Federal Government Steals Billions of Dollars of Raisins

Have you ever heard of Marketing Order 989, the Raisin Administrative Committee or the National Raisin Reserve?  If you’re not a raisin producer, the answer is probably no.

In 1949, the Raisin Administrative Committee was formed under the Agricultural Agreement Act of 1937.  In 1949, Democrat Harry Truman was President of the United States and both the House and Senate were controlled by the Democrats.  The Congress was still following the liberal progressive agenda of FDR.  Marketing Order 989 gave the newly formed Raisin Administration Committee the right to regulate raisin sales from grapes grown in California.  They set prices and determined how many grapes were sold domestically.  Supposedly, the new law was to help protect poorer farmers by controlling the supply, demand and the price of raisins in response to the Great Depression.

Part of the order gave the committee the right to secure a percentage of every grower’s grapes without compensating them.  The government could then turn around and sell their raisin supply and the monies would go into the federal coffers of the Agriculture Department.

Meet Mark Horne of Raisin Valley Farms in Kerman, California.  In 2002, Horne decided to stop giving part of his crop to the feds and has continued to do so every year since.  In response, the government is saying that he now owes them 1.2 million pounds of raisins and he is facing fines of $650,000 dollars.

Horne contends that the Marketing Order confiscation of raisins violates the Fifth Amendment clause against the seizure of private property without just compensation.  The last clause of the Fifth Amendment reads:

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

In June, Horne’s case went before the US Supreme Court who ordered a federal appeals court to take another look at the case of Mark and Laura Horne.  The couple have rested their entire future on the case to overturn the Marketing Order and what he believes to be the theft of millions of dollars of raisins.  They said that if they lose and the federal appeals court rules against them, that they will owe the nearly $3 million for back payment of raisins not delivered.  That would bankrupt the couple, causing them to lose everything.

In one year alone, the USDA made $65 million from their sale of confiscated raisins.  Over sixty years of government confiscation and sales would add up to billions of dollars by now that should have been in the bank accounts of the growers, not the government.  I don’t consider that protecting poorer growers.  Instead, it only helps to put poorer growers out of business and give the government more control over private businesses.

This is socialism and FDR and Truman were heavy into establishing socialist programs to help convert America from a free nation to one controlled by a select few.  FDR and the Democrats also initiated Social Security which was designed to make the older segment of America reliant on the government instead of on themselves and their families.

We need to pray that Mark and Laura Horne win their court case and shut down the illegal government annual thievery of millions of dollars of raisins and allow the growers to reap the proceeds of their labor.