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The Farm Bill: Do We Really Need More Government Cheese?

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You don't have to be lactose intolerant to be sickened by the Farm Bill currently being considered in Congress. But if you read the bill you'll probably start to feel a little queasy when faced with dairy products in the future.

The new Farm Bill which just passed the House and is headed to the Senate spends $286 billion over 5 years to underwrite the expenses of giant agrobusinesses, maintain the production of unnecessary and unprofitable crops, pay farmers not to grow certain profitable crops, guarantee high prices for key agricultural products, and artificially lower the prices of others.

It pays farmers to grow crops for which there is little commercial demand and buys up excess production of favored crops at a premium price at taxpayer expense. It's a huge festering pile of bill-shit put together to answer the demands of lobbyists and representatives from the largest agricultural states with little consideration of what might be best for consumers, for the economy or for most farmers.

50% of the spending in the bill is concentrated on just 7 highly agricultural states with influential representatives and almost half of the spending in the bill goes to support only about 6% of our farmers most of whom work in large agrobusinesses producing certain favored crops. The bill which is being sent on to the Senate shows the unmistakable stamp of Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the King of Government Cheese, whose tireless work on behalf of the dairy industry explains some of the worst ideas featured in the bill, including the government's plan to purchase and warehouse over 2 billion pounds of dairy products at an average price of about a dollar a pound.  In the Senate we find another Dairy Pimp in a key position of influence with Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) as Chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee of the Appropriateions Committee, so the future of government cheese is pretty secure.

While taxpayers should object to paying over $50 billion a year for utterly unnecessary regulation, subsidization and massive loan programs, it seems like other groups find plenty to object to in the farm bill for other reasons.

Small farmers represented by the Center for Rural Affairs point out that the loan programs are designed to help large agro-businesses grow larger and force smaller farmers off their land. In his analysis of the Farm Bill, CFRA's Chuck Hassebrook concluded that because it "increases the limitation on direct payments by 50 percent over current law…mega-farms would be subsidized to bid land away from smaller operations – driving up cash rents, narrowing profit margins and tightening the noose on family-size farms struggling to prosper and survive in farming." The Farm Bill will continue the history of US agricultural policy which has been destroying small farms. The CFRA claims that small farmers are literally dying out. In 1978 there were 350,000 farmers under the age of 34. Today there are only 70,000. Young people are just not going into farming because current rules make entry-level farming unprofitable.

Health advocates were looking for reform from this Congress and are not at all happy with the Farm Bill. Dan Inhoff, author of Food Fight observed "We didn't get a food and farm bill, we got a fat bill. It's agribusiness as usual. It's high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil for all, and it's at the expense of the land and the people and the taxpayers." Many groups have raised concerns that the bill subsidizes profitable but unhealthy crops at the expense of healthier alternatives. They're particularly unhappy with the subsidies, price protections and import restrictions for the sugar industry, and the ongoing incentive programs for the production of corn syrup.

Environmentalists are equally dissatisfied, and again the problem is subsidies. The bill underwrites the production cost of certain high-dollar commodity crops which are environmentally destructive at the expense of more sustainable crops which could be grown instead. They had been hoping to see as much as $6 billion diverted from subsidies and applied to land management and conservation programs. The farm bill also raises global issues because subsidies reduce the selling price of US farm products below actual production cost and below the price at which they can be produced in other parts of the world, making farming unprofitable in many emerging economies which could be bolstered by agricultural exports in a free market. The folks at Food and Water Watch promote the idea of 'food sovereignty', where the first focus of agriculture should be to produce for local markets first and export second so that regions will be agriculturally self-sustaining. Seems like common sense to me and the exact opposite of both US agricultural policy as expressed in this bill and the government based food-distribution systems favored by international NGOs and the WTO.

