Sunday, November 11, 2007

Farmer Dick DeVos rakes in the federal bucks

Did you know that Dick & Betsy are farmers? And that they received over $12,000 in federal subsidies for that over the last few years?

Neither did I. Neither did they, they claim anyway.

A must-read on the front page of today's GR Press entitled "Do your taxes feed the rich?" has all the details- but we knew the answer to that question already, didn't we?

Not everybody who gets crop subsidies is a farmer.

Consider Dick DeVos. That Dick DeVos. The former president of Alticor Inc., the son of one of the richest men in the country, the Republican who ran the most expensive campaign for governor in Michigan history.

He got more than $6,000 in federal farm subsidies from 2003 to 2005, mostly for corn.

His wife, Betsy, got an equal share.


Critics of the far-reaching farm bill, being debated in the U.S. Senate, hope to change that. They say too many millionaires, absentee landowners and big factory farms benefit from a program born in the 1930s to help family farmers survive the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.

Federal farm subsidies are not an area that I am well-versed in, and I'm not about to start now, but it is rather interesting in light of the fact that Dick makes such a big deal out of "spending" to learn that, once again, his family is a beneficiary of said spending.

Dick and Betsy DeVos' agricultural ground is 722 acres east of the Grand River in Ada Township, near Pettis and Egypt Valley avenues NE and south of Two Mile Road.

Their Ada Holdings LLC bought it parcel by parcel in the early 2000s for a total of more than $5.2 million, Ada Township property records show.

From 2001 to 2005, Ada Holdings raked in $30,413 in farm subsidies for corn, wheat and soybeans, according to USDA records released to the Environmental Working Group. Dick and Betsy DeVos' share was $6,530 each.

Dick DeVos, whose gubernatorial platform included cutting government waste and putting a "time limit on welfare," did not return phone calls for this story.

But spokesman John Truscott said the DeVoses were not aware they were getting subsidies.

Really? I guess with all that Wingnut Welfare pouring in the family bank accounts, it's hard to keep track of those little amounts, isn't it, John.

Everybody sing-a-long now… "Green Acres is the place to be..."