National small-government nonprofits announce new joint venture

by Eli Lehrer on March 30, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC, APRIL 1, 2012— Five nationally known groups that favor spending restraint have announced their purchase of a farm in downstate Illinois. The Heartland Institute,Citizens Against Government Waste, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and Taxpayers for Common Sense will jointly own and operate the new venture.

“This will give a whole new meaning to ‘buying the farm,’” said Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz.

The farm, named“Greenback Acres,” will serve as a profit center and living laboratory for the organizations. Instead of aiming to produce any food or fiber, the farm will turn profits entirely by taking advantage of federal agricultural subsidies.

“Unlike the overwhelming majority of family farmers, who actually hew to the outdated notion that they should make money by growing things, caring for their land,and selling their products at market prices, we plan to take advantage of every loophole, subsidy, absurdity, and program in existence,” explained Greenback Acres General Manager Lirpa Sloof. “Although it may seem a bit hypocritical, it would be foolish for us to pass up a perfectly legal opportunity to begin soaking taxpayers everywhere in order to obtain the resources needed to continue our fight against wasteful spending.”

Sloof says the farm provides a variety of surefire taxpayer-supported moneymaking strategies. Among them:

  • As much land as possible at Greenback Acres will be enrolled in the “Conservation Reserve”program that will pay the farm’s owners not to grow anything on the land.
  • Like other farms all over the country, Greenback Acres will be eligible for “direct payments”based on crops it does not grow and has not grown in the recent past.
  • The farm’s management will take advantage of heavily taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance by planting highly speculative crops subject to frequent market fluctuations inerosion-prone areas.
  • Government-subsidized crop insurance will produce guaranteed returns—if natural events destroy the crops, taxpayers will pick up the bill. Likewise, Greenback’s owners will collect if market prices for the crops decline.

“I can’t wait to be guaranteed an annual salary that’s twice that of the average American family thanks to price controls and subsidies,” said Kelly William Cobb,government affairs manager at Americans for Tax Reform. “Plus, taxpayers are going to pay us not to farm on half of our land!”

“Instead of raising corn or cattle, we will be raising cash at Greenback Acres,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “After years of working to stop the subsidy gravy train, we figured we’d take it for a ride and harvest the cornucopia of agriculture subsidies sown by Congress.”

“At Greenback Acres,our business will be receiving pork from Washington rather than actually making pork products,” said Andrew Moylan, vice president of government affairs for the National Taxpayers Union. “We look forward to wallowing in taxpayer subsidies for years to come.”

“When we looked at the astonishing range of guaranteed-money programs available to farms, we realized it was such a good deal we couldn’t afford not to take advantage,”said Eli Lehrer, vice president of The Heartland Institute. “After all,usually you need to be a member of Congress before the taxpayers start paying you good money for doing absolutely nothing.”

For additional information, please contact:

Eli Lehrer
Vice President, The Heartland Institute
202/615-0586
elehrer@heartland.org

Leslie Paige
Vice President, Citizens Against Government Waste
202/467-5334
lpaige@cagw.org

Steve Ellis
Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense
202/546-8500
steve@taxpayer.net

Peter Sepp
Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union
703/683-5700
pressguy@ntu.org

Kelly William Cobb
Government Affairs Manager
Americans for Tax Reform
202/785-0266
kcobb@atr.org

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