SLF Litigation Director Braden Boucek Discusses the Recent USDA Reward of $2.2 Billion for Racism

Nov 17, 2022

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Litigation Director Braden Boucek of Southeastern Legal Foundation in the studio to discuss his recent article regarding bureaucracy, racism, and the United States Department of Agriculture scam.

Leahy: We’re joined in the studio by very good friend Braden Boucek, who is the litigation director at the Southeastern Legal Foundation. Good morning, Braden.

Boucek: Good morning. Great to be back.

Leahy: We like having you on here. A lot of fun. And of course, you’ve got a very strong understanding of legal issues since you are litigation director for one of the leading public interest law firms, from a conservative perspective.

You have a very interesting story up at The Epoch Times. Want to talk about that a little bit. It was published on Tuesday. Headline: “Why Are We Giving the Department of Agriculture $2.2 Billion for Being Racist?” Would you elaborate on that, please?

Boucek: Sure. Buried in the grievously misnamed Inflation Reduction Act …

Leahy: (Chuckles) Grievously misnamed. I like that.

Boucek: … was $2.2 billion allocated to USDA to spend all …

Leahy: That’s the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Boucek: Correct. [To spend all] on past victims of discrimination at the department’s own hand. So it’s $2.2 billion. The USDA has spent $2.4 billion on settlement awards in the past, which begs the question, why is it that USDA has such a problem being racist against people in its farm loan lending programs? So we explored that question.

I hope the piece is interesting. The strangest part about the provision is that it isn’t USDA spending the money itself, but rather it authorizes them to select outside groups, non-governmental entities, to spend the money on its behalf.

Leahy: I’m just going to put my hand up. We’ll form an outside group, and we’ll help with this problem. What do you think? (Laughs)

Boucek: You’re welcome to it. (Leahy laughs) I want nothing to do with this process. In particular, the beauty contest that USDA is going to hold to select which group gets to decide how to spend – say it again – $2.2 billion.

Leahy: I know. This is just a giveaway, isn’t it?

Boucek: It’s totally a giveaway.

Leahy: To left-wing groups. Yeah.

Boucek: And it’s a giveaway on three levels. Because it’s Congress that gives money to the bureaucracy, which then gives money to these left-wing groups that are going to spend the money. And then they’re going to rain money on actual farmers and ranchers who were purportedly discriminated against by USDA. So there are three levels of background.

Leahy: It’s a scam.

Boucek: Yes.

Leahy: It’s a legal scam.

Boucek: It’s a legal scam. Right.

Leahy: Tell our listeners a little bit about the Southeastern Legal Foundation. It’s been around since the 1970s, but a lot of people haven’t heard about it. It does great work. Just give a description to our listeners of what you do there.

Boucek: Sure. We’re one of the leading constitutional law firms on the conservative side in the country. We’ve been around since the 1970s. We stand up for limited government.

We stand up for Republican principles, those smaller Republican principles. And most of all, we stand up for the Constitution when the government does annoying things that hurt people.

Leahy: Well, that’s like pretty much all the time, isn’t it?

Boucek: It’s happening with distressing regularity.

Leahy: How do you pick the most egregious examples of federal and state governments – or just federal governments?

Boucek: Federal, state, and city. They all seem to want to exceed their constitutional limits.

Leahy: Yes, they do.

Boucek: I’m never going to be out of work. Not many people want to be unemployed, but I would be delighted to be unemployed.

Leahy: You will never be unemployed because the nature of power is that any administrative structure that has power wants more. It’s been that way since the beginning of time.

Boucek: That’s a great point, and I think that that is a lost article of philosophy that is not widely disseminated among Americans anymore. But the American system is founded upon a suspicion of power. That’s what makes us different.

Leahy: James Madison. Checks and balances. Men are not angels.

Boucek: No. And if they were, who would be the angels that we would select in government?

Leahy: When he says man, he means mankind.

Boucek: Yes.

Leahy: Men and women, right?

Boucek: It was a non-gender term.

Leahy: But yes. Clearly, we’ve got this problem, and we’ll talk about that and more when we get back.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.