One area in which the bill really falls short despite the inclusion of 'bioenergy' in the title is any meaningful effort to promote existing biofuels and make them more widely available. There are a few million dollars set aside for research on biodiesel and ethanol production, but nothing much to help encourage immediate increase in availability and use of these already viable fuels. There's even a measure to prohibit sugar producers from selling their excess production for use in making ethanol, despite the established fact that sugar from beets or cane is more efficient as a source of ethanol than corn, which continues to receive incentives for ethanol production.

But for me, it always comes back to the dairy programs. Tasty though they certainly are, dairy products are about the most unhealthy foods you can put in your body. What's more, dairy agriculture is incredibly environmentally destructive. Cattle are the single largest source of man-made greenhouse gasses and runoff from dairy farms pollutes groundwater and waterways. i wouldn't want to shut the industry down, but why is the government guaranteeing them billions of dollars of sales at artificially inflated prices so they can stockpile cheese, butter and powdered milk? All this does is encourage increased production and the pollution which goes with it, while keeping prices artificially low to encourage excessive consumption. It makes no sense at all, except that legislators from dairy states are playing pivotal roles in the budgeting process and letting the dairy industry lobbyists have anything they ask for.

As far as I'm concerned most of the Farm Bill could be scrapped. This nightmare of government micromanagement, gratuitous protectionism and outrageous favoritism does nothing positive for the country. It hurts small farmers, hurts consumers and hurts taxpayers. My vision of American agriculture doesn't consist of fewer and fewer small farmers and giant agrobusinesses destroying the environment to produce questionable mutant crops which they sell at artificially controlled prices. I'd like to see food sovereignty inside the US, with small farmers supplying local markets with seasonally appropraite produce at a market-determined price and the agrobusinesses focussed on industrial crops like cotton, biofuels and oils.

There is a movement for a complete overhaul of the Farm Bill led by Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Frank Lautenberg (R-NJ) who are offering an alternative bill called the FRESH Act. It's not perfect, but it does away with most subsidies, reduces costs and sensibly restructures loan programs to be more equitable. Best of all, it includes a grant program for biofuel production, allocates money for conservation programs and does away with the $2 billion dairy boondoggle. It even complies with some of the international trade agreements which the current Farm Bill would violate. The FRESH Act deserves some serious consideration.

President Bush seems to be on the right side of this issue and is threatening a veto of the Farm Bill. The debate in the Senate will carry on next week, so now is the time to take action.

If you'd like to see more emphasis on an open market for agriculture and less emphasis on pork and protectionism, write your Senator and demand something better, or write President Bush and urge him to veto the bill and send a strong message to Congress that it's time for less greed and more responsibility. Mention the FRESH Act and see if we can give it a little push.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Don’t sugarcoat it okay Dave?

    -Glen

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I can’t sugar coat it. Only pure corn syrup can be used for such applications.

    Dave

  • Doug Hunter

    From my corner of the world it appears farmers are doing well already. Increased populations, decreased farmland, and diversion of crops to fuel instead of food provides plenty of incentive to stay in without subsidies. Decent equipment, hybrid and modified crops, and designer fertilizers and other chemicals make the entry into farming a 7 figure affair but there are plenty of ‘small’ family farms left in my area.

    I don’t enjoy farming being controlled by an oligarchy of large megacorps, but the expensive equipment and techniques get so much more production from an area of land with much less labor. A person and a couple of his kids can easily run thousands of acres of land. There’s no need to have a half million people farming anymore. The increase in efficiency allows those extra workers to go find something else more productive. That’s capitalism, something you usually are a fan of.

    BTW, All the farmers I know personally are doing great.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I agree, Doug. The farmers I know are doing well, and would continue to do well or do better without subsidies, because they are farming specifically for local markets or growing organic produce. But there are certainly some crops they cannot grow even if they want to, because the subsidies going to large growers make it impossible to get a competitive price.

    As for my support of capitalism, it’s part of what makes me oppose the farm bill. Government underwriting of business – even farming – is inherently contrary to a free market.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Our agricultural policies are ridiculous, and many people in Congress know this and would like to change it. But they are trapped by the politics of it – the importance of Iowa in a presidential election year, for example.

