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Obama To Buy ‘Indian Vote’ For $680M

From an approving Wall Street Journal:

From left, Marilyn Keepseagle, Claryca Mandan, and Porter Holder, plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit by American Indian farmers, celebrate outside the federal courthouse in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010.

American Indian Farmers Are Offered $680 Million

By SCOTT KILMAN
OCTOBER 19, 2010

The Obama administration agreed Tuesday to pay up to $680 million to American Indian farmers to settle an 11-year-old class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who took office promising to address longstanding complaints by minority farmers against the department, said eligible farmers and ranchers can receive up to $250,000 each for showing that USDA discrimination caused them economic losses. However, most farmers will probably opt for a uniform $50,000 payment, which involves less red tape.

That’s still a lot better than the lousy $250 a pop the ‘seniors’ are getting for their vote.

In the class-action suit, American Indian farmers allege that USDA bureaucrats denied them the low-interest rate loans given to white farmers between 1981 and 2007.

As we have noted before, all of these fraudulent lawsuits (from first black farmers, then Latinos and women – and now Indians) are based on the fact that President Reagan did away with the ‘civil rights department’ in the USDA.

There is no other proof of any "discrimination" apart from that. But the lesson from the Washington bureaucrats is that you cannot pare down any government agency anywhere without having to pay a stiff price.

Still, as we have also asked before, what was the USDA ever doing giving out loans in the first place? Are there no banks?

The American Indian class-action lawsuit has long been overshadowed by similar discrimination litigation brought by black farmers against the USDA. The Obama administration reached a $1.25 billion settlement with black farmers in February, but Congress has yet to appropriate that money.

Don’t worry. It will. Just as soon as the funds arrive from China.

Unlike the suit by black farmers, the money to settle the litigation by American Indian farmers is coming from an existing federal judgment fund—managed by the Justice Department and Treasury Department—which is used to pay for litigation involving the government.

Which is kept in a ‘lockbox’ completely separate from all of the other government funds. Just like Social Security.

The amount of money that the federal government will eventually pay to American Indian farmers is far from clear in large part because it is hard to estimate how many farmers will file claims.

And, just like with the black farmers, there will end up being ten times more claims than there ever were Indian farmers. 

According to the most recent USDA census of agriculture, which was conducted in 2007, nearly 35,000 American Indians made the day-to-day decisions for a farm or ranch. Before the 2007 census, however, the population of American Indian farmers is murkier because the government often counted an entire reservation as one farm operation.

Naturally, it will be impossible to deny any claims. After all, farming is really just a state of mind. Just ask Shirley Sherrod.

Come to think of it, maybe the USDA will replace Ms. Sherrod with whichever Indian ‘farmer’ gets the biggest payout from the US taxpayer. After all, that’s how she got her job.

"The people at USDA today didn’t create the issues," said Sarah Vogel, a prominent North Dakota attorney who helped to represent the American Indian farmers in the suit. "But they wanted to put it behind them," she added

No, it was all Reagan and Bush’s fault, of course. And the timing of this announcement is just a coincidence.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Obama To Buy ‘Indian Vote’ For $680M”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    Why not just “redistribute” the wealth form Indian casinos?


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