Uh, no. However, in a lesson to all of us, John McCain is actually 100% right on the issue of eliminating the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP). McCain hates it and thinks it should go away. When I see who gets the money and what it’s for, I immediately agree with John McCain. For example:
Among groups receiving MAP funds in 2008 were the Florida Department of Citrus ($5.9 million); the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin ($351,000); the Cranberry Marketing Committee ($1.6 million), which has members in Michigan, Minnesota and Washington as well as New England.
The cotton and meat industries — centered in southern and western states crucial to the GOP — were the two largest recipients of MAP funds. In California, money went to organizations representing growers of strawberries, walnuts, cling peaches, pears, kiwifruit and pistachios.
Elimination of the program would hit the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, in the home state of McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The Institute got $5 million from MAP to promote exports in 2008.
I have to say I really doubt Sarah Palin would be able to give an informed opinion on this program. And even if she could, you just know she’d be all for the program once the election is over; she’s from Alaska, where the only thing they like better than proclaiming their macho independence is living off the lower 48′s tax dollars.
Anyway, you just know this sort of program is utter and complete shit; moreover, you just know that even if it did the teensiest bit of good the amount of money spent could do a whole hell of a lot more good somewhere else (rural development, anyone?). And of course, the socialist terrorist pal Barry Hussein Obama supports this crap:
And last year he [Obama] joined 10 other senators calling for expansion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP), which provides matching funds to non-profit U.S. agricultural trade associations, cooperatives and small business groups “to overcome trade barriers and build export markets overseas.”
Why Barry why?!!!? Damn, at least I can distinguish between social welfare and corporate welfare. But in a typical Democratic political calculation, Barry’s people (and you know it’s that Tom Daschle, dammit) have decided they must placate the big ag groups on every single issue to get votes in rural areas. Even though those groups have given TWICE as much money to McCain, who wants to kill their pet program. And you know if you were to explain this program to the average rural voter (including farmers) you’ll get a single, universal response: “That program sounds like horseshit”. It’s enough to make the head spin.
A while back John Crabtree asked me why sustainable ag/progressive rural types should look forward to an Obama administration. I’ve been meaning to write something on that. With news like this, you have to think there’s not all that much to look forward to, at least on the agriculture front.
Hat tip to the Faceless Bureacrat