WHAT THE HEY?!? “Millions in subsidies go to dead farmers” goes the header in The Seattle Times on July 31, 2013. Well, like who needs a good old-fashioned federal government, taxpayer-funded subsidy more than a dead farmer? After all, he’s bloody dead! Who’s gonna run the farm if he’s not there?
Actually, these dead farmers could still be running their farms—if they are zombies. I know, I know: there is absolutely no scientific evidence for the existence of zombies, but, as the Rep*blicans have made clear for thirty years, science is just full of “theerees,” not facts.
Hell’s Belles, zombie-ism has almost as much belief backing it as creationism, and the conservatives are fighting to get that taught in high schools!
The money is not a big issue here: the total amount is estimated to have been “$10.6 million in payments between 2008 and 2012 to more than 1,000 people who had been dead for more than a year.”
Knowing nothing other than these figures, a very rough estimate would indicate that we are talking about $10,000 per farm household.
This photo was taken from The Walking Dead (Season 9, Episode 2, “The Bridge”). Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC. At the time that I write this in May 2020, I am about to binge-watch the second season of this series.
Those damned do-gooders
The article discusses possible overpayments involving insurance (a different topic entirely) and busting up a fraud ring in North Carolina that involved farmers, insurance agents, claims adjusters, and others.
What the article does NOT mention is exactly where these payments are going and to whom. Somebody is receiving them there gov’ment checks, signing them, and depositing them. But maybe that somebody ain’t a zombie farmer . . .
As for my original question above—Who needs a good old-fashioned federal government, taxpayer-funded subsidy more than a dead farmer?—well, it seems there’s an answer:
“Not only are unlimited crop insurance subsidies flowing to the largest and most successful farm businesses, they are now going to deceased policyholders. This irresponsible use of scarce taxpayer dollars reinforces just how broken the system is.”
So sayeth Scott Faber, vice president for government affairs of the Environmental Working Group, which has been critical of farm subsidies.
And there go those damned do-gooders, blaming big business and a corrupt government agency or process. Let’s do the Occam’s razor thing and stick with the zombie farmers, okay?