For those interested in voting for a free market, limited government candidate in Iowa, the Iowa Corn Growers Association report card will be of great interest, once properly understood.
In the name of friendliness to agriculture, the report grades candidates on their past efforts in regard to “ethanol, farm programs, trade, EPA and transportation,” from the perspective of the Association’s stated goal: “to create an economic climate in which the Iowa corn industry will flourish.”
The group’s header states it more bluntly: “Creating Opportunities for Long-Term Corn Grower Profitability.”
Two words: farm subsidies.
Aided by the group’s admitted “lobbying and legislative efforts,” Iowa ranks first in the nation in Federal Corn subsidies—direct bailouts of the otherwise unprofitable corn industry, annually. Between 1995 and 2010, Iowa corn growers have raked in a startling $14.2 billion in bailouts.
“Corn Grower Profitability” indeed!
With this entitlement and bailout mentality on the part of the Association in mind, it is instructive to see which Presidential candidates it grades highly. Free markets proponents like Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann come in last: Paul with an “D” and Bachmann a “D+”.
Meanwhile, establishment Republicans like Newt Gingrich (“A”), Rick Santorum (“A-”) and Mitt Romney (“B”) topped the pack, right along side Barack Obama (“B”).
So in regard to the willingness to continue billions in subsidies to feed powerful lobbyists, you can see which candidates stand firm for free markets, and which will spend your tax money to get votes. You just have to look at the reports card backwards.
Meanwhile, the agribusiness lobby is among the top-10 largest in the nation, out of 121 listed. The National Corn Growers Assoc.—with whom the Iowa group partnered for the report—spends nearly half a million dollars yearly lobbying Congress. Agribusiness in general spent a whopping $92 million this year alone, and often breaks the $100 million mark per year.
For these political expenditures and campaign contributions, the Corn Growers Associations expect “farm friendly” bailouts to continue subsidizing their otherwise unmarketable jobs every year, propping up industries Americans would otherwise not pay for.
The effects in our food and other markets is negative as well. For a great review of the behemoth corn industry and its backwards effects on the American economy, see the documentary King Corn. Also, read my articles on Free Markets.