Who knew? Cliven Bundy is a Socialist! Because who but a banner waving Socialist would presume that public land was theirs for the taking without payment? And, then there are those Socialist Cows munching on public property at no expense. The Bureau of Land Management administers about 245 million acres of public land, and manages grazing on approximately 155 million acres by issuing permits — an estimated 18,000 permits for 21,000 allotments on BLM lands. [BLM]
Bundy’s gripe is with the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act which authorized the Bureau of Land Management to create regulated districts. Further, he wants the use of public lands — but he doesn’t want to pay for the use — like the other 99.9% of ranchers.
“The Federal grazing fee, which applies to Federal lands in 16 Western states on public lands managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, is adjusted annually and is calculated by using a formula originally set by Congress in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978. Under this formula, as modified and extended by a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM); also, any fee increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level. (An AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.) The grazing fee for 2014 is $1.35 per AUM, the same level as it was in 2013.The Federal grazing fee is computed by using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states. The figure is then adjusted each year according to three factors – current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on market conditions, with livestock operators paying more when conditions are better and less when conditions have declined.” [BLM]
Not to put too fine a point to it, but what Mr. Bundy wants is a free ride. While 99.99% of western ranchers include the grazing fees in their accounting as a cost of doing business, Mr. Bundy wants a government subsidy (in the form of non-payment of the grazing fees).
Better still, Mr. Bundy has reiterated his attack on capitalism (which generally accepts that there are costs incurred in doing business) and staunchly declares he will Never Back Down. [ABC] But wait, there’s more!
Yeah, it’s all about Freedumb! The freedumb to graze cows free of charge on federal (public) land, while every other rancher in the county pays the required grazing fees and doesn’t trespass his or her cattle on the allotments.
Thus, the Welfare Queen of Clark County, Nevada, wants to avoid paying the grazing fees because he doesn’t agree with the BLM rules and regulations — and I’d like to cut back on the income taxes I pay because I don’t agree with the brackets….
It is truly heart-warming (in the electrification sense of the term) to know that there are people who can get a free ride from the government, who can break the law with impunity, and who can threaten violence when called to account, if they don’t agree with the administration of the laws of the land, and the lands.
Meanwhile back at the Lazy WQ, Mr. Bundy doesn’t have to go to all the effort of moving his Socialist Cattle, because….. Freedumb!