Robbing Peter to pay Paul - Pigford II settlement

The payouts keep happening. The latest is the Pigford II payout to Black farmers. Zombie has a good pr�cis:

Pigford v. Glickman: 86,000 claims from 39,697 total farmers?
I'm confused.

If there are only 39,697 African-American farmers grand total in the entire country, then how can over 86,000 of them claim discrimination at the hands of the USDA? Where did the other 46,303 come from?

Now, if you're confused over what the heck I'm even talking about, let's go back to the beginning of the story:

Pigford v. Glickman
In 1997, 400 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that they had been unfairly denied USDA loans due to racial discrimination during the period 1983 to 1997. The farmers won the case, known as Pigford v. Glickman, and in 1999 the government agreed to pay $50,000 each to any farmer who had been wrongly denied an agricultural loan. By then it had grown into a class action case, and any black farmer who had filed a complaint between 1983 and 1997 would be given at least $50,000 -- not limited to the original 400 plaintiffs. It was estimated at that time that there might be as many as 2,000 beneficiaries granted $50,000 each.

According to the summary of the case linked above:
Originally, claimants were to have filed within 180 days of the consent decree. Late claims were accepted for an additional year afterwards, if they could show extraordinary circumstances that prevented them from filing on time.

Far beyond the anticipated 2,000 affected farmers, 22,505 'Track A' applications were heard and decided upon, of which 13,348 (59%) were approved. US$995 million had been disbursed or credited to the 'Track A' applicants as of January 2009, including US$760 million disbursed as US$50,000 cash awards. Beyond those applications that were heard and decided upon, about 70,000 petitions were filed late and were not allowed to proceed. Some have argued that the notice program was defective, and others blamed the farmers' attorneys for the inadequate notice and overall mismanagement of the settlement agreement. A provision in the 2008 farm bill essentially allowed a re-hearing in civil court for any claimant whose claim had been denied without a decision that had been based on its merits.
Then on February 23 of this year, the USDA finally consented to pay $1.25 billion to those farmers whose claims had earlier been denied:
In the 1999 case Pigford v. Glickman, the USDA agreed to pay 16,000 black farmers $1 billion after a judge held the federal government responsible for the decline in black farmers. Critics argued that more than 70,000 farmers were shut out of the lawsuit. In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley got a law passed to reopen the case, and the settlement talks moved forward.

The $1.25 billion settlement, announced Thursday, comes on top of the money paid out a decade ago. The new agreement would provide cash payments and debt relief to farmers who applied too late to participate in the earlier settlement, The Washington Post reported. Authorities say they are not certain how many farmers might apply this time, but analysts say the number could be higher than 70,000.
Seventy-thousand+ applicants in addition to the 16,000 already compensated now means that over 86,000 people are slated to be paid.

Lots more at the site including this little gem:

"A farm collective founded by Shirley Sherrod and her husband that was forced out of business by the discriminatory practices received a $13 million settlement as part of Pigford last year, just before she was hired by the USDA."

Shirley you may remember is the woman who was canned and later rehired when an excerpt of a speech she gave seems to be very racist. It seems that race baiting is not anything new to her. Back to the story. OK -- so you have a perfect example of corruption and "gaming" the system. 86K people applying to redress grievances handed down to black farmers when there are only a bit fewer than 40K black farmers. This is actually fairly old news -- it dates from mid summer of this year. What caught my eye was this post from Publius over at Breitbart's Big Government:

Pigford II Settlement Partially Funded by Cuts to Child Nutrition Programs
Congress is rushing through its lame duck session to finally appropriate funds to pay out claims from the Pigford II settlement. The settlement is meant to clear up claims from black farmers who claim discrimination from USDA and also missed out on the first settlement.

The legislation sets aside $1.5 billion to pay these claims. The legislation also makes cuts in other federal programs to "pay for" the new spending. Among the cuts are $500 million for nutrition programs for women, infants and children.

From the Senate language:
Subtitle E-Rescission of Funds From WIC Program
SEC. 841. RESCISSION OF FUNDS FROM WIC PROGRAM.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, of the amounts made available in appropriations Acts to provide grants to States under the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children established by section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1786), $562,000,000 is rescinded.
Well.

The left likes to couch everything they do as for "the children" and the disadvantaged. Okay, so, why cut funds from child nutrition to pay a second round of claims for a lawsuit surrounded by allegations of fraud?

It is simple, really. The left is really about pay-offs to interest groups. If a child nutrition program loses funds, well, that's the price to pay to move money around to a more favored group.

Unemployment out in our part of the county is high -- guessing in the 15% range easily. Most people have to work several jobs just to get by and our store does a lot of WIC sales. People are counting on this program for their nutrition. To take this away from the people who truly need it and hand it to a bunch of scammers is reprehensible to say the least. These "black farmers" are doing more to foster racism than anyone else -- the content of their characters is foul and it stinks badly...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 29, 2010 9:50 PM.

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