Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kicking Rich Freeloaders Off Agricultural Welfare


Stephen Lee Fincher (R-TN), one of the most dishonest crooks in Congress

Thursday, Dick Durbin's amendment to the Farm Bill passed, rather miraculously, 59-33. The amendment is meant "to limit the amount of premium subsidy provided by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation on behalf of any person or legal entity with an average adjusted gross income in excess of $750,000, with a delayed application of the limitation until completion of a study on the effects of the limitation." I was kind of hoping he would have named it the Congressman Stephen Lee Fincher Amendment. More about why, below. First, a list of senators who voted against these giveaways to wealthy farmers, wealthy fake-farmers and big Agribusiness corners. Most of the names on this list are all men and women, many of whom are pushing the catastrophic European Austerity agenda sponsored by Paul Ryan, who want to protect government subsidies for the rich:
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Mo Cowan (D-MA)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Nan Fischer (R-NE)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Tim Harkin (D-IA)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Miss McConnell (R-KY)
Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Dick Shelby (R-AL)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
John Thune (R-SD)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)
So what does all this have to do with an obscure Tennessee backbencher in the House? Stephen Lee Fincher, one of the most sanctimonious right-wing Republican hypocrites in Congress, lives in Frog Jump. Although he likes telling people he's a gospel singer, Fincher is the managing partner in Fincher Farms, a large Agri-business concern that grows cotton, corn, soybeans, and wheat on over 2,500 acres in western Tennessee. The company has received $8.9 million in farm subsidies over the past decade, mostly from the cotton program, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Fincher received a $13,650 grant to help buy grain hauling and storage equipment from the state Department of Agriculture in 2009 as part of the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program. Yes, teabagger Stephen Fincher is a welfare queen.

And it gets worse, according to Forbes magazine. Remember when we were talking about how so many wealthy congressmembers on the House Agriculture Committee were all gung-ho to shave billions of dollars off the food stamps program? That's Fincher's committee. (No conflict of interest there, right?)
Armed with an array of proverbs and quotes from the Holy Bible, Congressman Fincher is pressing his fight to dramatically curtail the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-- better known to most Americans as food stamps-- relied upon by 47 million Americans for some or all of their daily sustenance.


Because the Bible tells him so.

Appearing this past weekend at a gathering at a Memphis Holiday Inn, Fincher explained his position on food stamps by stating, “The role of citizens, of Christians, of humanity is to take care of each other, but not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.”

The Congressman’s remarks come on the heels of his taking the biblical route when responding to Representative Juan Vargas’ (D-Calif.) somewhat different take on the teachings of Jesus. During a recent House Agriculture Committee debate over the Farm Bill (which contains the food stamp budget), Vargas, citing the Book of Matthew, noted, “[Jesus] says how you treat the least among us, the least of our brothers, that’s how you treat him.”

Vargas also noted that  Jesus directly mentions the importance of feeding the hungry.

Not to be outdone by a Godless Democrat, Congressman Fincher responded with his own Bible quote taken from the Book of Thessalonians-- “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Nicely played, Congressman.

While the biblical back-and-forth is interesting, I wonder if Congressman Fincher would be good enough to refer me to the part of the Bible revealing to us how providing adequate food stamp assistance to those in need violates the teachings of Christianity but venerates accepting government hand-outs in the guise of farm subsidies?

Maybe the Congressman can instruct heathens such as I on how pocketing huge sums of taxpayer money in the guise of farm subsidies is a righteous act, while accepting government subsidies to feed one’s family is an act of-- to use Fincher’s own words-- stealing from those in the country to give to others in the country?

I don’t ask these questions of Congressman Fincher indiscriminately. I ask them because of Fincher’s unique qualification to provide us with the appropriate proverb intended to instruct.

You see, Representative Fincher happens to be the second largest recipient of farm subsidies in the United States Congress-- which might explain why Mr. Fincher would like to decimate the food stamp budget in order to do the Lord’s work when “supporting a proposal to expand crop insurance by $9 billion over the next 10 years.”

How much money are the taxpayers forking over to Congressman Fincher via farm subsidies?

While Fincher may only come in second amongst his congressional peers when it comes to pocketing huge sums of taxpayer money, he has the distinction of being one of the largest recipients of subsidies in the history of the great State of Tennessee.
I think we can count on farmer Fincher to lead the charge against Durbin's amendment when it floats over to the House.

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