This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

When the chorus of parrots on the right demands cuts in government programs with idiotic but effective repetition, the left and center have given a response which can most charitably be called incoherent. This is understandable, since trying to rebut a simplistic argument with a nuanced strategy is never easy; many people instinctively respond to the passion of the former and find the latter to be bloodless, geeky, wonky, or inhuman.

What would be much more  effective is to find a few excellent talking points that can subvert their rhetoric. For a start, every time anyone starts talking about the need for budget cuts, immediately agree - starting with cotton, sugar, and  subsidies. These are SOCIALISM! at their worst, government programs that benefit very few people and make prices higher for everyone else. They  are administered by an entrenched bureaucracy (and who likes those?), and are keeping large corporate agribusiness from enjoying the many benefits of capitalist competition!

(More below the artistic squiggle thingie)


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

(oh, by the way, those subsidies also overwhelmingly benefit republican districts and donors, but it's probably not worth mentioning that, because this really is about vanquishing SOCIALISM!, of course. we would never, ever let mere politics affect our judgment, would we? nope, me either, so that makes both of us.)

So how much are these subsidies? Well, the total is 30 Billion, according to this article from the Environmental Woorking Group:

cotton is between 2 and 4 Billion per year, according to this article:

Somewhere around 2 Billion is for sugar subsidies, according to the Cato Institute (and for more background, read this article).

The rest is mostly for corn and soybeans, both of which are headed for stratospheric prices now - but this isn't just about now. Even if the total was just a measly Billion (hardly worth talking about by Washington standards), it is still money wasted to pay to overproduce crops, which is the essence of SOCIALISM! We could mention something about how these subsidies encourage wasteful overfertilization and discourage crop rotation that would naturally renew the land, but that would sound too, y'know, hippieish.  

While we're at it on the subsidy thing, let's keep going. I rarely agree with anything on Fox "news", but John Stossel is right that subsidizing alpaca and llama farming is a complete waste of money. You don't have to watch him or give him a click - look at this article:

An inedible animal that gives no drinkable milk and is raised only for fleece gets government money, while kids who need dentistry don't? Sounds like SOCIALISM! to me.

We can keep going - those ten military bases in Texas look like a juicy place to save a few billion. Those programs by which the government subsidizes roads so oil exploration and mining can take place - cut 'em! Roads to our rural communities are decaying, but we're building roads so companies can extract minerals and split? If the mine is profitable, they can build and maintain their own roads to get to it. Anything else is SOCIALISM! Enact  a law that cattle ranching leases on public land can never be sold for less than the cost of government services and road maintenance to that land plus 10% - most ranch leases now are at a loss, and subsidizing loss-making businesses is SOCIALISM!

So when the wingers start raving about cutting back the government, agree with them - and hammer the cuts that hit their  constituencies. Make them defend corporate socialism (and no caps there because it isn't a scare word, it's the way things are right now and they must be forced to recognize it.) Turn the conversation around by agreeing with them about needing to cut spending on wasteful programs and getting just as passionate about  it - but have the truth and the numbers on your side. When they demand to cut women's healthcare, point out how much more could be saved by cutting spending for subsidies to the constituencies that dump money into Republican coffers. Point out how the land could be productively used to increase food security here instead of supporting a glut of cotton or a herd of cute Andean camelopards.

And once in a while you will discover that some of them agree with you, because some of them actually mean what they say but have not thought it through. In that case there is the possibility for a learning experience, even a meeting of minds. If we can peel off a few of the sensible ones, help make them a factor against the corruption and waste inside their own party, it would be a service to the country and society. We need to hone that message because we can wine that argument, but only if we make it in the first place.

Extended (Optional)

Your Email has been sent.