County by county, farms receiving Federal insurance payments for crop
losses were tallied. Counties receiving $5 million or more
are darkest. The record is $216 million for one county.
Crops fail from bad weather, and hard-hit places are declared
a"disaster area". Federal disaster relief payments follow.
The US Dept of Agriculture left no county with a farm
untouched. Counties receiving $5 million or more in
payments are darkest. This weather disaster map overlaps
with the insurance map because many farms are double-dipping.
These programs have bought the country farms in areas where crops can
be expected to fail with good reliability. And then
there's "farming your insurance" instead of your crops -- you just
lower your costs (fertilizer and sprays) until the crop fails and
the insurance kicks in.
The map of states that went for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004 overlaps
with the maps for Federal crop insurance and disaster relief payments.
The map is based on polls a month before the election, so you can see
which states decided late in the game where to give their Electoral
Of course everyone knows that the country is evenly divided
politically. That's why our elections are so hard to call
and today fraud and breakdowns play relatively larger roles.
If the states are mapped -- again, county by county -- according
to the population they hold, we see a truer picture of the people's
will in the country today.
The Republican party unites sophisticated, wealthy
people with rural people who accept Federal payments.
Crop insurance and disaster payments are rising, and
totaled $5.3 billion in 2005. The Bush administration has paid out
nearly $24 billion through these farm programs since coming to power in
Y2000. Other program (price supports, soil bank payments for
growing no crops at all) hand out over $15 billion more each year.
Just as farmers double-dip on insurance and disaster payments, the Bush
administration is double-dipping too. Corporations -- private
insurance companies -- profit from running the costly crop insurance
program and rural people in Republican states get the claims payments.