Doug LaMalfa’s sticky money machine

Rep. Doug LaMalfa: Pillar of fiscal rectitude?

Rep. Doug LaMalfa: Pillar of fiscal rectitude?

While it can’t compete with the debt ceiling and budget battle for headlines, keep an eye on the agriculture bill that Congress must finalize by Sept. 30. Our very own Rep. Doug LaMalfa has a lot riding on the outcome.

He was No. 2 on a list of 15 Congressmen who received farm subsidies in 2012, collecting over $62,000 for farming sticky rice. The LaMalfa family farm has collected $4.7 million in farm subsidies–almost $1.7 million in cash–since 1995, according to the Environmental Working Group. Those subsidies might–might–disappear in the farm bill currently before Congress.

But don’t worry about LaMalfa. He and Rep. John Garamendi (D., Calif.) teamed up to insert a provision in the bill that guarantees that if the market price of sticky rice falls below 115 percent of the average price of all types of rice, sticky rice farmers will get a government check to make up the difference.

“What industry would have the temerity to demand that the government guarantee a price?” said a spokesman for EWG. “This is like guaranteeing a price for the iPhone.”

While he was at it, LaMalfa  joined his fellow Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee to cut food stamps by $40 billion over the next 10 years, a move that could impact about 59,000 of his constituents in the First Congressional District. The bill was derailed by Tea Party conservatives who objected to the overall cost of the bill and Democrats who didn’t like the food stamp cuts.

The ag bill, minus food stamps, was passed by the House in July. The measure is currently in a Senate-House conference committee being crafted into a bill everybody can live with. LaMalfa, who likes to portray himself as a pillar of fiscal rectitude when it comes to taxpayer money, will do just fine. His constituents depending on food stamps? Probably not so well.

JUST WONDERING:  Republican State Senator Dan Logue has announced he wants to challenge Garamendi in next year’s general election. Will LaMalfa endorse Logue, or remain neutral? 

 

 

 

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10 Responses to Doug LaMalfa’s sticky money machine

  1. TD Pittsford says:

    Good information but I wonder what good it does in the long run. We all should know that most if not ALL politicians are corrupt to some degree and that they don’t run for office out of any kind of patriotism. It’s all about money for them and their “special friends”. The entire system is broken and if anyone tries to continue the lie that voting makes a difference about who ends up in these cushy jobs, boy do they have snow in their eyes! Only a concerted move by the American public, voters or not, to oust these criminals, physically if necessary, will accomplish what has to be done. I’ll let the readers fill in the blanks.

    Welcome to the BLOGesphere, George!

    • History shows us that voters are willing to overlook the hypocrisy of the candidates they support, and I’m sure the other sticky rice farmers in LaMalfa’s district are grateful for his support. Nevertheless, it’s important to get this information on the public record so people at least known where politicians are coming from. And to the extent LaMalfa cares about what his critics are saying, it’s always fun to afflict the comfortable.

  2. Brad Croul says:

    Welfare for LaMalfa is good, welfare for poor, hungry people is bad.

  3. Chris Peterson says:

    If we subsidize the rice then, in effect, we own it. And if we own it, why don’t we kill two birds with one piece of pork and give the rice to food banks? That way, the greedy AND the starving are happy.

  4. Ben Emery says:

    Agriculture subsides aren’t necessarily bad but in the way our economy has been set up they have become part of a fascist/ corporatist system. Where and who does much of our agriculture/ livestock is purchased and controlled? Monsanto and DuPont control over 90% of the seed market and it works the same in segment of the agriculture/ livestock industry. Swine- Smithfield, Tyson, Swift, Hormel control 70% and Beef- Tyson, Cargill and Swift control 65%. Virtually all of the feed given to livestock is Genetically Modified (Monsanto or DuPont). So the entire subside program is a back door profit generator for the few massive corporations who then fund, organize, and produce winning candidates for the two major political parties.

    Monsanto represented in Obama administration
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/usda_watch.cfm

    Livestock Production Under Contract Turns Farmers into Corporate Workers

    “It is not for the real prosperity of any country that such changes should occur which result in transferring an
    independent businessman… into a mere servant or agent of a corporation…, having no voice in shaping the
    business policy… and bound to obey orders issued by others.”
    – Supreme Court Justice Rufus Wheeler Peckham in the
    first court decision on the Sherman Anti-Trust Act,
    U.S. v. Trans-Missouri Freight Association, 1897

  5. Todd Juvinall says:

    LaMalfa is following the law. I would imagine if his 1800 acres of rice were gone along with all his employees the poor welfare folks might have to change to wheat bread. I actually support subsidies for food because if we didn’t prices would make it that much more difficult for the poor. Of course they might have to use their welfare cards for food instead of strip clubs in Vegas.

    Regarding Logue. With the city of Davis in his Congressional District it may be pretty tough to beat Garamendi. If ever there was a truple dipper that needs liberal criticism, the G man is it. He is also a bald faced liar as I listened to him today on the floor of Congress whining about the Continuing Resolution.

    Did the group cited here as a watchdog have underlying details on Garamendi as they appear to have pn Doug. My guess is no.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Todd,
      Had the wages of US workers kept up as a percentage of profits over the past 30 years, we wouldn’t need ever-increasing subsidies for food products, or any others to that point. But now we are stuck with lower wages and still the “need” for bigger subsidies, which means higher taxes to support farmers and industry. It’s the circular insanity of conservative thinking that can only end in a market which takes it’s profits in the form of taxes, making the working class nothing but serfs in a feudal society. And this from a party which chants the mantra, “Let the market decide”, whatever that means these days. Politicians of both stripes have kept the market from deciding anything for the last 40 years.

      And you give the great modern day disclaimer- “LaMalfa is just following the law”? You’re absolutely right, in that, what used to be called graft and bribery is now considered “business as usual”. It’s disgusting.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      Sorry to say you are ignorant on this issue. What I have said is correct and your solution is totally unworkable in the real world. Farmers are subsidized all over the planet and to compete our country instituted subsidies to keep prices at a level that a farm can compete.

  6. Todd Juvinall says:

    Most if not all countries on planet earth subsidize their ag. The reason is they can then compete. American Ag is no different. You can allow the 50% who pay taxes at the fed level subsidize your tomato or you can let the poor pay ten bucks a piec. Common math.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Once again, part of the circular insanity of bad policy; through graft and bribery, some are allowed to dip into the nations treasury for funds to support their business. Never mind “what the market will bare”, and whether or not they have a sound business model which is able to stand on it’s own, we are now stuck with ever increasing subsidies because the global market has caught up, and we NEED to keep our competitive edge.

      There is no end to such a system; it will, out of pure necessity, continue to grow as a reaction to itself! Meanwhile; lower wages, and higher taxes to support that system, continue to slow consumer spending, forcing the government to try to further regulate commerce. Pure insanity. The corporations get their’s, the politicians get campaign funds, and the working class gets screwed. Put that into your crystal ball and see where it puts us down the road. Totally unsustainable without a totalitarian state; not even a plutocracy can support this idiocy.

      All hail the neoconservative thought process. (Or lack of…)

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