Cash Crops

From GROUNDSWELL educational films:

Four of the 19 Wisconsin Republican State Senators annually applied for and received direct farm subsidies from the federal government.  These are the same people who want government spending limited, apparently except when it comes to their own welfare checks.

  • Michael Ellis of the 19th District received payments totaling $226,155 from 1995 through 2009 for a farm in Bloomington, WI
  • Sheila Harsdorf of the 10th District, is 50% owner in Trim-bel Valley Farms in River Falls WI, received payments totaling $194,763 from 1995 through 2009.
  • Luther Olsen of the 14th District, 20% owner in Riverview Farm, received payments totaling $84,232 from 1999 through 2009
  • Dale Schultz of the 17th District received payments totaling $61,171 from 2000 through 2009 for a farm in Richland Center, WI

rebeccaofsunnybrookfarmOriginal DVD cover

The four Republican Senators applied for, and received taxpayer funded subsidies in the categories below:

  • Direct payments are paid at a set rate every year regardless of conditions.
  • Counter-cyclical payments are triggered when market prices fall below certain thresholds.
  • A new revenue assurance program provides for overall profitability for a given crop.
  • Marketing loans offer very favorable terms whereby farmers can realize tremendous gains through loan deficiency payments (LDPs) and commodity certificates.
  • Disaster payments recoup large losses due to natural phenomena. And the government subsidizes crop insurance, paying 100% of the premium, to further insulate farmers from risk. (Meanwhile the same legislators oppose the government subsidized health insurance for their neediest constituents.)
  • Conservation Subsidies – this is a pork barrel payment to ‘retired’ farmers who own land and don’t grow anything at all. Taxpayers handed out about $6,000 each year since 2000 to Sen. Schultz for his idle acres.

It is important to note, not all Wisconsin farmers look to the government for handouts. According to the USDA, 40% of  eligible Wisconsin farmers did not collect farm subsidy checks.


At least three of the Wisconsin state Senate Republicans currently demanding that public workers sacrifice benefits, wages and even collective bargaining rights for the sake of the budget have applied for and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal farm subsidies, a Huffington Post review of state and federal records shows.


Those federal appropriations had no direct impact on the state’s current budget woes, but the cash spent on those subsidies, which went to support a range of functions — from soybean production to small hog operations — could have been used elsewhere, perhaps even in Wisconsin. More than that, critics say, it muddles the notion, pushed by these lawmakers and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), that only they are serious about reining in an overextended, overspent government.

“Members of both parties … preach fiscal austerity all the time, but then when it comes to farm subsides going to farmers in their districts, they think the spigot should remain wide open,” said Don Carr, a spokesman and policy adviser for the Environmental Working Group, which tracks and critiques federal farm subsidies.

As Carr acknowledged, there is more than a little irony in the use of government largess by the same senators now demanding that public workers tighten their belts.

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Filed under humor, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

38 responses to “Cash Crops

  1. jean-philippe

    You were kind to avoid displaying all the BS of the Republican Senators on the poster.

    Did you see what’s going on in Michigan? (sorry, it’s at 10:45)

    • there’s not a poster big enough to include all the bs of the rethugs. ol’ sheila will have to be the posterchild.

      i was shocked at what’s going on in michigan. how are they going to explain that to the kids in school as being a part of a democratic system? i’m waiting for neon vincent to chime in. he’s our michigan correspondent.

      • jean-philippe

        I thought Synder was one of these moderate Republicans after seeing this ad. I was wrong…

        • As someone from Michigan, I can tell you that you weren’t alone. He fooled a lot of people here. He got a lot of people to cross over to the Republican primary to vote for him to stop a bunch of candidates who were known to be worse.

          • i wish we had that excuse in floriduhhh. in some other states, people were lied to and are now surprised at what they got. rick scott was a shitbag before he ran, when he ran, and he’s a shitbag now. there’s no excuse for anyone voting for him.

          • Neon, I’m thinking we havta let the worst Repugs actually get the nomination; the bigger the liar the better; they are so effin’ wack there’s no way they should ever get elected.

            • and if they do win, it means a rethug might have won anyway. so, why not have the most foul individual there to be the face of the party? sometimes, you lose the battle, but you win the war.

        • the narrator’s voice sounds very familiar, and it’s driving me crazy as to who it is.

  2. It makes sense that welfare Republicans get farm welfare. They’re swine.

  3. Al

    Hi Nonnie’
    Excellent post, exposing my fellow Republicans for their same old stale message of “do as I say, not as I do”…cannot wait until some of the more moderate voices within our ranks become the majority, and usher in a sense of fairness across the board. Oh, well, I’ll keep dreaming…

    Have a great week!

    • You make me mind my generalizations, Al. Do you see those qualifiers? 😉

      • Al

        Hi Melissa!
        Should our paths not cross electronically today before noon, have a safe and wonderful weekend. Same to you, Nonnie.

    • hi al! 😀 i was just replying to you over at m’liss’s place.

      i’m finding it harder and harder to recall what the republican party used to be like. i don’t know if the moderates can survive. i think they should break off and form a new party. otherwise, there are going to be nothing but rightwing teabaggers coming out of primaries.

