Trump Regime

Trump’s Shutdown Blocks Trump’s Farm Bailout

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's on-again, off-again bailout for farmers who've lost access to the Chinese market because of Trump's trade war have seen their assistance cut off yet again by another disaster of Trump's own making.

The entire federal government has not been shut down, but the departments responsible for administering Trump's bailout have been and that has left farmers in the lurch at a very bad time.

From Reuters:

The shutdown has blocked assistance for many farmers, who at this time of year apply for federal loans as they pay bills due from the previous year and begin budgeting for next season’s planting. It is also affecting aid payments promised to allay the effects of the trade war.

The timing is particularly bad for U.S. farmers, who are already suffering the fallout from the trade war’s raised tariffs and low prices for a top export crop, soybeans, with purchases by China lagging previous years.

“It’s just bad news on top of everything right now,” said Brian Duncan, whose family farms corn and soybeans and raises hogs in northwestern Illinois.

According to Reuters, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) instructed employees to cancel all previously approved payments when the government shutdown started. It's not clear if that means farmers who recently applied for assistance will have to start the process all over again.

You may recall that Trump also temporarily canceled his bailout for farmers following his G-20 meeting with Chinese President Xi Jingping. Trump hallucinated that he secured a trade deal and claimed the Chinese had agreed to immediately resume purchases of American soybeans, but that wasn't true.

Considering how often the bailout program has been interrupted, and considering how lackluster the assistance has been for most farmers, the bailout has been a monumental failure that should probably be investigated by House Democrats. Billions of dollars have flown out the window and we have no idea if it has made a substantial difference.

There's little doubt in my mind that this bailout program has been abused more than it has legitimately helped.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump today confirmed that he told Chuck Schumer that he was willing to keep the shutdown going for months or even years. This is the state of R governance: create a problem, create another problem that exacerbates the first problem, fail to solve either, and blame the Ds.

    Kindergarteners are more mature than Trump and are less likely to be pointlessly destructive like Mitch McConnell (who still insists he will not allow any legislation to come to a vote in the Senate unless Trump approves of it).

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    Excellent article over at the Guardian. Rump is flouting the constitution by unilaterally demanding a “whatever, wall in this case” and shutting the government until he gets it. I made the point before that okay, we should counterpropose Universal Healthcare, pensions, fee college tuition, environmental regs that work, tons of other stuff. Also, do they really want to set a precedent for the next Dem to achieve these things I’ve mentioned (that we should anyway) by the same tactic? Are the Repubs so far gone down the rabbit hole they don’t understand this?

    “Trump’s border wall demand is constitutionally illegitimate
    Lawrence Lessig
    No reading of our constitution would ever uphold the view that a president can stop the functioning of government, to insist upon a program unsupported by the public
    Fri 4 Jan 2019 06.00 EST”

  • swift_4

    I feel sorry for every farmer who didn’t vote for this turd and the Republican turd-party.

    There’s probably three or four of them, right?