Many people who vote Republican feed at the public trough.  


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 College votes.  

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.  


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