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Monday, April 04, 2005

North Dakota farmer's appreciate Democrats

Posted by Bob Brigham

This is certainly good news for Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND):

MEDINA, N.D. -- It's tough to make a living as a farmer in North Dakota these days, Owen Olson says. [...]

"If it wasn't for the federal government here," said Olson, 39, "nobody would be farming."

No one is talking about eliminating federal subsidies, just reducing them. But in North Dakota, where more than three in four farmers receive payments -- the highest percentage of any state -- the proposals working their way through the hearing rooms on Capitol Hill are big news.

Bush proposed cuts of $5.7 billion from agricultural programs over the next 10 years as part of a deficit reduction package. The House Budget Committee set the figure at $5.3 billion, while its Senate counterpart said $2.8 billion should be trimmed.

The GOP quest against the family farm on behalf of multi-national agribusiness will be a major issue in the 2006 election. An entire demographic -- rural voters -- is coming into play and ready to swing.

Posted at 04:41 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Economy, North Dakota | Technorati


I've already heard grumblings about this here in Kansas. Like the story says... a ton of small farmers absolutely depend on the subsidies for their livelihood during bad years. In good years they aren't needed as often. But when there is draught, or a hail storm 4 weeks before harvest, the subsidies are a saving grace.

Posted by: KansasNate [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2005 06:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It's unfortunate to see Democrats so cynically using pork and handouts, which come courtesy of the taxpayer, to buy votes. While that's a viable political strategy in a state like ND which would otherwise go GOP, the principle is wrong. If you can't farm in ND without govt. largesse, a smarter approach would be to transition the workforce there to new, growing industries. It's not credible to bemoan the debt while fighting tooth and nail to protect govt. subsidies.

Posted by: bchandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2005 09:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment