You would think that the unending recession would put those hard working folks in the fields in distress. Actually that is not the case. Farmers have been doing better than the bankers the past four years. Total revenues are up 15%%, net income has risen by 8% ($92b). (link)
The real estate crisis has crushed many Americans, but not the farmers. Arable land is at the highest value in history. Prices were up 20% in both 2010 and 2012. In the past ten-years, farm land values have more than doubled:
Senator Stabenow is probably doing what she's supposed to be doing. As the head of the Senate's Ag Committee she's supposed to be sucking up taxpayer money and seeing that it's spent on the farmers she's supposed to represent. Her home state, Michigan, is a modest player in agriculture. It's ranked 22th, but farming is still a success story in the "Mitten."
In Michigan, 41% of all farmers are getting checks from the USDA. Of those farmers on the dole, the top 10% are getting 71% of the handouts. (Link)
No doubt this has helped the good Senator's fund raising efforts; she's been around for twelve years.
It being an election year, we will have more than the usual amount of political speeches this Memorial Day. Republicans and Democrats will be out there pushing the "debt/deficit" hot buttons. They will be selling a message of austerity and a return to some level of sanity with deficits.
But when you look at what the Reds and Blues actually do when they are back in D.C. drafting legislation, you'll see that that both sides of the aisle are proposing spending on their pet projects. Neither side has any interest in cutting spending. What they will be saying on the stump this weekend will sound nice, but actually they are all lying.Note:
Don't get too riled up about the spending bills from Buck or Diane. There is not a chance in hell that any of this will pass. We will go another 400 days without a budget. Someday we will pay a price for this.