If you total all the federal money distributed to people living in America, it comes to $22,000 per household. How much government money did you receive last year?

There are millions of Americans on some sort of welfare. Some are poor. They live in high crime areas of our inner cities where businesses fear to tread, so there are few jobs available. Those permanently unemployed souls are cared for by our compassionate congressmen. Congressmen don’t ask recipients to relocate to an area where there are jobs, because it would lose them voters.

Other welfare recipients are less poor. Laid off General Motors workers receive their full pay (average $26 per hour, $72 per hour with fringe benefits) for not working. This is made possible by munificent labor contracts. American auto makers can afford this because sympathetic senators sauce their sales with terrific tariffs, a tax on average Americans. After 48 weeks in “layoff status,” they are entitled to government unemployment benefits and a supplemental payout. GM workers receive 95 percent of their regular take-home pay or $72 per hour with fringe benefits for not working. What a deal! This comes to almost $150,000 per year for the non working auto worker compared to the $54,000 per year earned by the average working taxpayer who supports this program by paying $28,000 for a car worth $14,000.

Speaking of getting paid for not working, some welfare recipients are not at all poorˆsome are wretchedly rich. David Rockefeller, the former chairman of Chase Manhattan and grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller is one. Scottie Pippen, the professional basketball star who dribbles his dowry to the bank, is another. Ted Turner, the 25th wealthiest man in America, receives truck loads of taxpayer money. CBS anchorman, Sam Donaldson, long known for his line of bull, requires government assistance in maintaining his thousand-acres cattle ranch. Even Kenneth Lay, the ousted Enron multimillionaire, had his hand in the taxpayers‚ cookie jar. These poor folks earn their sustenance as beleaguered farmers, trying to scrape a living from the stubborn soil. Congressional compassion rewards them in the Farm Program. The Farm Program offers big bucks for not working.

Congressmen are also generous to themselves. Nine Members of Congress received farm subsidies in 2002. Since 1995, these lawmakers received subsidies averaging 46 times those received by the median farmer. Five of the nine lawmakers also sit on the House or Senate agriculture committees overseeing these programs.

The latest figures show the average farm household earned $64,437. That is 17 percent more than the $54,842 average for non farmers. Incomes were even higher among the 136,000 households with annual farm sales over $250,000. These farmers receive the largest subsidies. Their average income of $135,397 was two-and-a-half times the national average.

Farmer incomes are not only high, but also quite stable from year to year, despite agricultural market fluctuations. Greater wealth. The average farm household had a net worth of $563,563 in 1999, well above the average net worth of $88,000.

All the recipients of this wonderful largess can especially thank Congress and their benefactor, George W. Bush, who never met a welfare give away he didn’t like. It’s easy to be generous with someone else’s money. Giving away all this money gives politicians great power. Politicians can reward those who contribute to their reelection with welfare “corporate welfare or egalitarian welfare” while punishing non-supporters with ever higher taxes. Have you ever thought of becoming a farmer?