- Senator Lautenberg Makes New Jerseyans Pay More in Their Tax Bills and at the Checkout Line -

August 7, 2008

Passaic, NJ – At a supermarket in Passaic, U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer today kicked off his “Waste of the Week” campaign designed to highlight Senator Frank Lautenberg’s record of supporting wasteful spending and pork-barrel politics at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers.   

The first Waste of the Week is the bloated Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, otherwise known as the “Farm Bill,” that not only is laden with wasteful pork-barrel projects and huge subsidies for large, profitable agribusiness, but also results in increased prices for consumers.  Frank Lautenberg voted to enact the Farm Bill over President Bush’s veto.  Dick Zimmer released the following statement: 

“The 2008 Farm Bill puts taxpayers on the hook for nearly $300 billion and keeps in place a system of government handouts to our nation’s wealthiest farmers.  It is also deliberately designed to make many agricultural products more expensive and drive up the prices we pay for basic consumer items like soda, bread, sugar, peanuts and even cotton t-shirts.

“New Jerseyans pay twice for the Farm Bill: once in higher federal taxes to fund big handouts to wealthy farmers in other states and again in the higher prices they pay at their supermarket checkout line.

“Politicians like Senator Lautenberg have been in office so long and are so disconnected with average taxpayers that they fail to see the wastefulness of this bloated depression-era legislation.  To them, it is business as usual—catering to special interests, throwing good money after bad, all at taxpayer expense. 

“To change the wasteful ways of doing business in Washington, we need to elect new leaders who will put taxpayers and consumers first.”

As a member of Congress, Zimmer fought to phase out federal farm subsidies and price supports.  The National Taxpayers Union three times named him the most fiscally conservative member of Congress and Citizens Against Government Waste named him a Taxpayer Hero every year.

The 2008 Farm Bill has been widely criticized by a number of editorial pages across the country.  Headlines include the following:  (To view these editorials, please click each listing)  

“A Disgraceful Farm Bill” – New York Times

“Bloated Farm Bill Misses The Point” – Seattle Times

“Farm Bill Disgrace” – San Diego Union-Tribune

“Fat Farm Bill Gives Welfare To Well-Off” – St. Petersburg (FL) Times

“Plow It Under; A Farm Bill Larded With Giveaways Deserves President Bush’s Veto” – Washington Post

“U.S. Farm Bill An International Disgrace” – Miami Herald

“A Few Good Ideas Leaven Farm Bill, But Overall It's a Shameful Harvest” – Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Farm Bill Is A Mixture Of Old And New Mistakes” – Kansas City (MO) Star (subscription only)

“Bloated Farm Bill Rotten To The Core” – Portland (ME) Press Herald (subscription only)