      • Al

        So nice to be thought of, Nonnie–Thanks!

        Your accurate assessment of things within the Republican ranks at present is spot on. Sadly, the only way this national nightmare can end is if the Moderates dare break away, and restore order…otherwise the status-quo at present is blindly playing “chicken” with a very slippery slope…

        • the rules have to be changed, too, al. the gerrymandering has to stop, campaigns should be publicly financed, the campaign season needs to be much shorter, and the primary/caucus system needs to overhauled. until those things happen, nothing is going to change, and you can say goodbye to the republican party.

  4. MNLatteLiberal

    Are you watching this?
    Those 18 Rethugs in the Senate just threw rules, procedures and their beloved Constitution out the window?!

    I am going to go back and increase by Orange to Blue effort to recall the 8 thugs eligible for recall:

    Can you contribute $8 to the recall effort, $1 for each of the eight targeted Republican Senators?

    I (am sorry if this is against the rules of your blog, nonnie, but i am outraged, and) urge all the readers to help as much as they can to the recall effort. Democracy has to start at home.

    ~ Latte

  5. jeb

    GOP = Got our Piece.
    Rethugs and hypocrisy. What are the odds?

  6. The good news for these guys is that they made the big time. The bad news is that they made the big time this way. I guess they want to imitate Michele Bachmann in the worst possible way. They’ve succeeded.

    Is this the first time state legislators who are not running for statewide or federal office have had top billing here on the Raisin?

    • i’ve featured some of the asswipes in arizona’s legislature and sheriff arpaio. there might have been others, but i’d have to check. there were probably a few here and there. maybe jerry, raisin historian extraordinaire, will know.

  7. and the media – they love the circus. i really hope this recall gets traction

    • the unions and the dems finally got enough people together so that the media couldn’t ignore them. if there are more than 3 teabaggers in close proximity, there are 20 tv cameras on them. it takes a lot more for them to notice anyone else (unless it’s some drunk or stoned worthless celeb).

  8. Sounds like all hell is breaking loose in Wisconsin.
    Back in the State Capitol. Whose building? the people’s building. The cops refusing to arrest protestors (much to their credit).

    Walker better have his walkin’ shoes ready.
    Because Karma’s a bitch.
    He threw the Unions under the bus.
    Guess who is going to get thrown under the bus next?
    One EX Guv Scott Walker.

    Those funky farm subsidies. What an outrage.
    They don’t want workers to have bargaining collective rights,
    maybe because they are so busy @ the trough of pork funding.
    Fake Farm Welfare??
    Hell who amongst us could not use $6000 bucks a year for *doing nothing*???

    As an aside the FL teabag Guv Rick Scott…. how in the hell did he get elected?
    Pled Guilty to 14 felonies. Paid $1.7 billion in fines.
    He gets elected???

    Is it just me or you feel like we are in some kind of Political Twilight Zone?
    Are we being Punk’d or what???

  9. Posting in s a different format

    • i wonder how isolate walker is. does he think that he’s hotshit now that he’s the first rethug gov to kill collective bargaining? is he so blinded by his own ego that he thinks the people love him? it will be so sweet watching his career circle the drain. too bad we have to wait a year to see him kicked out on his ass.

      rick scott, the walking penis, never pled guilty to anything, and he never paid a dime in penalties. he left the company before all the shit went down. how did he get elected? the teabaggers voted, and a lot of lazy-ass people couldn’t be bothered. i can’t tell you how many people i literally begged to go vote only to be given excuse after excuse why they weren’t going to. hope they’ll all be happy when their national parks are turned into golf courses. yes, that’s in the walking penis’s plan.

      • He is one slimy bastard! It is a shocker to think he got elected.
        The entire state did not have 1 better offering than this slick felony crime guy????
        Even though he slinked away, he obviously was involved in the crimes.

        • he wasn’t just involved in the crimes, the crimes were his entire business plan. how did he get elected? for one thing, there is no democratic machine left in floriduhhh. they run the same people over and over again, and they keep losing.

  10. Yes, your criminal gov does look like s perverse sex toy. Can’t recall any minor archive figures but will keep an eye out. Days like today make you wonder if any of it is worth the effort. As Mr. Natural once said to Flakey Font: “The whole world is TOTALLY INSANE!” One thing is for sure, our Betters are closing in fast. Does modern goper politics ever remind anyone of multi-level marketing? Should be a crowd in Madison tommorrow. My favorite story today has got to be the Grinch explaining away his poon lust. Why the almighty is so busy dealing with his sex problems and wiping up semen, that there is just no time left for those 20,000 little kids that die every day.

    • rick scott looks like a reince priebus. 😆

      i was going to do a poster about newtie for tonight, but i got distracted by the goings-on in wisconsin. the rethugs are spitting in the faces of workers everywhere, and if they think it’s going to end well for them, they are sadly mistaken. they’re arrogant and smarmy, and people don’t like them. i hope every single rethug eligible for recall gets recalled, even if they’re replaced by more moderate rethugs rather than dems.