WHERE DID THE AMERICAN FAMILY FARMS GO?

“Rural kids and parents angry about Labor Dept. Regs banning farm chores” was a news headline a few years ago.

I hope the Trump Administration will take a deep look into how the DOL and other agencies have systematically worked to destroy family farms in America. As if battling the weather, unpredictable prices, insects, blight, labor shortages, equipment failures, water shortages, crop failures and swings in fuel prices are not enough, farm families never know when a bus load of DOL inspectors will descend on them like a swarm of locusts.

In the 1930’s, the United States was home to 6.3 million farms; today, there are approximately 2 million, and fewer every day. The average age of today’s farmer or rancher is 60 years old and many give up as their children have no interest in taking on the hard work and low pay or in many instances, no pay of a family farmer.

If government inspectors knocked on your door and went through your house with a fine toothed comb, no home in America would be completely free of violations.. The same is true of a family farm. DOL regulations have been designed over the years to punish employers whether in billion dollar corporations or small family farms. A Corporate CEO once told me the government punished him for hiring personnel.

Last year, the Obama Administration Labor Department said that fines for violations of health and safety, worker’s compensation and wage and hour regulations were increasing.

The agency said maximum penalties from its Occupational Safety and Health Administration increased by 78 percent, from $7,000 to $12,471, while penalties for violations of the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act increased from $1,100 to $1,894.

Very early in my career, I was Chief of Safety overseeing Flight Safety, Ground Safety, Industrial Safety, Industrial Hygiene and weapons Safety. My Inspectors found countless violations of OSHA regulations but, of course, the government does not fine itself. The simple fix for the vast majority of the petty regulatory violations was to affix a warning tag.

Those petty regulations have morphed into Godzilla today for private companies and family farms but not for the government itself.

What if the VA was fined for not resolving MY EIGHT YEAR OLD VA Claim?

Representative Jason Chaffetz was Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last year when the committee produced their Oversight & Government Reform Report to the 114th Congress.

The report was titled, “Restoring the Power of the Purse: Shining Light on Federal Agencies Billion Dollar Fines Collections.”

According to the report, the U.S. Government takes in billions of dollars per year through the assessment of fines and penalties, collecting over $83 billion between 2010 and 2015.

While the DOJ handles the bulk of enforcement activities, several other less well-known enforcement agencies are assessing substantial fines and penalties and negotiating settlements through administrative proceedings. In just the past year alone there has been a $158 million settlement between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and cellphone providers; a settlement between LifeLock and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for failing to protect consumers’ sensitive personal information; and a $1.6 million fine imposed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Southwest Airlines for tarmac delays.

No fines were imposed on President Clinton, however, for his tarmac delays. The first, according to the New York times, “Two of Los Angeles International Airport’s four runways were shut down for nearly an hour on Tuesday, some incoming flights were delayed and Air Force One sat on the tarmac with engines running — all so that President Clinton’s Beverly Hills hairstylist, Chistophe, could come aboard and give Mr. Clinton a high-price trim before he took off for Washington.”

More recently the Attorney General met secretly with Bill Clinton on an unlit tarmac to discuss golf and grand kids.

Do you understand that LifeLock, Southwest Airlines and cellphone providers will not end up paying the fines? Unfortunately, YOU and I will pay the fines through higher costs. Sadly, the family farmers can’t pass their fines along to their customers. They are stuck in a rut, so to speak. Family Farms are vanishing from the face of the Earth because our government is putting them out of business. Family Farms are not like Factories and cannot simply move to Mexico or China where farms and government are on the same side.

The DOJ routinely enters into multi-million and billion-dollar settlements on agencies’ behalf for a variety of legal, regulatory, and administrative violations, which include civil monetary penalties, consumer relief and restitution, and relief to states and other enforcement authorities.

What is less understood, however, is what happens after the Government obtains the money.

In 2015, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report examining the DOJ’s use of fines and penalties. The report found that in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, approximately 15 percent of DOJ’s budget came from seven alternative sources of funding such as fines, fees, and penalties. Further, some of this funding is not necessarily reviewed as part of the appropriations process, and as a result, “may not be subject to the same scrutiny” as other programs. GAO found the DOJ could improve management and transparency of these sources.

In light of GAO’s findings and increasingly voluminous settlements entered into on the Government’s behalf, the Committee examined the amount, use, and accountability of such funds taken in by the U.S. Government. Between March and June of 2015, the Committee sent requests to 34 federal agencies, 15 including all cabinet level agencies, seeking information regarding their assessment and collection of fines and penalties. Committee staff worked with each agency to evaluate amounts collected and how the fines are accounted. Agencies generally reported three streams. First, agencies reported sending the vast bulk of these funds to the General Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in accordance with federal law where the funds are subject to Congress’s general appropriations power. Second, agencies reported retaining funds pursuant to specific exemptions or exclusions under law. Third, agencies reported re-routing funds collected to other agencies pursuant to specific statutory authorities.

I could get deeper into the Swamp but I think I have exposed you to enough misquotes for the time being. President George Washington had Four Cabinet members. Do you think, in your wildest dreams, that those five men could have ever imagined that the United States of America would evolve into a deep state enemy of the People? That America would destroy itself from within just like Rome except more like Rome on Steroids?

Only one man, with God’s help, can fix America. Are you with him or with the Corrupt Media, Hollywood, Corrupt Bureaucrats and the Democrats?

I stand with President Trump.

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One Response to “WHERE DID THE AMERICAN FAMILY FARMS GO?”

  1. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on .

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