Brandon De Hoyos, Libertarian candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is a staunch defender of the Constitution. Today, he takes issue with the federal government’s use of farm subsidies that make Texans sicker and poorer every day as the House Agriculture Committee meets in D.C.
Obesity is caused by a deficiency in responsible choices that can be resolved in two ways: First, by making wise decisions about what you use to fuel your body. And two, taking action to prevent government from deciding what you can eat in the first place.
Our war on fat stems in great part from federal farm subsidies that limit the supply of nutrient-rich produce. These subsidies drive up the cost of fruits and vegetables, affecting all of us when we visit the market.
Cheap, abundant processed food that line grocery shelves fills the growing bellies of our working and shrinking middle class while the rich benefit. Did you know the U.S. government pays major farmers to simply not farm, reducing the supply and driving up costs for nature’s best medicine?
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I am overwhelmingly against government subsidies for business, preferring to allow the market to dictate our needs. We must end the aid we give to a minority of our farmers if we ever hope to heal the health of our nation.
That box of macaroni or package of chips may be cheaper at the register than a bag of organic apples or a bouquet of healthy greens, but the residual costs far outweigh the savings.
As families opt out of buying produce to save money, they take a grace period on serious financial, health and social costs later. The salt-laden instant noodles and the 3-liter bottle of soda will cost infinitely more tomorrow as our health insurance premiums skyrocket.
Meanwhile, obesity affects a person’s sense of self esteem, spurs depression, subjects children to bullying at school, costs someone more for a plane ticket when they have to buy two seats, and can even cost them consideration for employment.
The push to legislate against junk food and regulate school lunches will not solve our obesity crisis. It only serves to abridge your freedom to choose what you consume.
But, while I will always protect and defend the right of a person to choose what they want to eat, I’m not going to corn syrup and sugar-coat the truth that we eat like paupers in this country when we could live like kings.
Our health really is our wealth, and we’ve given it away as a nation when we allow the federal government to give our tax dollars to wealthy farmers. We must end farm subsidies in the United States to restore balance to our bodies and our pocketbooks.
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First, we pay our ever-increasing taxes into Washington’s broken system. Then, we pay corporations that seduce us with cheap, unhealthy fare. And then, we pay doctors, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, gyms, the big-and-tall store, and for some, the funeral home, to make up for our lack of responsibility.
Eighty-one percent of Texas farmers do NOT take federal subsidies. But, of those farmers that did, 10 percent collected 78 percent of that taxpayer money–to the tune of $17 billion over the last 18 years.
There is a better way.
I certainly do not mean to attack anyone who has a legitimate health issue that prevents them from losing weight. I also do not attack those who successfully raised those farming businesses.
But, if we do not rise together and tell the federal government to quit harming us with our own money, we will never end the enduring problems of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancers and other ailments which plague our families and communities.
Our inaction on this issue is akin to allowing the federal government to buy a gun with our own money and then shoot our entire family. It’s that serious.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” We could heal a great number of our collective health ills if we learned the importance of great nutrition over vanity, workout fads and surgery.
Together, we can have a better and markedly healthy tomorrow, and put more money back in the hands of the taxpayer if we work to reverse this unnecessary course. Be vigilant and pay attention!
Contact our Texas congressional delegates and let them know you want them to protect the health and financial security of Americans by ending farm subsidies today!
U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer - (202) 225-4005
U.S. Rep. K. Michael Conway - (202) 225-3605
U.S. Rep. Filemon Vila – (202) 225-9901
U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego – (202) 225-4511
–Brandon De Hoyos,
October 30, 2013
Pictured above: Brandon De Hoyos finishing the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, on October 26, 2013.