Here's a weekly presidential address I'd like to see, based on President Obama's address last week on "Taxpayer Subsidies for
Oil Companies Farms are Neither Right, nor Smart, and They Should End."
WASHINGTON – "As
oil and gas companies U.S. farms make tens of billions in profits and the government scours the budget for savings, President Obama called on Congress to stop handing them $4 billion $12 billion annually in taxpayer subsidies.
After the worst recession since the Great Depression, our economy is growing again, and we’ve gained almost 2 million private sector jobs over the last 13 months. But I also know that a lot of folks aren’t feeling as positive as some of those statistics might suggest. It’s still too hard to find a job. And even if you have a job, chances are you’re having a tougher time paying the rising costs of everything from groceries to gas. In some places,
gas ground beef is now more than $4 a gallon $3 per pound and milk is more than $3.50 per gallon meaning that you could be paying upwards of $50 or $60 to fill up your tank $500 or $600 per month to feed your family.
Of course, while rising
gas food prices mean real pain for our families at the pump grocery store they also mean bigger profits for oil companies America’s farms. This week, the largest oil companies U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that they’d made more than almost $25 billion in the first few months of 2011 – up about 30 20 percent from last year.
Now, I don’t have a problem with any company or industry being rewarded for their success. The incentive of healthy profits is what fuels entrepreneurialism and helps drives our economy forward. But I do have a problem with the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies we’ve been handing out to
oil and gas companies farms – to the tune of $4 $12 billion a year. When oil companies farmers are making huge profits and you’re struggling at the pump supermarket, and we’re scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways to farmers aren’t right. And we need to end them.
That’s why, earlier this week, I renewed my call to Congress to stop subsidizing
the oil and gas industries America’s farms. Understand, I’m not opposed to producing oil agriculture, but taxpayer subsidies to farmers when they're making record profits are neither right, nor smart, nor fair, and they should end."
Data on farm income and farm subsidies are available here from the USDA
. The USDA is projecting $94.7 billion this year in "net farm income," and government payments to U.S. farms have averaged more than $12 billion per year for the last four years.