Probe Pigford Fraud

“[Pigford is] the largest scam against the federal taxpayers in the history of the United States.”   ~USDA Employee John Stringfellow

IBD Editorials
Investors Business Daily

Oversight: As the hearing to give approval to the final settlement for the Pigford farmers approaches, it’s time to investigate this classic case of waste, fraud and abuse. Somewhere Van Jones is smiling.

Seventy-nine Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week against an amendment to H.R. 2112 — the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012 — that would have blocked the government from paying out additional billions for the Pigford II settlement.

One of them was Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, who had promised to include in his investigation the whole Pigford matter, which began as a redress of grievances by a handful of black farmers and morphed with the help of President Obama into a redistribution of wealth scheme and back-door reparations.

The original Pigford settlement arose out of a 1997 class-action lawsuit by Timothy Pigford and 400 southern black farmers who had apparently legitimate claims of discrimination against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its allocation of farm loans between 1983 and 1987. At last count, more than 94,000 black farmers had signed up for well north of $1 billion in payments under the settlement.

Based on census data, however, there were only some 33,000 black farmers in existence during the period in question. Based on that number and the number of denied applications, the USDA originally estimated that only 2,000 such claims would be filed. A separate suit filed by 300,000 American Indians claimed they, too, had been cheated out of land royalties dating to 1887.

In 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama began working to pass legislation providing even more money for a whole new class of claimants via “Pigford II,” which now includes Hispanic and female farmers as well as American Indians. As president, Obama rammed this $4.6 billion monstrosity through last year’s lame-duck session…

The op-ed continues at

Related: Big Government broke the Pigford story and has been compiling the evidence in a segment of the blog called Pigford Investigation Resources.

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