Thursday, October 06, 2005

Lane Evans: Obstructionist again

In a day and age when more and more of us nationwide are getting fed up with overhwlmingly bad fiscal decisions on the part of our elected representatives, Congressman Evans is objecting to another pragmatic move to cut pork. Nationwide, farmers have been recipients of huge slabs of pork, and not just from their pigpens. Subsidies have been given them for growing, for not growing, for changing, for staying the same, for expanding,for shrinking... jeepers, if I didn't have so many friends & family in the field, I'd be p*ssed at how much money they get!

And, now, the Farm Service Agency has announced a way that our county's office can be combined sensibly with two others', and Lane Evans wants to put a halt to it because... get this... "Our nation's producers count on FSA to provide them with the assistance necessary to ensure that all Americans can count on a safe and steady food supply...We can't allow those essential services to be weakened." If the FSA people think it can be done without losing the integrity of the program, what makes Evans so much more the expert on offices he likely has never set foot inside? And, isn't saving ALL taxpayers some money supposed to help everybody, including the farmers? Why should it be more helpful to keep redundant offices open, paying extra for upkeep on all of them? What does Evans really have against streamlining?

I do like having the Farm Bureau Building right where it is, here in Monmouth -- I have fond memories of many events both inside the building and out in the parking lot. But the FSA are not first-responders. They're kinda like a focused FEMA... they come to the financial aid of farmers in times of disaster, and they help folks plan in advance to avert some troubles. They don't have to be right next door, as long as they're within a reasonable drive (and most of us have no real problem with the occasional 25-mile or so drives to nearby communities). If a farmer can't drive that far, and the FSA can't send somebody on such a short hop, the program -- and the economy -- is in worse straits than Evans, even in his wildest fantasies, can remedy by keeping open more office buildings.

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