve been in many decades.

Home builders, construction workers, and retailers of products related to the building industry are at the lowest they’ve been in memory and are going bankrupt in droves, but Congress has not even conceived a bill to assist any of these groups at this point.

According to McClatchey News yesterday,
The specialty crop funding includes $499 million for a block grant program. The money will be distributed among all 50 states for help with marketing, promotion and food safety, among other efforts. In a separate research chapter, negotiators included $230 million for specialty crop research.

Why do our tax dollars fund “marketing and promotion” of any product at all? Let alone the product of an industry that is currently operating at record profit levels?

Congress is contributing long hours and great effort to this bill,
Congressional negotiators anticipated working into the night Thursday, though final approvals won't come until budget numbers are firmed up next week.

A bill which “will easily exceed 1,000 pages when all is said and done.”

No apparent progress on a housing relief bill, or on any kind of sensible energy policy bill, or on a bill to end a multi-dimensionally costly war which is not accomplishing its stated purpose (a purpose which changes frequently), nor on any kind of bill to reasonably re-regulate our financial sector, or on a bill to restore privacy to communication

No effort to even start a bill to end torture, or to restore the integrity of habeas corpus, or to prevent detention without charge or representation, or a bill to restore integrity to the Department of Justice.

None of those bills is important. The Farm Bill, which gives away money to people (currently wealthy people) who a) vote and b) provide campaign contributions is important.

That’s the Democratic Congress, which we elected to solve all of the problems that were being caused by having the Republicans in control. Remember that the next time you think that the problems this country faces will be solved simply by electing a Democrat, any Democrat, to the office of President.

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