Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stupidest Thing I've Read So Far Today

Forrest Laws from the Delta Farm Press has this to say:
If you report more than $200,000 on the adjusted gross income line of your tax return, the Bush administration doesn’t think you should receive a commodity program payment.
If you do, that puts you in the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers, and you’re too affluent to be participating in commodity programs, said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, speaking at the National Cotton Council’s annual meeting.
Schafer’s comments started me thinking. President Bush and Vice President Cheney receive more than $200,000 a year in salary and benefits. Both probably continue to receive earnings from oil and gas company investments.
Apples and oranges Forrest. Commodity program payments are not the product of investments. They are provided at the pleasure of the government. So if the government decides to eliminate all program payments tomorrow, or double them tomorrow, there is nothing you can do about it other that cry or celebrate. An investment implies that you own the right to receive income from the asset. Those receiving commodity program payments do not own that right. (Although they may feel entitled to it.) It can be expanded or contracted at the will of the government.
Also, how about not making the case for continued commodity program payments on the basis of envy? "Bush and Cheney have this, so I should to!" Moral bankruptcy at its finest!

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