    Pelosi supported an effort to reduce farm subsidies earlier this year, but had to bow to the reality of not having enough votes (several newly-elected Dems from farm states felt too vulnerable voting against subsidies, and several old bulls from farm states weren’t about to budge).

    It’s one issue Pelosi actually agrees with Bush on, which ought to break the paralysis. But nope.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Tasty though they certainly are, dairy products are about the most unhealthy foods you can put in your body.

    I do have to object to this highly questionable factoid. The (2% fat) cottage cheese and yogurt that I eat nearly every day for breakfast are very healthy indeed – calcium and protein without excessive calories. (The yogurt is Greek, so I guess it’s not subsidized by Congress.)

    And butter and hard cheese are fine foods in moderation, just not if consumed to excess. Sugar and flour and trans-fats are way unhealthier.

  • http://www.libertyrepublican.com Dave Nalle

    IMO Yogurt is only marginally a dairy product, and cottage cheese is disgusting so it must be healthy. Yes, some dairy products are less bad for you than others, but whole milk and hard cheeses and butter are really pretty unhealthy. Your body just wasn’t made to process that kind of stuff.

    As a class of foods, dairy products just aren’t healthy overall compared to the other classes of foods. For that matter, there’s even bias in the food pyramid. Dairy products shouldn’t even BE a separate category of foods which we’re supposed to eat X servings of per day. The dairy lobby got them added to the list. There’s no nutritional justification for differentiating dairy from other sources of protein and fat.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Some of us process MOST dairy just fine–even in our 60s.

    Subsidies, however, do not go down well with anyone except the subsidized.

    In fact, they are the MAIN reason why your hero Braindead Bush’s hemispheric “free trade agreement” will never happen.

  • klo

    I don’t disagree with your basic premise – that reform is needed – but this article is completely riddled with inaccuracies.

    “When the bill goes to the Senate it will be in the hands of Sen. David Obey (D-WI).” Obey is in the House and I’m not sure he’s even on the Agriculture Committee in that chamber.

    “There are a few million dollars set aside for research on biodiesel and ethanol production” There is $1.1 billion in spending plus almost $2B in tax benefits for biofuels.

    “There’s even a measure to prohibit sugar producers from selling their excess production for use in making ethanol, despite the established fact that sugar from beets or cane is more efficient as a source of ethanol than corn, which continues to receive incentives for ethanol production.” Actually, there is a provision that REQUIRES the Department of Agriculture to sell “excess” sugar to ethanol producers on the cheap. And that “established fact” is based on sugar-to-ethanol in Brazil, where the economics are completely different than they are in the U.S.

    Plus, the payment limits you criticize are those that are in the House bill, which is completely different from what the Senate has.

    I’m disappointed that this peice is so inaccurate.

  • Baronius

    Lautenberg is a Democrat. It’s worth noting because the Fresh Act isn’t some minority-party crank protest, but a bipartisan bill.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    “There are a few million dollars set aside for research on biodiesel and ethanol production” There is $1.1 billion in spending plus almost $2B in tax benefits for biofuels.

    Where? That was in the original House version of the bill, but I can’t find it in the version which was sent on to the Senate last week.

    Dave

  • JustOneMan

    I live in New Jersey – Lautenberg is a Dumbocrat and he is also a senile old fart who is reponsible for the corruption and collapse of New Jerseys government…he is the patriarch of all that is wrog in this state

    Anything with his name on it is wrong for America…

    JOM

  • moonraven

    Hmmmm. Back in my day on the East Coast, New Jersey’s problems were all identified as being mafia-caused….

  • Martin Lav

    Dave Nalle:
    I completely agree with you for once (almost).
    It’s time we completely redesigned our agri-business and distribution in this country. The family farm is constantly getting squeezed out in this country and it’s largely due to the Government subsidies and they way they are allocated.
    Grow local, eat local.

  • Martin Lav

    “Attention shoppers! Buy with a conscience and save the family farm.”

    – Neil Young

  • Clavos

    Martin,

    “Grow local, eat local.”

