Crop Circle Jerk

By Bill Maher

You know what? I agree with Republicans. There are entitled "takers" in America bleeding our economy dry by living off the government. But some of them look like this:

We've begun to learn the details of a massive crop insurance fraud perpetrated against the American taxpayer. A federal investigation dating back to 2005 discovered a conspiracy between dozens of insurance agents, claims adjusters, brokers and farmers who made false claims of crop failure and collected more than $100 million in unwarranted federal payouts.

According to an Associated Press report, "Forty-one defendants have either pleaded guilty or reached plea agreements after profiting from false insurance claims for losses of tobacco, soybeans, wheat and corn. Often, the crops weren’t damaged at all, with farmers using aliases to sell their written-off harvests for cash."

Federal crop insurance -- or what's known as "welfare" when black people get it -- is a Dust Bowl-era remnant that doles out tens of billions of taxpayer dollars annually to American farmers whose crops for one reason or another don't meet projections. As the report explains, "The U.S. Department of Agriculture pays about 15 private insurers to sell and manage the policies, but taxpayers are on the hook for most of the losses. Payouts for 2012 have topped $15.6 billion."

Where is the Republican outrage over these "takers"?

Liberals haven't used this story to paint all conservatives and their rural constituents as opportunists looking to scam the system and get something for nothing, so maybe it's time for conservatives to stop using anecdotal stories about welfare fraud to paint 47% of Americans as lazy victims who don't take responsibility for their lives.