Boots & Sabers

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2139, 25 Jul 18

Trump to Provide Farm Aid


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it would provide up to $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers hurt by the president’s trade war, moving to blunt the financial damage to American agriculture and the political fallout for Republicans as the consequences of President Trump’s protectionist policies roll through the economy.

Unveiled two days before the president is scheduled to visit Iowa, a politically important state that is the nation’s top soybean producer, the farm aid appeared calculated to show that Mr. Trump cares about farmers and is working to protect them from the worst consequences of his trade war.

But the relief money, announced by the Department of Agriculture, was also an indication that Mr. Trump — ignoring the concerns of farmers, their representatives in Congress and even some of his own aides — plans to extend his tit-for-tat tariff wars.

So Trump creates an economic hardship through his tariff policy and then uses taxpayer money to selectively bail out some of those businesses that are negatively impacted by that policy. No thanks. Just end the policy.

Furthermore, I don’t like the notion of the President pulling $12 billion out of the taxpayers’ couch without any legislative process or appropriation. $12 billion is still a LOT of our money for a single man to throw around.


2139, 25 July 2018


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    This is just dumb.

    If he does that, and then gets trade deal done with China, causing prices to skyrocket, will farmers then give money back?

  2. dad29

    Hmmmmm….. is right.

    There are actually two different “farm” situations.  The first, DAIRY, is not a tariff/Trump-apocalypse matter; it’s simply a very bad market for dairy products that has been declining for years.  Meantime, the Cheese Guys have been multiplying like rabbits.  And the consequences are as expected:  somebody’s going to be out of business.

    As to CASH CROP farming:  it appears that farmers are purchasing more and more land for crops, just like they did in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s.  That means they have jacked up their debt-service.  Now, the TrumpTariffs have hit and prices are falling–so the farmers bitch that it’s Trump’s fault.

    Not entirely.  But you won’t read about the debt-service part, will you?

  3. Merlin

    American “farmers” are already subsidized by the federal government to the tune of roughly $20B annually and they’re heavily dependent on the managed market assistance they’ve been receiving from the feds since the Dust Bowl years. Tamper in any way with their 80+ years of government assistance and they make enough noise to remind you they’re still out there.

  4. Pat

    They receive all that government assistance and yet, I don’t hear anyone shaming them for having a cell phone, cable tv, or internet.

  5. Jason

    >They receive all that government assistance and yet, I don’t hear anyone shaming them for having a cell phone, cable tv, or internet

    Sure, point out the ones that don’t plow their fields, don’t milk their cows, don’t hay their fields.  Show me the ones that lay on the couch all day, sleep in late, eat fast food, drink excessively.  I’ll be first in line to shame those ones.

    You’re an asshat.

  6. Merlin

    During my middle teens my parents “loaned” me (and two male cousins of the same age) to some Iowa farming kin for two summers in a row. One was strictly a crop farmer and the other was primarily a crop farmer with a small dairy operation. Your work day started before sunup and didn’t end until shortly before sunset. What was amazing to me as a kid was how they were never really done working. Each day was basically a repeat of the last with extra chores added.

    Farmers may be dependent upon government assistance, but it’s not like they’re three generations laying on the couch watching Oprah and waiting for the mailman to drop a check in the mailbox. Two summers was enough to learn that farming was not the life for me. Actually, just one summer. The second was performed under protest.

  7. Pat

    If someone works really hard, and can’t make ends meet, they probably deserve a government handout.

    I just recall people who work hard but can’t make ends meet, receiving government assistance, like food stamps, being shamed for having the goods I described.

  8. Pat

    And I do know a very large farmer, who works very hard, enjoys a very good life, has lots of fun toys, and has received an average of $4,200 a month in subsidies over the past 20 years, which he believes he needs and deserves. But, as a tea party republican, he’s the first one to complain about people receiving government assistance.

  9. Le Roi du Nord

    For once I agree with just about everybody here.  The fall out from the tariffs are especially hard on ag producers, be they dairy or commodities.  And this proposed bail-out would treat absentee land-owners the same as actual working farmers.  And how much you want to bet that the payments would go out in late October?

    dad really needs to get out more, as all his assumptions  are not accurate.  No surprise.

  10. Kevin Scheunemann

    I take issue that farmers should be shamed in this issue.

    If over-production and trade wars keep prices low for end using consumers, that can be a good thing.

    At least farmers are being productive.

    There should be a difference in shaming on welfare to those who get welfare who are unproductive and refuse to work or produce.

  11. Pat

    Socialism is great as long as people work hard and are productive.

  12. Kevin Scheunemann

    The problem with socialism is: it is a disincentive to work and production.

    That is why farm subsidy may not fall into this category.

  13. Le Roi du Nord

    So rather then spend $12 billion of the taxpayers dollars, why not make friends with our ag trading partners instead of spitting in their eye?

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