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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
eXiled Alert! / April 18, 2011
By Yasha Levine


An investigation by eXiled Editor Yasha Levine helped The New York Press snag an award in the 2010 Better Newspaper Contest, hosted by the New York Press Association, for “Coverage of Business, Financial & Economic News.”

Levine’s article, “The Making of Manhattan’s Elite Welfare Farmers,” exposed the corruption of our $20-billion a year farm subsidy system, focusing on how wealthy Manhattanites, Wall Street traders and the Rockefellers are allowed to milk taxpayers for billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks just because they are rich and we are not. It was published almost a year ago, but it is no less relevant today.

Update: official proof just came in the mail.

Read it and fume:

Class War For Idiots / June 15, 2010
Manhattan’s Welfare Kings: How Billionaires Turned Farms Into Personal Tax Havens and Petty Cash Machines, Allowing Them to Give Less, While Taking More

Wall Street bankers and retired hedge fund billionaires have been talking about fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction, preparing the masses for austerity measures and cuts in social services—which we are told are regrettable, of course, but necessary nonetheless. Well, here is the perfect welfare program for the bailout queens to show off their fiscally conservative chops: Let’s see them cut federal farm subsidies, which funnel billions of dollars to the richest Americans, including notables like Ted Turner, David Letterman, Scottie Pippen, Paris Hilton’s grandpa, Charles Schwab, Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and just about every single one of Sam Walton’s degenerate heirs.

Most people know next to nothing about this $20 billion-a-year welfare for the rich program, probably because the billionaires want it that way. Why get the masses worked up? Best to let them think the $200 billion they spent from 1995 through 2006 went to friendly farmers with cute farmhouses, rather than to Chevron or Kenneth Lay. Better to let urban entrepreneurs call themselves backyard farmers and toil away for the locavore movement, than to realize that their rich neighbors are reaping actual “farm” subsidies.

Now, farm subsidies weren’t always this criminal and, until fairly recently, had been doing what New Deal programs were designed to do: help the little guy. But the freemarket “reforms” of the Reagan-Clinton Era warped the welfare, redirecting farm subsidies from the have-nots to the have-mores, bankrupting all but the biggest farmers and depositing farm subsides into the bank accounts of the rich.

There’s no need to go to Iowa to see this welfare-for-the-rich in action. You can see it on the Upper East Side, where billionaire elites collect huge welfare checks from the government just for being rich, while a few blocks away, in one of the poorest, most ghettoized districts in the United States, the city’s black population is being purged from food stamp rolls for smoking some dope. Because, as Mayor Rudy Giuliani once wisely said, “As soon as they stop being dependent on the government, they’re moving in a much healthier direction.”


Norm Champ -- Park Ave Farmer & Upstanding Young Man

Norman B. Champ Jr: Wall Street Welfare Prince

But brutal freemarket ideas don’t apply to members of Manhattan’s genteel farmer class, even billionaires like Norman B. Champ III, who received nearly a half-million dollars in welfare payments for poor farmers, despite the fact that he lives in a multimillion dollar co-op at 828 Park Avenue. From 1995 to 2006, he raked in a total of $405,807 in dairy, corn and soy subsidies via his stake in the Champ family’s dairy farm in Missouri, his home state. Handout-for-handout, even Reagan’s mythic Cadillac-driving Chicago welfare queen and her $150,000 welfare scam got nothing on Champ, who could buy a Lamborghini and still have money left over to reupholster his private jet.

Norman B. Champ III, 47, was born into a wealthy, upper-crust Missouri family and lived a privileged life (the Champs had a Missouri village named after them in their honor: the Village of Champ). He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, went to England for a masters in war studies from King’s College and earned a law degree—cum laude, of course—from Harvard, after which he finally settled down at Chilton Investment Company, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He had added three titles to his name—Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer—by the time the markets crashed. He lost no time jumping ship to a cushy government job with the Securities and Exchange Commission, coming on board in January 2010 to start a new life as a financial regulator at the SEC’s New York Inspections and Examinations Division. He now leads a team of 100 hardworking investigators in a crusade to crack down on the shady dealings of his hedge-fund buddies.

An upper-crust billionaire type who lives in one of the nation’s wealthiest ZIP codes and collects welfare meant for struggling farmers? Whatta champ!

He might not be what most of us expect a welfare queen to look like, but that’s only because we have been duped by the whole poverty thing, convinced that the crumbs we throw the needy are a huge burden on our budget. So we look for any way to cut them off. For those who want to observe a real subsidy queen in his natural habitat, there’s no better place than Park Avenue. I am not trying to be ironic here. The people are literally welfare queens: They live where queens live and take money from the poor like queens do.

Read the rest here…

More by Yasha Levine: Property Taxes Are For Parasites: Billionaires Use The “Fake Farm Loophole” To Not Pay Any… Also: How Limousine Liberals, Oligarch Farmers and even Sean Hannity Are Hijacking Our Water Supply.


Add your own

  • 1. 16 Shells from a 30.06  |  April 18th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Yasha L’s a hero of the people. Stay tuned… He’s just getting started.

  • 2. Duarte Guerreiro  |  April 18th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Yasha, the Robert Neville of journalism, surrounded by mindless corporate zombies. Congrats.

  • 3. Doug  |  April 18th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    So Yasha?

    You got something on common with the Kochs/Cato? Care to comment?

  • 4. helplesscase  |  April 18th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Good job, Yasha!

  • 5. observer  |  April 19th, 2011 at 12:05 am

  • 6. observer  |  April 20th, 2011 at 12:38 am

    If you are guessing that I ake great pride in being jealous of your a prestigious award, you would be guessing right.

  • 7. Fatty Arbuckle's Ghost's Pants  |  April 20th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Congrats Yasha!

  • 8. i pass like night  |  April 29th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    It looks like Yasha and the Koch-funded Cato Institute, which is purely bluffing about its anti-subisidy views to stake out a position, get legitimacy and allow paid libertrolls like me to post dumbshit comments like this, are in agreement on farm subsidies

  • 9. my talkative ringpiece  |  May 7th, 2011 at 1:01 am

    This is what journalists are supposed to do.

    How many of my fellow American’ts even know about The Exiled?

    Come on, people! This man went into the fires of Hell, or Victorville, one of those things, they’re so hard to tell apart, for you.

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