    I get your point, and I agree with it (mostly), but I’m mindful that such a policy implemented nationwide would pretty much kill agriculture in Florida, since almost all of what we grow is shipped elsewhere for consumption. And agriculture is our second largest industry, after tourism.

  • Howard

    Dave, you said “…sales at artificially inflated prices so they can stockpile cheese, butter and powdered milk? All this does is encourage increased production and the pollution which goes with it, while keeping prices artificially low to encourage excessive consumption.”

    How does keeping prices high result in keeping prices low? I think you misspoke. The absurd dairy subsidies keep prices high for producers and consumers, discouraging consumption and encouraging production.

    We not only pay for higher commodity prices, we pay to store, ship, give-a-way, or ultimately destroy excess production. You barely mentioned the greatest sin of agricultural legislative artists, the sugar industry. In today’s Wall Street Journal, domestic sugar is quoted at $.20 per lb while world sugar is $.10 per lb. The total “support” provided the domestic sugar industry dwarfs any other agricultural program and it’s not even a part of the legislation you attack.

    You plead for the small farmer. That’s as shortsighted as pleading for the mom & pop store vs Walmart. Agriculture is probably the most accomplished industry in the U. S. It needs no subsidy. It needs to be left alone.

    As a stockbroker in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, trading commodities was much better that trading stocks. In 1969, wheat sold for $3.25 per bu.; soybeans sold for $6 per bu.; corn sold for $2.50 per bu. Those prices were still current in 2003. Only with the unenlightened actions of our energy policy challenged fed have those prices increased in recent months and years. Those who plant and harvest the crops of this nation are the undisputed leaders in increasing productivity. They should be praised! Unfortunately, they have been drugged at the tit of the government sow.

    Howard

  • Martin Lav

    Yes, but they can grow more than oranges and strawberries in Florida. Hell we can even EXPORT your crops to countries that can’t grow Oranges. All I’m saying is, our subsidy program is an impediment to doing what’s best for people (healthy fresh food) what’s best for the land (crop rotation based on seasons) and what’s best for the farmer (fair prices for growing sustainable foods for consumption and NOT for shipping).

  • Clavos

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the subsidies, Martin. That’s the first step, no question.

    Actually, we already do grow far more than oranges and strawberries; we grow most of the sugar in the USA, and much of that is shipped abroad. We also are the principal source for all the east coast (east of the Mississippi) of almost all vegetables, particularly in the winter.

    And that last is the one strong argument against “grow local, eat local:”

    Winter vegetables for the cold regions from places like Florida and California.

    PS Most of our oranges go into juice. California grows the bulk of the eatin’ oranges.

  • JustOneMan

    Moonie more racism! this time against Itailian Americans…today in New Jersey most of our issues are caused by the victim mentality of the Blacks and Hispanics and our Liberal Jewish Governor who will flush this state down the toilet just to appease them…

    JOM

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Interesting how the left and right here seem to agree on the ‘buy local, eat local’ concept. What on earth does it mean that we agree on it. And who the hell doesn’t agree, and where do we go to string them up – perhaps Capitol Hill.

    As for the issue of crops like oranges, obviously a more localized marketplace is still going to have a place for those specialty crops. You can’t grow oranges most places, so they are going to have to be imported from somewhere like Florida or Southern California. That’s not going to have any negative impact on the local market, and the transportation costs and such will be reflected in the higher price of the luxury fruit. Essentially the ‘local’ market for Florida oranges is the whole eastern seaboard.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    At no point did I mention Italian-Americans. Much less in a racist way.

    I just happened to have a lover whose family in Newark was 100% mafia.

  • sahil simon

    did you know how cheese was invented? It wasnt necessity, it was an accident, read this

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Some members of the [environmentalist] left and the [libertarian] right agree on Grow/Buy/Eat Local.

    But way too many members of the pro-big-agribusiness right [in both parties] are afraid to change their tune on subsidies, even though if done intelligently, it would bring sanity, not destruction, to agribusiness.

