Monday, June 27, 2011

Michele Bachmann - Corporate Welfare Queen

From the L.A. Times:

Reporting from Washington— Rep. Michele Bachmann has been propelled into the 2012 presidential contest in part by her insistent calls to reduce federal spending, a pitch in tune with the big-government antipathy gripping many conservatives.


But the Minnesota Republican and her family have benefited personally from government aid, an examination of her record and finances shows. A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.


And she has sought to keep federal money flowing to her constituents. After publicly criticizing the Obama administration's stimulus program, Bachmann requested stimulus funds to support projects in her district. Although she has been a fierce critic of earmarks — calling them "part of the root problem with Washington's spending addiction" — the congresswoman nonetheless argued recently that transportation projects should not be considered congressional pork.

Next time you get one of those chain emails about the black lady with 8 kids in the supermarket paying for steaks and lobster with her food stamps, remember Michele Bachmann.  Send this link back to all the recipients.  Here are some details:
 
Yet despite her broadsides against "socialized medicine," Bachmann's husband, Marcus, applied for public funds for his counseling clinic, Bachmann & Associates. Since 2006, he has received nearly $30,000, according to Minnesota state records. The bulk of the money — $24,041 — came in the form of grants from the state Department of Human Services to train staff how to deal with clients suffering from chemical dependency and mental illness. That program was financed in part by the federal government.


Michele Bachmann lists the Lake Elmo, Minn.-based clinic — which aims to provide "quality Christian counseling in a sensitive, loving environment," according to its website — as one of her assets on her financial disclosure forms.

Another of Bachmann's assets — a family farm owned by her late father-in-law, Paul Bachmann — received nearly $260,000 in federal money between 1995 and 2008, largely from corn and dairy subsidies, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization that scrutinizes such subsidies. Paul Bachmann died in May 2009, but the congresswoman retains a partnership in the farm.



Bachmann said in December that the subsidies went to her in-laws and she never received "one penny" from the farm, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. However, in financial disclosure forms, she reported receiving between $32,503 and $105,000 in income from the farm, at minimum, between 2006 and 2009.

Publicly, Bachmann has objected strongly to federal farm payments.

When she voted against the 2008 farm bill, a $307-billion package that would govern federal agriculture policy for five years, Bachmann declared that it was "loaded with unbelievably outrageous pork and subsidies for agricultural business and ethanol growers." She was one of two nays cast by Minnesota's eight-member delegation.

Well, good for her on that one.  If the government is going to throw your money at Michele Bachmann, she'd be a fool not to take it. 
But isn't it sorta sickening to see how much of your money the government gives to just one millionaire?  And then to realize this particular millionaire is just one recipient among several million others who get a big payout from Uncle Sam? 

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The pic of the Welfare Queen came from here.  The Corporatism poster came from here.  Looks like Dan McCall's fine work, but I'm not sure. 

4 comments:

Montana said...

All hail to Astroturf TeaBparty Queen (ASQ), Michele Bachmann. Isn't she the one that who rails against the Federal Government while every year she benefits from farm subsidies and adopts kids to work them on same farm. Oh yeah she is also a self-proclaimed historian on the US Founding Fathers and US history. The sad truth she will lie to get her way, what honor is there in that? But if you manipulate our US history and double down when you are found out, well don’t go crying to Fake News when you lose. Kind of like the Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Most recent quitter of her Bus Tour to restore America). We remember what happen when after “W” manipulate Florida to win the presidency and his failure to win any of the two wars he started that devastated our treasury and ruined our economy for the next 50 years. If the GOP thinks that Michele Bachmann is the answer, good luck with that.

Cedric Katesby said...

Michele Bachmann is not only a self-proclaimed historian.
She's also a self-proclaimed scientist.
It scares me that a person like this can be a viable political leader in the most powerful nation on the planet.
Reality is not a multiple choice question where you get to go with the answer that just "feels fine" to you.

Nick said...

I totally agree with the farm subsidies but not necessarily with the fees for counseling.

Governments purchase many goods and services consistent with their statutory powers. While the federal government might greatly overstep its Constitutional powers, states have rather broad "police powers" and may lawfully spend on many things we don't consider prudent.

For example, the US government insures reverse mortgages for seniors. I don't seem to recall seeing any specified power which allows them to do this. The law requires that seniors receive counseling prior to taking out a reverse mortgage, and those counselors are paid by the government, partially out of fees collected on the loans.

It might be illegal or unwise for the government to insure reverse mortgages, but it's not hypocritical to be in the business of providing counseling to seniors about the suitability and characteristics of the loan which comes from a PRIVATE bank.

If the Veterans Administration contracted psychiatrists to counsel war veterans, would that be illegal? Would it be hypocritical to perform that work if you were opposed to government spending (in general) and that war (in particular). I think not. You're providing services to a patient, not a government and not a policy.

If the government established a single-payer medical system, should every doctor opposed to such a system stop practicing medicine?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Nick,

Let's stick with the root causes here. The purpose of our current government is to generate more spending. They would invade Toronto if they thought there more votes and more opportunities for patronage in it.
Would lots of casualties from an invasion of Toronto create more opportunities to hire more counselors? Yep.
More spending on medical treatment for wounded soldiers? Yep.
Would it create more government dependents, more people whose businesses depend on war? Yep.

I honestly believe that the current regime takes that kind of stuff into account and sees it as a plus.

May God have mercy on my soul.