U.S. federal government largesse. Books have been written about it. Entire political careers built around it. Yet we never seem to do much about stemming waste, fraud, abuse of federal tax dollars. Why? Because there is so much of it and folks just do not know where to start.
The Pigford farmer cases is a great example of a federal program abused from inception but there was no political courage to stop it. A small federal program meant to compensate black farmers for discrimination by USDA officials, the effort blossomed like a weed to include Americans of Hispanic descent and other minorities. National Review succinctly summarizes the matter:
[it] resembles in organization and aim a criminal conspiracy of breathtaking proportions, and one in which the federal government was first complicit and then ultimately responsible.
You can read more about Pigford here. The scandal was initially exposed by Andrew Brietbart and nobody believed him. Some liberals even mocked him. Now, even the New York Times has had to admit that he was right all along. Well, sort of. The Times never admits they were wrong.
Sequestration, so far, has been a good thing. It is forcing people and companies who make a living from federal government contracts, or work for the federal government, to make tough decisions about the future. States, cities, and localities are slowly coming to the realization that Uncle Sam will not be able to bail them out all the time.
What about the farmers? This is the tragic part of this matter. These folks were used. They were used a political pawns by the left and other liberals. They suffered twice. They were discriminated against by federal government workers and, afterwards, they were politically used by the political class. There is no compassion here. There can’t be and never will be. Governments are not designed to be in the compassion business. Frankly, this is a big issue with the immigration reform debate but no one will say it. I’ll be writing more in the days ahead about the immigration industrial complex.
Pigford should upset every American, no matter if your Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. As we enter the federal budget season, take note of this case. There are many others like it. Congress should be poring over the federal budget and eliminating federal programs and, if there were the political will to do, entire federal programs and agencies.