    Whether you choose to call this corruption, or just pigheadedness, at the moment it ain’t budgin’.

  • Maurice®

    Great article, Dave.

    As the great Walter Williams said, “The single law you could pass that would help all other laws would be that any law passed would have to apply to all people. In other words if you pass a law that says you will pay this person for not growing pigs then you must pay all people for not growing pigs”.

  • moonraven

    Buy local and eat local is necessary–and healthy.

    The problem is that even in a small village in central Mexico I have to ASK the folks selling produce where it comes from. Not everything has a little sticker on it that says–like apples–that they are from Washington State!

    And sometimes folks just make up an origin for their stuff.

    In our household, though, we do the best we can–and I only buy stuff that is not local when it comes to olive oil (prefer from Spain), balsamic vinegar (Italy) and black tea (UK).

  • bliffle

    At this very moment the Bush Administration is trying to pass a law that would exempt some telephone companies from prosecution for violating US Citizens privacy by revealing data to the FBI and CIA, thus creating another special privilege.

    On another front , the PBGC (Pension Benefits Guarantee Commision) has granted a special deal to United Airlines to NOT pursue UAUA future profits to recoup the PBGC pension payoff necessitated by extensive mismanagement of UAs business. This is special treatment accorded to UA at the expense of competitive airlines, but also against competitive transport carriers.

    The airlines get many favorable treatments because they complained that the truckers before them got favorable treatment. And the truckers get favorable treatment because the railroads before them got favors to match favors bestowed on Ships.

    Etc. There seems to be no end to favors granted to powerful businesses.

  • moonraven

    And no end to the criminal acts of the Bush Gang.

  • Maurice®

    Government intrusion in our free market system is killing our economy. Unions and taxes are killing our corporations daily. Time Warner just anounced a 50% loss in profits and now the Writers Guild go on strike! Brilliant! Hope everyone that likes to tax corporations and supports unnions enjoys working for China!

    “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821

  • gonzo marx

    Maurice sez – “Unions and taxes are killing our corporations daily.”

    sorry to disagree with you on this one, Maurice…

    but taxes for corps have dropped, as have union membership totals…and corp profits (as well as the Dow/NASDAQ) have risen bigtime

    so i don’t see the factual data behind your assertion…

    as i have stated upthread, a lot has to do with the rising costs of healthcare benefits…but the vast majority of offshoring is due to the basics of being able to hire someone for less than a dollar an hour as opposed to the labor rates in first world countries…

    how the hell do you ever expect an American worker to accept the 10 hour day for 38 cents an hour that a Chinese factory worker will take?

    no matter all the protestation of some that desire ot blame it on unions and taxes, the objective Facts disagree

    Excelsior?

  • Marcia L. Neil

    ‘Dairy’ refers to a type of open-air refrigeration case.

  • moonraven

    Actually, it’s your free market system that kills thousands every day–all around the planet.

  • Maurice®

    Hey gonzo, we can agree on some things and disagree on others. No problem.

    I admit I only provided one example (Time Warner losing 50%). You claim corporation taxes are going down? Please provide a link.

    Here is my link showing corporation taxes strong and steady for the last 7 years.

    Here is a link to Apple’s Income statement. They made 3 billion before taxes. Paid a billion in taxes. Got to keep 2 billion. Thanks a lot!

    I would rather Apple keep their money. They seem more honest than the government.

    “The greatest [calamity] which could befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited powers.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Declaration and Protest of Virginia, 1825. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 17:445

  • Maurice®

    Here is some bleak news to cheer you up!

    Die evil tech sector!

    Go to hell evil money lending corporations!

    Pay those fines pharmaceuticals!

  • Maurice®

    My link above is screwed up. Damn!

    Here is the info:

    Corporate Income Tax Rates–2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000

    Taxable income over Not over Tax rate

    $ 0 $ 50,000 15%
    50,000 75,000 25%
    75,000 100,000 34%
    100,000 335,000 39%
    335,000 10,000,000 34%
    10,000,000 15,000,000 35%
    15,000,000 18,333,333 38%
    18,333,333 ………. 35%

    Here is a link I hope works.

