We learned last year that Minnesota Congresswoman and anti-government, anti-socialism crusader Michelle Bachmann is herself a beneficiary of government socialism: her family farm collected over a quarter-million dollars in farm subsidies from 1995 to 2006.
But Bachmann's a piker compared to South Dakota's Iron Lady-in-waiting, Kristi Noem. During that same period, the newest U.S. House candidate, who works our pro-life anti-government factions into such a froth that they need a good cold shower, eleven-tupled Bachmann's farm welfare haul. As Middle Border Sun reports, the Environmental Working Group database shows that Noem's Racota Valley Ranch received $2,765,175 in government handouts, most of that for corn, soybean, and wheat production.
Noem has a 16.9% ownership stake in Racota Valley Ranch. The operation, which apparently spans three counties, was the single largest recipient of federal subsidies in Hamlin County:
✴ ownership information available
|Location||Total USDA Subsidies |
|1||Racota Valley Ranch ∗||Hazel, SD 57242||$2,598,827|
|2||Bochek Stock Farms ∗||Vienna, SD 57271||$1,834,856|
|3||Clarmont Hutterian Brethren Inc ∗||Castlewood, SD 57223||$1,389,763|
|4||Poinsett Hutterian Brethren Inc ∗||Estelline, SD 57234||$1,363,047|
|5||Terrance Lee Hilliard||Bryant, SD 57221||$1,194,959|
|6||Nathan N Lakness||Hayti, SD 57241||$1,082,698|
|7||Leiseth Farms Inc ∗||Hazel, SD 57242||$996,724|
|8||Ronald E Jongeling||Castlewood, SD 57223||$967,193|
|9||Milton A Lakness||Hayti, SD 57241||$957,429|
|10||J Anderson Farm Inc ∗||Bryant, SD 57221||$921,281|
Data courtesy of Environmental Working Group
It takes two Hutterite colonies combined to beat her haul, and that's saying something!
For perspective, from my read of the EWG data, the average amount Hamlin County farmers received from Uncle Sam from 1995 to 2006 was just under $82,000, or about $7400 a year. Noem's ranch averaged $250,000 in government handouts each year.
Racota Valley Ranch's handout haul makes it the 16th largest farm subsidy recipient in South Dakota. That's out of 75,612 recipients.
Sigh. Just when I thought Noem might bring some fresh perspective to the House race, it turns out she's just another Tea Party faker, shaking her fist at big government holding out her other hand for payment.
Update 15:29 CST: Bob Mercer mentions that "some Democrats" have brought up the issue of candidates taking farm subsidies. Why he doesn't just say "Todd and Cory" is beyond me. Mercer notes that we can find Democrats and Republicans on the subsidy rolls. I maintain that receipt of federal farm welfare will be an issue for any candidate of any party who campaigns as a champion of the free market and an enemy of big government handouts. But I ask Bob: which party's candidates are shouting that message louder? And where oh where will the Tea Party crowd find anyone who really embodies their purported values?