Welfare Cash Cows Graze On The Government Dole
A standoff near Bunkerville, Nevada recently pitted welfare-rancher Cliven Bundy and an armed mob of gun-totting wanna-be cowboy thugs against the Bureau of Land Mgt. Mr. Bundy, whose cows have fed at the Government trough for free since 1993, refuses to pay for his cows’ food via a grazing fee of a mere pittance of a $1.35 per cow per day. (non-government private-sector grazing costs are upwards of $20 per day) His armed supporters are the same teabagger “cowboys” who want the “gummit” out of their Medicare. Welfare King Bundy now owes the Government more than $1 million in unpaid fees. In other words, he owes the American people, you and me. We are subsidizing this welfare deadbeat and his welfare-grazing cash cows.
Here is Rancher Bundy riding an expensive four-shoed horse, probably driving an expensive Silverado truck and buying expensive prime cut steaks (and probably lobster, too). All on the Government’s dime. Or one hundred thousand dimes. Actual Food Stamp (SNAP) families have to feed themselves and their children on about $4 a day per family member. Bundy’s cows get an all-they-can-eat feast for $1.35 a day and refuse to even pay that amount.
And that’s just the surface of the welfare trough from which he is skim-milking the American taxpayer. According to Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West, “other subsidies include taxpayer-supported research at western land grant universities and agricultural exemptions that lower property taxes paid by ranchers. There are handouts to help with nearly every problem: drought relief, low-interest agricultural loans, emergency livestock feed programs, emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program lands, to name a few. Even many of the fences crisscrossing the West’s “open” spaces are paid for by American taxpayers.” The authors explain that there also exists an “abundance of federal and state funding that props up the industry, including below-market grazing fees, emergency feed programs, low-interest federal farm loans, and many other taxpayer-funded programs”….not counting the environmental costs of “soil erosion; degraded water quality and the costs of cleanup; the spread of exotic weeds and the subsequent reduction in plant community productivity; and the costs of saving species endangered by livestock production.” All these plus the social costs of negative health impacts of promoting a meat-intensive diet. Mr. Bundy, your cowboy days are over. Pay up, or git along little doggie.