Big Government reported yesterday that Federal judge Paul Friedman has given final approval to a $1.2 billion government settlement with black farmers who claim they were unfairly denied loans and other assistance from the Agriculture Department over many years.
This is the second round of settlements in the 1999 Pigford case. As previously reported at rightwinggranny.com:
When some black farmers sued, claiming discrimination, the USDA agreed to pay $50,000 to every black person who was discriminated against.
According to the census, there were 18,000 black farmers in the country when the lawsuit was filed. But 97,000 black ‘farmers” have applied for the money.
Black farmer Jimmy Dismuke says its fraud. He said lawyers went to black churches and told people who had never farmed to file for the money.
”People say well, how do I qualify?” Dismuke told us. “And then [the lawyers] started talking about potted plants. They said if you had a potted plant, you can be a farmer. And if you have a yard and you fertilize it, you’re a farmer.”
Just about anyone can say that they “attempted to farm.” And the USDA–which did not keep all its loan records–has no way to refute that. So the taxpayers pay, and pay.
If you follow the articles on the Pigford settlement previously posted at biggovernment.com, you learn that there is no standard of proof required for the payments. It is unfortunate that our government discriminated against black farmers, but I don’t believe that taxpayers should be required to pay reparations at a time when the country is spending itself into bankruptcy.