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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cultivating A Lack Of Ideas

In which Rand Paul tries to upend Jack Conway with a tired and all too pointless conservative line as the two were debating in Kentucky in front of an audience of farmers.

The state has about 485,000 farm families, according to Mark Haney, president of the state Farm Bureau Federation, and in his opening remarks, Paul promised to "fight for the Kentucky farmer against an overzealous government."

Responding to a question moments later, Conway attacked.

"My opponent has stated unequivocally on the record that he wants to do away with the Agriculture Department and he wants to do away with farm subsidies" — positions that Paul denies holding.

Conway added that about 75 percent of farm bill funds that reach Kentucky are for nutrition programs such as federally subsidized school lunches and breakfasts that serve hundreds of thousands of children.

"Are we going to do away with that? Are we going to do away with that in these difficult economic times?" he said.

The rest, he said, give "farmers the assurance they can have a good season," and create a cushion against a devastating year.

But Paul said, "You can stand up here and pander and you can say we will give you what you want or you can acknowledge that our country has problems."

He added, "We are drowning in a sea of debt. And it's not whether you're for or against farmers. If you want to be for farmers, open up markets, Jack. But don't just say you're for farmers when the money is gone."

Having grown up on a family farm, I know that government programs that were available to us helped us through times of struggle and assisted in much of the success that we saw in the early to mid-80s. There was even a government program out there that we used that called for no crops to be grown on specific "set-aside" portions of land. That one I never understood, but that's for another time.

So Rand Paul's plan to bolster the agricultural sector of Kentucky is to "open markets"? Seriously, what does that even mean - this vague and utterly lazy concept of "free markets" in modern America?



Irony is so delicious, isn't it.

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