Trade

Trump’s Farm Bailout Continues

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

While technically part of Trump's second bailout for farmers first announced earlier this year, American farmers will receive their third Trump bailout checks beginning this week.

In announcing the payments, Agricultural Secretary Sunny Perdue not-so-subtly blamed China for the bailout's existence.

The payments “will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the statement.

Sign-ups for the payments will run through Dec. 6, the statement said. If conditions warrant, the third tranche will be made in January 2020, it said. [...]

The U.S. government spent some $12 billion on trade aid for farmers in 2018 and some farm groups are already calling for a third year of compensation.

"Unfair trade retaliation."

Calling it "retaliation" is an indication and admission that Trump fired the first shorts, so what exactly about this is unfair? Was China suppose to just take it?

In any case, I would like to point out that Trump's bailouts for farmers have now totaled approximately $28 billion including the first bailout of 2018 ($12 billion) and the second bailout of 2019 ($16 billion) and these bailouts have achieved virtually nothing.

For comparison, the Obama administration prevented the collapse of General Motors for just $8 billion; prompting some Republicans to refer to the company as "Government Motors."

Trump's bailouts haven't prevented the collapse of much at all as the agricultural industry has continued to collapse while receiving a slow drip of aid from the Trump regime. Farm debt is at an all-time record high, farm bankruptcies are at their highest level since the 1980s, and the nation's largest milk producer, Dean Foods, recently filed for bankruptcy.

I guess we could generously say that Trump's bailouts have prevented something even worse from happening, but that's not much of an accomplishment to stand on and there's no reason to think conditions will improve anytime soon. American automakers saw a decade of growth following the Obama administration's bailout, but there's nothing but more pain on the horizon for American farmers.

We will almost certainly see a third bailout for farmers in 2020. Economic conditions will likely support it and another bailout will be politically essential to Trump's campaign.

If Trump's third bailout is similar in scope to his first two bailouts, he will have spent more than $40 billion in taxpayer dollars to repair the damage caused by his trade war of choice.

I can scarcely imagine the conservative commentary surrounding a Democratic administration unilaterally bailing out one of their political constituencies in this manner. There would probably be congressional hearings on the matter for next four years. Republicans held four years of hearings over Benghazi.

  • waspuppet

    “Unfair trade retaliation.”

    Today on Donald Trump Talking Like a Domestic Abuser …

  • Draxiar

    “I know I broke your legs but here’s some crutches.”
    “Oh thanks for your kindness!”

  • muselet

    I don’t begrudge small to medium-sized farms direct government aid—agribusiness concerns can go pound sand—since that aid keeps them relatively solvent, but doling out money to balance out the damage done by insane policy decisions is, well, insane.

    –alopecia

  • stacib23

    Annd, why aren’t these folks “welfare queens”?

  • Tony Lavely

    Well, we know where the remnants of the tariff taxes are headed… those that the Republicans can’t shovel into their pockets.