Maggie Van Ostrand
I just heard the best news about you, and it's come at the right time,
what with all the war talk and general dissatisfaction with things
like fences and terrorists. I know it must be very hard on you to
hear people saying it's all your fault that Social Security is almost
bankrupt and that Medicare is taking money from other important uses
like keeping up perks for important Congressmen. On the other hand,
I'd like to praise you for doing something wonderful.
I want to thank you for all the money you're sending to land owners
in Texas for not growing rice. It's really generous of you and makes
me proud to be an American.
True that the people you're sending the money to never planned on
growing any rice in the first place, but it's nice that you don't
care about that. If you believe that it's a good thing to send money
because a long time ago, rice really was grown right there in Texas,
then how much fairer can you be than to send checks to people who
now live in big houses on that very land? Nobody can fault you for
that. After all, you are our Uncle Sam and you're just doing what's
right for Uncle Ben's rice business. Relatives should stick together.
No more crying "uncle."
I heard that one of the recipients of your generosity, Donald Matthews
from El Campo, an asphalt contractor, tried to return the money but
you refused it. Now that's what I call the American way. No use in
sending a check if they're going to return it. That would be wasteful
and a misuse of the U.S. Postal Service. I mean, c'mon, anyone could
figure that out.
And Mary Anna Hudson, who's in her eighties and lives in River Oaks
received $191,000 in the last ten years, and that's a pretty good
amount for anyone to get for not doing something they weren't going
to do in the first place. That's just common sense.
They say that Congress sends direct payments to a lot of Texans for
not growing rice. These payments are called "subsidies." A realtor
in El Campo calls them something else; he calls this money "cowboy
starter kits." You've got to admit that's pretty funny.
And I admire you for not discriminating against anyone just because
they're rich. I read in the Washington Post that a surgeon in Houston
named Jimmy Frank Howell, got $490,709. You certainly could get to
liking not growing a bunch of rice for that hefty amount.
It's not just Texas you're subsidizing either, which means again that
you're a shining example of non-discrimination. They say that you
have paid over $1.3 billion in subsidies nationwide in the last seven
years for not growing rice and other crops to people who don't farm
at all. If that isn't generous, I just don't know what is. This is
some fine country. Especially Texas.
So I hope you don't get mad at me for asking you to send me a check
while you're sitting at your desk writing out all those other checks.
I live on land where Native Americans probably once grew corn and
now they don't. I fully intend to not grow corn. I promise you that
just as sure as I'm sitting here at my own desk writing this letter
to you. Honest.
Any amount you'd care to make the check out for would be fine with
me. They tell me it cannot be less than $1,000 a month, and I sure
could use the cash. I suppose with all the fuss over ethanol as fuel
for cars, you might even pay me more for my crop of no corn.
Please make a direct deposit to my checking account and do not send
it through the mail. I never got any checks from you before for not
growing corn so I think someone at the post office must be stealing
the money before I get it.
It's no wonder people would do anything to get into this country where
the streets are paved with gold. That's the only thing we've got that
you aren't paying us not to have.