While everyone agrees that government should reduce fraud and waste, get specific and join Liz Smith and Joan Ganz Cooney in the Conversation.
Joan Ganz Cooney: There’s no question for me: farm subsidies. For sentimental reasons, I guess, the government gives money to small farmers to keep them in business. Our food supply has for years come from giant corporations known as the agribusiness. They could supply the entire world with food. A very wealthy friend of mine has a small farm and accepts government subsidies. I asked her once how she could in good conscience do that and she without a hint of irony answered, “The farm wouldn’t be profitable without the subsidies.” While I recognize that most small farmers are far from wealthy and would have to go out of business without subsidies, so would the shoe repair shop on the corner go out of business if his rent goes up or customers stop coming. In such a case, the government would not come to the rescue and that can be said about millions of small businesses in this country who go out of business every year. So why have we singled out small farmers who are serving no essential national purpose?
Liz Smith: Where to start? There are thousands of programs in the pig trough that are useless, like subsidizing the healthy growth of cucumbers and stuff like that. All government spending programs are considered important (to someone). It depends on whose ox is being gored. But here’s one – the subsidizing of tobacco farmers. We all know now that tobacco kills. So let’s kill that subsidy. It would save money, save lives and also – it would hurt the economy in some way. But that will always be the choice.
Anyway, it will never happen. Every time it comes up, Southern politicians nix it.
So, let’s save billions of dollars by pulling out of Afghanistan completely and sooner rather than later. We’d save money, lives and material. Then the more innocent among us can save cucumbers and American idiots can continue smoking.