Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
The Season of Giving … With Government, It Never Ends

You just gotta love those self-styled anti-government Republocrats. First this, from an article by Yasha Levine titled: “Michelle Bachmann: Welfare Queen,” published recently at the leftist truthdig.com:

“Michele Bachmann has become well known for her anti-government tea-bagger antics, protesting health care reform and every other government “handout” as socialism. What her followers probably don’t know is that Rep. Bachmann is, to use that anti-government slur, something of a welfare queen. That’s right, the anti-government insurrectionist has taken more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts thanks to corrupt farming subsidies she has been collecting for at least a decade.

“And she’s not the only one who has been padding her bank account with taxpayer money.

“Bachmann, of Minnesota, has spent much of this year agitating against health care reform, whipping up the so-called tea-baggers with stories of death panels and rationed health care. She has called for a revolution against what she sees as Barack Obama’s attempted socialist takeover of America, saying presidential policy is ‘reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.’

“But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.”

So much for rejecting government socialism and defending free markets (which of course is impossible while government exists at all in the first place – in this regard, even quasi-libertarian Texas congressman and 2008 Republican presidential primary candidate Ron Paul, never so hypocritically involved in such hijinx, is powerless to be a purist). The article goes further:

“Chuck Grassley, the longtime Republican senator from Iowa who warns his constituents of Obama’s ‘trend toward socialism,’ has seen his family collect $1 million in federal handouts over an 11-year period, with Grassley’s son receiving $699,248 and the senator himself pocketing $238,974. Even Grassley’s grandson is learning to ride through life on training wheels, snagging $5,964 in 2005 and $2,363 in 2006. In the Grassley family they learn early how to enjoy other people’s money.
“Sen. Grassley railed against government intervention in the health care market, telling The Washington Times, ‘Whenever the government does more … that’s a movement toward socialism.’ As the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, he ought to know, especially because the government has done more for him and his kin than for Americans struggling with high medical bills and mortgages. Even the free-market think tank the Heritage Foundation criticized Grassley on his deep connections to farming interests and his stubborn lack of transparency.”

So it seems Bachmann is not the only right-wing farmer on the take. But after all, ‘tis the season of giving – a season that never ends in Washington, or at any level of political government. The problem is, it’s never your choice or mine whether we “give” our money to the politicians and their heavily armed bureaucrat minions. We pay at gunpoint, they play at leisure – all the while preening and posturing as if we actually needed them. As if they were actually doing or producing something useful.

When I give gifts to my friends and family this Christmas, I’m doing it because these are special people in my life who I care about. When I give forced tribute to government at Christmas, and every other day of the year, I do it to avoid being shot dead – the ultimate result of continued and determined resistance to the aggression the State initiates against us all.

Take some time to examine the difference this holiday season, and then you decide which you like better.

For me, an anarchist, it will always be peace on earth, good will to women and men everywhere.