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Friday, September 15, 2006


Who does Castle REALLY Work for? Part II

Hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare doled out, and all I got was this stupid shirt.

Yesterday I started looking into bills introduced in the 109th Congress by Michael Castle of Delaware. Bills that benefit a very narrow constitiency. Bills like:

H.R.2915 : To suspend temporarily the duty on Brodifacoum Technical. Sponsor: Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] (introduced 6/15/2005) Cosponsors (None) Committees: House Ways and Means

There were 29 of these things that appeared to be tax breaks for big pharma.

Not being a chemist or an economist, I cross posted at DailyKos and the Kosacks came up huge.

It turns out that the chemicals listed in the 29 bills pushed by Castle benefit the agribusiness units of AstraZeneca, Dupont and Syngenta. They use chemicals such as benzenesulfonamide, brodifacoum, triasulfuron, and many others that are no longer produced in the United States as herbicides and pesticides.

Since these chemicals are not produced in the United State, they have to be imported. Companies that import things frequently have to pay a duty which is a tax on the item being imported. Duties can be set up to protect an industry from low priced imports or they can be revenue sources for the goverment. The duty on these chemicals that Syngeta wanted fell in the revenue generation category.

... they want to get the duty removed "temporarily", and are using the excuse that some multinational has decided to produce the chemicals in Switzerland.

On the other hand, tariffs at these levels are not primarily protective tariffs, they are primarily revenue tariffs (if they were protective tariffs, they would be fairly obvious flops, since there is no domestic production).

There is little rationale for cutting taxes on poisons imported into the US when there is a massive trade and budget deficit, except for the obvious rationale that Sygenta leased the Congressman so they could write these bills so they could on balance save from the reduced tariffs.

The most plausible reason that they are "temporary" rather than permanent would be that Sygenta has only paid enough to lease the Congressman ... buying him outright costs more.

This all stands to reason.

As we all know Republicans and large corporations HATE paying taxes [the fact that we are at war seems to be lost on these guys].

Anyway, Syngenta set about to remedy the duty/tax situation. (check out the address on the letterhead)

PESTO! Michael Castle introduced 29 bills into the 109th Congress. However, this it is not a simple cash grab.

While Castle is probably not above simple graft, much more is going on. Syngeta took the lead but this is corporate welfare involves a web of companies pushing to make seeds into "intellectual property".

A Delawareliberal anon commenter explains:

AstraZeneca has 50% share in Syngenta.

It's not just about profiting from tax breaks on the sale of the chemicals. The herbicides support sales of the new genetically-modified croplines developed by AstraZeneca and Dupont, among others.

The herbicide is important to Dupont, even if they don't manufacture it themselves, because Dupont is still selling GM seed that is genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides like Triasulfuron.

They spray the whole field and the weeds die, but the Triasulfuron-resistant GM crops survive.

So Dupont, Syngenta, AZ, Castle, etc all want to make sure farmers can buy cheap subsidized Triasulfuron - because that also locks them in to buying the Triasulfuron-resistant seed.

Hell, all the pharma/chem companies have a division playing this game."

Again, no wonder the guy has a million bucks in his campagin going into re-election. He is delvering BIG TIME for the agribusiness interests - and what benefit do we get? .....That's righ, seeds that only work if you apply specific chemicals. SUPER!!! Thanks Mike!

More as this developes.

I can't wait for Celia Cohen to pick up this story.
Remember, Jason...these tax cuts are blackmail against the state so these nefarious corporations won't move and take thousands of jobs with them!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
so these nefarious corporations won't move and take thousands of jobs with them!

The jobs are in China...
hmm Castle drafts short simple single issue legislation for consideration by the house and senate, doesn't hide it in a defense bill or a conference report, and Jason discovers a conspiracy.

the short version is, "I don't know what any of htis stuff is, but Castles doing it, so it must me bad."
the short version is, "I don't know what any of htis stuff is, but Castles doing it, so it must me bad."

That's not a bad place to start researching from.

Happycon, your trust in big government is refreshing, but unfortunately I don't share it.

Castle introduced the bills without comment so we don't even know what he was up to. He arrogantly didn't even bother explaining how these bills would benefit us, and left Jason and the Anonymice to figure it out.

But it's campaign season, so there will be plenty of opportunity to ask Castle directly what it's all about.

But before you ask, follow the money and find out who benefits from these bills.

Heck, maybe it'll turn out these are just generic farm chemicals whose patents have expired and Dupont has no interest in them, and Castle is just trying to give the small farmer a break... (I crack myself up sometimes).
no Hap, we just didn't bother ourselves with what he was doing outside of beach replenishment, canal beautification projects and stem cell legislation.

Jason is doing a service here that no one else is doing. Is Castle out having press conferences about his success aiding chemical company product success?

How much work gets does for special interests is what we want to know about elected officials.

Ask Paul Clark, Bob Weiner and John Cartier how they spend much of their time and then look to which developers feed their funds.

Castle's fed by chemical companies and he does their bidding, nothing new but it is a good thimg to have it out in the open.

Evenmtualy the trade off between reduced tax burden for special interests and reduced services for the populace will result in reduced votes for those who work for the special interests.

Hopefully this year we can hone in on one cadidate to take Mike.

Spivack should not have ignored KHN. He should have debated her.

We need to hear from Mr. Berg as well.

If Dennis wants our vote he will have to show us more of himself.
if he is the best chance for DEMs, let him exhibit why so in debate on the floor. His people should be setting up chances for the public to come to hear him debate not avoiding it.
The Delaware Way in action, I see having just read KWA's Carper report below, equal opportunity sell-outs. And Cohen writes a ridiculous pieced about Castle and Carper running home on the weekends looking for invites to pig roasts and parades....fucking BS.
Happycon, your trust in big government is refreshing, but unfortunately I don't share it.

Me either, and yet hap has a point. There is a "hiding in plain sight" nature to this. Is it that Castle and Co. are so arrogant that they think no body will bother connecting the dots?

Maybe. If you left this type of thing to the NJ and Grapevine you could be waiting for Godot.

So, in the meantime I'll be looking into where and when Castle's big checks came in. and more
Jason is the hardest working man in show blogness.
oops, correction and apologies to Celia Cohen. She did not write the bit about Castle and Carper and their weekend slow time, it was the WNJ's Dialogue Blog - author unknown.
They had her Minner not voting story without crediting it to the Grapevine.
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