Trade

Trump’s Bailouts for Farmers Hit Record High

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

It's never been a better or worse time to be a farmer, depending on your perspective.

The amount of money the federal government is flushing down the toilet of Trump's global trade war has reached a staggering amount this year and it's easily the single biggest source of income for the American agricultural industry at this point.

Including the most recent round of bailouts announced by the regime, nearly 40 percent of the industry's income now comes from the government.

From Reuters:

The aid money compensated farmers for lower prices caused by trade wars and large global supplies of crops. It also eased the impact of a fresh blow to an already-weak ethanol market when Americans drove less during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the latest $14 billion farm aid package announced in Wisconsin on Sept. 17, federal payments to farmers are expected to reach a record $51.2 billion this year. The government’s share of farmers’ net cash income will also rise to 39.7%, the biggest in 20 years. [...]

“If you went by yard signs around where I live, Trump has got it by a landslide,” said farmer Jim Hefner, who grows corn and soybeans in Lima, Ohio.

Reading this, there's only one thing I could think of.

All I could think of was that these farmers -- the farmers who voted for Trump in the first place and likely will again -- are the same kind of people who don't believe in socialism, right? Well, no, I should be more clear and explicit: they believe in socialism for themselves but not for black and brown people or other minorities.

We all have to eat and to that extent the government should prevent the collapse of the industry, of course, but that's not what's happening here.

The Agriculture Department forecast net farm income would rise 4% in 2020 from last year even before the most recent aid announcement. [...]

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly measure of farmer economic sentiment, jumped 22% in August, before the latest aid announcement, to its highest level since February. The barometer, which is based on surveys of 400 farmers, rose another 8% in September.

Trump isn't saving an industry that he has done more than anyone to smother with his trade war. He's just buying votes from white people with government handouts.

I'm old enough to remember when the Republican party's previous presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, accused President Obama of buying votes by just giving them better access to health care.

Unfortunately, some amount of bailout money will probably have to be distributed next year even if Trump is voted out of office. It will take time to wind down Trump's trade war and literally years to rebuild access to foreign markets.