Tag Archive: Open the Books


Millions In Farm Subsidies Flow Freely To DC Residents Who Don’t Actually Farm

 

 

 

 

” Washington, D.C., doesn’t have many farms, or farmers. Yet thousands of residents in and around the nation’s capital receive millions of dollars every year in federal farm subsidies, including working-class residents in Southeast, wealthy lobbyists on K Street and well-connected lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

  In neighboring Chevy Chase, Md., one of the nation’s wealthiest communities, lawyers, lobbyists and at least one psychologist collected nearly $342,000 in taxpayer farm subsidies between 2008 and 2011, according to the watchdog group Open the Books.

  Taxpayer subsidies were also paid out to Gerald Cassidy, the founder of one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying firms, Cassidy & Associates; Charlie Stenholm, a former congressman; and Chuck Grassley, a Republican senator from Iowa. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack continues to receive subsides even though he has overseen the agency that pays them since 2009.

” All of it is entirely legal,” said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books, a group that created an online database and mobile app to track the subsidies.

  To illustrate just how far the subsidy program has strayed from its original purpose, Open the Books calculated payments going to three major cities with few, if any, modern ties to farming: Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago. Taxpayers sent $30 million to those residents over the past four years to compensate them for converting farmland to conservation areas and for growing soybeans, cotton, corn, rice and other crops.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New App Lets You Track Government Spending On Your Phone

 

 

” Adam Andrezejewski, who ran as the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois in 2010, believes passionately that American taxpayers should know how government spends their money.  Andrewzejewski and a team of designers have now realized that dream by creating Open the Books, a free app that creates a searchable database allowing America’s shareholders (i.e., taxpayers) to see how the federal government is spending their money. The app works on both Apple and Droid platforms. If you don’t have a smart phone, the same information can be viewed at http://www.openthebooks.com. All you need to do to find out about local spending is to enter your zip code.

In a Wall Street Journal article alerting Americans to this oversight program, Andrewzejewski details just three of the unpleasant surprises about federal spending he was able to find using Open the Books:

• The brother of a former state director of agriculture under former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has received nine federally guaranteed loans totaling $1.67 million since 2006. He has also received hundreds of thousands in direct payments and subsidies from the federal government, all based on his ownership of a single hog farm in Teutopolis, Ill.”

 

 

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