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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • EDITORIAL: Government overreaches, except at bailout time, apparently

  • Why do we tolerate government giving money to those who don't need it, or deserve it?
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  • Remember the federal government’s bailout  of the big banks that totaled hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars and, likely, trillions of dollars before all is said and done? When our government gives away mountains of free money to people who don’t deserve it, we let out a little whimper, but in the end we buy the notion that it’s actually a good thing to tell the whole world that some banks are simply “too big to fail” and wrongly believe that a bank blessed with that label, after said bailout, will change its misguided ways.
        So how that’s going? Read Matt Taibbi’s “Secrets and Lies of the Bailout” at rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104 and try not to get queasy.
        But, boy, even hint about stricter gun regulations, and suddenly we’re prisoners in a socialist state, with Big Brother poised to bust down our doors, seize all of our firearms, and waterboard us just because they can.
        Few are apparently irked in the least about the farm bill situation, either. We all know that the farm bill contains legislation that extends far beyond the farm – some important programs, indeed – but, still, the farm bill is mostly about a safety net for farmers in the form of crop insurance, and subsidies. We all know that many large farm operations that don’t need government support receive government checks, anyway.  
        Yet, here we are, with the new farm bill essentially in limbo – the previous one’s been extended in the meantime – and 7th District U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson the other day, in voicing his ire over the lack of progress on the bill, said he’s concerned about the plight of dairy farmers. When milk prices were high a while back, he said, dairy farmers bought too many milk cows, the market was subsequently flooded with too much milk, and prices dropped. Sounds a lot like that whole supply vs. demand thing they teach in Economics 101.
        So the government is supposed to help them out because they maybe got a little greedy and bought too many cows? Sure, rich dairy farmers are extremely hard to find, but...what gives? Apparently, that kind of misguided government support is peachy compared to an unseemly food stamp recipient buying a couple candy bars and some frozen crab legs at Wal-Mart.  
        Absolutely, this is farm country, where farm successes lift our economy, and farm struggles push it down. But is anyone worried about what might happen if and when the current boom times turn sour? Ag land costs are through the roof, commodity prices are strong, and as a result the skylines of many of our small towns have been transformed by the construction of massive ag businesses. Have you driven through Ulen lately? They might as well change the name of that town on Highway 32 to West Central Ag Services. The gargantuan buildings literally block out the sun.
    Page 2 of 2 -     Shiny new bins and driers are even showing up on farms themselves, as everyone seeks to capitalize on the good times by growing their farm operations. It’s only  natural, but a little restraint is always wise, is it not?
        If this turns south, and it always does, will our meddling, intrusive, too-omnipotent government suddenly be looked to, with hands out, as a savior?
        Fine, don’t touch our guns. But where’s the outrage when our government gives unfathomable amounts of money to those who don’t deserve it or don’t need it?

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