Friday, November 16, 2012

Romney won counties biggest in farm subsidies

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was the overwhelming choice of voters in counties that receive the biggest federal farm subsidy payments, even though his campaign resounded with demands to end America's dependence on big government, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

The magazine's government analysis team ran the numbers this week and it found that nine of the 10 counties collecting the most in farm subsidies last year backed Romney. It determined that Stoddard County, Mo., a rice, corn and cotton producer in the southeast part of the state, voted for Romney over President Obama by the biggest margin, nearly 3 to 1. Farmers in that county got $13.5 million in farm subsidies in 2011, ranking seventh nationwide. Of the top 10 counties, Colusa County, Calif., received the most, at $19 million in 2011. The payments don’t include crop insurance indemnities that fluctuate widely among regions from year to year because of weather disasters, explained Bloomberg's Alan Bjerga.

“Farmers vote Republican but they like Democratic programs,” said former U.S. Rep. Charles Stenholm of Texas, who served as the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee and is now a lobbyist. “They consider themselves to be conservative, and if something is important to them, then they don’t consider that liberal.” (Read more)

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