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Congressional Record [.PDF]
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
2003 Ron Paul 45:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am today introducing the Rice Farmers Fairness Act. This legislation conditions the continuation of farm subsidies in the state of Texas upon the maintenance of rice production. Federal law allows for the continuation of subsidies to landowners who discontinue tenant rice farming on their land. In essence, this means that the subsidy continues to flow in spite of an end to production.
2003 Ron Paul 45:2
This is a something for nothing subsidy of the worst kind! As a result of this provision, there is a very real threat to the agricultural infrastructure. With landowners receiving subsidies in spite of lack of production, the entire warehousing, processing and value-added industries are put at risk.
2003 Ron Paul 45:3
As grain elevators, processors and others see a reduction in demand for their services because of the diminution of production permitted by federal law, they have a disincentive to continue to provide said services, services which must remain in place in order for those who remain in production to be able to bring to market the rice which they continue to produce. Thus, by way of the decimation of the infrastructure, this subsidy to non-producers comes at the expense of those who continue to produce rice. Therefore, the provisions of federal law which provide this subsidy actually amount to another form of federal welfare, taking from producers and giving to nonproducers. These destructive government policies have particularly pernicious effect in Texas, where rice farming, and the related industries, are a major sector of the economy in many towns along the Texas coast.
2003 Ron Paul 45:4
My legislation is very simple and direct in dealing with this problem. It says that those who have tenant rice farmers producing rice in Texas must agree to continue to maintain rice in their crop rotation if they wish to receive subsidies. In this way, we can remove the perverse incentive, which the Federal Government has provided to landowners to exit the rice business and thereby put the entire rice infrastructure at risk.
2003 Ron Paul 45:5
Americas rice farmers are the most efficient, effective producers of rice in the world, despite the many hurdles erected by Washington. The Rice Farmer Fairness Act helps remove one of these hurdles and this makes Americas rice farmers even more efficient. In order to enhance our competitive position, we should also end our embargoes of other nations. Congress should eliminate the burdensome taxes and regulations imposed on Americas farmers. I hope my colleagues will join me in removing these federally imposed burdens on rice farmers by supporting free trade, low taxes and regulations, and cosponsoring my Rice Farmer Fairness Act.
2003 Ron Paul 45:6
Mr. Speaker, I rise to help parents of children with special educational needs by introducing the Help and Opportunities for Parents of Exceptional Children (HOPE for Children) Act of 2003. This bill allows parents of children with a learning disability an up to $3,000 tax credit for educational expenses. Parents could use this credit to pay for special services for their child, or to pay tuition at private school or even to home school their child. By allowing parents of special needs children to control the education dollar, the HOPE for Children Act allows parents to control their childs education. Thus, this bill helps parents of special needs children provide their child an education tailored to the childs unique needs.
2003 Ron Paul 45:7
Helping parents provide their child with an education designed around the childs individual needs is far superior to the one size fits all cookie cutter, bureaucratized approach that has dominated special education for the past 30 years. This approach is inappropriate for any child, but it is especially harmful for special needs children. The HOPE for Children Act puts control over education resources back in the hands of those who know best, and care most about, the unique needs of children: parents.
2003 Ron Paul 45:8
The HOPE for Children Act allows parents of special needs children to provide those children with an education that matches their childs unique needs without having to beg permission of education bureaucrats or engage in lengthy and costly litigation. I urge all my colleagues to cosponsor this bill.