  • bliffle

    Corp taxes and union costs are insignificant burdens on US businesses compared to systematic looting by the Officers and the BODs that are raiding all fungible assets of the major US corps.

    Most of those corps are receiving heavy direct and indirect subsidies from the US government, i.e., the US taxpayer and citizen, under the pretense that those corps represent jobs and employees. But the jobs and employees are usually the last consideration of the Executives that quickly lay claim to their own short-term bonuses and allow only minor amounts to trickle down to the employees and even to the shareholders.

    Any CEO worth a damn can figure out how to exploit various tax dodges (which have been pre-built into US code, and validated by trial law, usually at the insistence of industry lobbyists). For example, holding companies that own the operational company and drain off profits during profitable quarters thus depriving the op co of retained earnings for future development, moving the corp headquarters to countries with no corp taxes, accquiring an unprofitable company with good returns to mitigate net profits and thus mitigate net taxes. Etc., etc., etc., There are hundreds of dodges that only require the efforts of some white-collar workers in offices and some well-aimed political contributions.

    In fact, it has become the case that any exec who isn’t pursuing these cheats (for cheats they are) is at a competitive disadvantage: he must do it or go under. And so they all become cheats. Just like those famous HighSchool students in Chicago (and their teacher!) who alibied their cheating by claiming “everybody does it”.

    When failure occurs, as it must under such corruption, they look for scapegoats, and the handiest scapegoats are the victims themselves, who have already proven their impotence by their unwillingness and inability to fight back earlier.

    Thus, Maurice himself will end up being blamed by his company by the execs slandering all the employees, Maurice included.

    Maurice is the author of his own demise. Too bad a lot of others will suffer as well.

  • gonzo marx

    no worries Maurice…

    here’s one link

    there’s more, but i think you get the Idea

    here’s more

    i know the Principle of what you are saying, but the facts disagree with the propaganda some have been spreading

    compare 1980’s rates to todays…you will also note that in each and every case, corp rates have declined..NOT increased

    now, add the capital gains breaks and the like from the last few years

    as for the union numbers, they are easily available…compare those number over the same time period (especially after Reagan broke up the air traffic controllers union, numbers decline in membership…but accidents and the like rise, 9/11 would NOT have been possible under the old Air Traffic Controllers system, according to industry experts)

    hence why i say that your assertion about taxes and unions hurting American business is erroneous..business has grown and recorded record profits while union membership and tax load have decreased

    now..a lot of that has to do with offshoring, but that’s another discussion, eh?

    and someone should show that last Jefferson quote to W and Cheney…

    Excelsior?

  • gonzo marx

    Maurice…your first link is broken…and i have a long comment with links that is being held up, should show up soon..i hope..

    no worries…

    Excelsior?

  • REMF

    “As a class of foods, dairy products just aren’t healthy overall compared to the other classes of foods.”
    – Dave Nalle

    So now Dave “Sparetire” Nalle is lecturing us on what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy…?

  • bliffle

    I think it was Orville Freeman who was Ag Sec years ago, a good farm boy from a a longtime farm family, who was asked if he was getting subsidies for the family farm, who said something like “hell no, we’re too small, just to survive we have to actually grow crops!” Which illustrates that it is Big Ag that has constructed the pipeline into the USA treasury that they suck money out of. The little guys are doubly punished by having to compete against government subsidized price reductions (just ask the farmers of Latin America who now find themselves pitted against USA Big Ag subsidized by billion s of dollars taxed from US citizens). Then they are triply punished by having to pay disproportionate taxes to subsidize their competitors. Then they are insulted by folks who berate them for farm subsidies.

    What we have done is to sovietize the Ag Business. And it was done at the insistence and through the connivance of Big Business, in the guise of Big Ag. Whatever impulse there was to save the family farm and the small farmer has long disappeared.

