We’ve already seen the rank hypocrisy of Republican legislators who repeatedly claimed that the stimulus bill didn’t create any jobs while simultaneously asking for stimulus funds for their district because it would create so many jobs. How about a Republican legislator who rails against food stamps “stealing” other people’s money but gets millions in farm subsidies himself? Rep. Stephen Fincer (R-TN), come on down. During a House hearing last week on food stamps and the new farm bill he said:
We are all here on this committee making decisions about other people’s money. We have to remember there is not a big printing press in Washington that continually prints money over and over. This is other people’s money that Washington is appropriating and spending.
And in an appearance in his district he declared:
The role of citizens, of Christians, of humanity is to take care of each other, but not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.
Well guess what?
USDA data collected in EWG’s 2013 farm subsidy database update — going live tomorrow –shows that Fincher collected a staggering $3.48 million in “our” money from 1999 to 2012. In 2012 alone, the congressman was cut a government check for a $70,000 direct payment. Direct payments are issued automatically, regardless of need, and go predominantly to the largest, most profitable farm operations in the country.
Fincher’s $70,000 farm subsidy haul in 2012 dwarfs the average 2012 SNAP benefit in Tennessee of $1,586.40, and it is nearly double of Tennessee’s median household income. After voting to cut SNAP by more than $20 billion, Fincher joined his colleagues to support a proposal to expand crop insurance subsidies by $9 billion over the next 10 years.
See, when you take taxpayer money and give it to poor people to help them survive, that’s “stealing” from taxpayers. When you give far larger numbers to relatively affluent legislators, that’s just fine. Because Jesus said so, or something.