Vicky Hartzler, the newly-elected representative from Missouri, has a problem. With Tea Party backing, she ran on a campaign of cutting government spending. According to the Environmental Working Group, she and her husband have received more than $770,000 in farm subsidies over the past 15 years.
In the year 2012 she will have to vote on the Farm Bill.
I caught up with her recently.
Ken: Vicki, your campaign was about cutting spending. And yet you are quoted as supporting the Farm Bill, which adds more than $60 billion annually to the deficit. Can you explain?
Vicki: Sure, Ken. I am opposed to Spending, not spending. Do you see the difference?
Ken: How dumb can I be? "It's the capitalization, stupid". That is what you are saying, isn't it?
Vicki: Exactly. Spending, with the capital "S", is wasteful government spending. The other spending, in lower case, is good spending. You have bad Spending and good spending. Do you see now?
Ken: I'm getting there. Can you elaborate on "good spending"?
Vicki: Good spending is whatever is required for our national security.
Ken: Oh, I see. Now, just for the sake of our readers, can you explain something? How is paying farmers not to plant crops a national security issue?
Vicki: I'm glad you asked. You see, Ken, farmers are the backbone of the country. Or, to put it another way, farms are the back yard of our country. Without these farms, we would be in deep trouble.
Ken: Oh, I get it!! Don't tell me! Not In My Backyard, is that it??
Ken: Thanks for your time, Vicki. I feel so much better about where our country is headed.