    We consume a lot of dairy products because it was cheap, historically, to use fat to supply calories for the peasants to labor in the fields. Fat is cheap calories. There is little required nutrition from dairy, and mostly we consume them for taste purposes, like cheese (good cheese, that is) and eggs. But a little goes a long way.

    Our current over-consumption is totally unnecessary and contributes a lot to our obesity problems.

    No one NEEDS dairy products, contrary to incessant government propaganda, malevolently promulgated at our schools.

  • Maurice®

    gonzo

    I have posted two more times and neither has shown up. One fixed the link the other was a link from Reuters Business page that is all about current businesses going down.

    Blogcritcs Editor – WTF!?!?!?

    Where are my posts?

    Where are gonzos retorts?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    lol..good Question, Maurice

    probably the new comment program hiccuping on the linkages

    is it some conspiracy to “Hush” us up?

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • Maurice®

    Maybe just Outta Space!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    censorship and government cheese????

    time for a hungerstrike?

    what would Gandhi say?

    Excelsior?

  • Maurice®

    gonzo – you are killing me, man!

    Clearly our musical tastes are very different!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    clearly our Tastes run a bit differently in Music as well as some things Politic…

    vive la differance’

    i perceive the current Administration as a very Sunless Saturday…bordering on some cult like behavior..

    but don’t let it bring you down, eh?

    Excelsior?

  • Maurice®

    Brothers playing white music is okay. I got no response….

    This is a brother that can play!

    Are you a musician or just all around music lover? I play piano (not like Oscar!) guitar and drums. All self taught.

  • Maurice®

    Here goes a try at my earlier post that got lost in the bit bucket…

    Corporate Income Tax Rates–2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000
    Taxable income over Not over Tax rate

    $ 0 $ 50,000 15%
    50,000 75,000 25%
    75,000 100,000 34%
    100,000 335,000 39%
    335,000 10,000,000 34%
    10,000,000 15,000,000 35%
    15,000,000 18,333,333 38%
    18,333,333 ………. 35%

    Corporate tax rates

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    saw that chart/webpage, Maurice…

    this bit is more of what i meant…

    Year Rate

    2007 15.0%
    2006 15.0%
    2005 15.0%
    2004 15.0%
    2003 15.0%
    2002 38.6%
    2001 39.1%
    2000 and prior years 39.6%

    it’s even more Interesting to look at all the rates form 1980 – 2007…i’l try and find a link to the whole thing for you

    but you said “white music” and that kind of surprises and pisses me off

    Music is colorblind…

    now Oscar’s clip was rippin’…thanks for sharing that one, but i’m a bit of a Monk afficiando myself…

    and yeah…i played bass from 76-96, the clip of Hush i linked to earlier was close to what i played, but then again, “hands break to hold raw energy…”

    know what i mean? or do you prefer an Insturmental from the Great White North?

    Excelsior?

  • Lumpy

    On yout corporate tax rates u need to look back a bit farther. Rates over 15 percent are a recent development of the 60s and 70s. Go not too much farther back and there was no corporate tax because the government admitted the obvious, that any corporate taxes just get passed on to and paid by the consumer. It makes np sense to have a corporate tax at all.

  • Zedd

    That cheese was rather tasty if you ask me.

  • Maurice®

    gonzo – Thanks for the musical links. Classic Monk. The only song from Pantera that I ever liked was Cemetary Gate. My boys are into Rush and I do have to say YYZ is very hip. Especially on the DVD. Geddy is a hell of a lot better bass player than I ever gave him credit for.

    If you are a bass player you must be a Victor Wooten fan….?

    Waiting for your Corporate Tax Rate link…..

  • Maurice

    Lumpy – good point. All taxes are paid by the consumer eventually.

    I have often thought the same sort of thing about about court fines. When some white collar crook gets a multi million dollar fine that money goes to the court system. I think it should go into a fund for the workers of the company he defrauded.

    I would even be open to defendants choosing the charity their fine should go to….

  • Larry

    In 1909, Congress imposed a 1 percent tax on corporate net income above $5,000, calling it an excise tax to bypass the constitutional issue.