According to a report from the Environmental Working Group, federal farm subsidies were paid to fifty billionaires and other businesses in which the billionaires held a financial stake, and their payouts are about to increase if proposed changes to the farm bill are passed.
Newsmax reports that the billionaires who received the $11.3 million in farm subsidies from 1995-2012 have a $316 billion collective net worth. The identities of those making money from farm subsidies was determined when the Environmental Working Group matched its Farm Subsidy Database with the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.
A few of the most notable names on the list includes Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft; Charles Ergen, co-founder of Dish Network; Penny Pritzker, U.S. commerce secretary; and S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A according to Newsmax. I decided to dig a little deeper to find out who benefits from these billionaires political donations.
Charles Ergen appears to be the second most active in his political donations and all individual donations, with the exception of a couple of bones thrown to John McCain & Joe Barton, went to Democrats. Ergen donated at least $310,664 to politicians and political action committees.
Paul Allen donated almost $90,000 and he greased the skids of both Republican and Democratic politicians. Obama's Commerce Secretary Penny Sue Pritzker was the most active in her political donations and all of her money went to various Democrats. Pritzker donated at least $325,000 to Democrats from 2008 through 2014 election cycles. S. Truett Cathy donated the least amount of cash to politicians. Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey received a grand total of $3,500 from the Chic-fil-A founder.
If we are willing to cull three to five million Americans from the welfare rolls, we also must be willing to cut the farm subsidies for billionaires. It should also be illegal for members of Congress to benefit from federal farm subsidies.
Fifteen members of the U.S. House and Senate or their spouses benefited from federal farm subsidies last year. Fourteen Republican lawmakers received over $7 million since 2004 in subsidies. If you would like to contact the federal lawmakers in charge the farm bill, follow this LINK.
Charles W. Ergen, co-founder of Dish Network
2008 to 2014 campaign cycles.