Real GOP outrage at Trump’s ‘Soviet type’ $12 billion bailout for farmers

Anyone who has ever performed even a cursory look at how Trump ran his “business empire” should be well aware that he regularly used other people’s money to cover his failures. That is, after all, the reason Trump filed bankruptcy six times; to force contractors, material suppliers, employees and financial institutions to absorb the costs of his ineptitude and corruption. Now, the American people will absorb the monetary damage of Trump’s incompetence on international trade to the tune of $12 billion. If the people were not already outraged over the never-ending Trump atrocities, this latest expense should inspire their ire and drive them insane with rage.

After Trump’s Agriculture Department announced the oaf in the Oval’s plan to “bail out” farmers hurt by Trump’s trade war tariffs that primarily affect the agricultural industry, many Republicans in Congress from farm country were driven to rage.

For example, Trump supporter Joni Ernst, Republican senator from Iowa, said that international trade supports 456,000 jobs in her state alone. Ms. Ernst added:

These new tariffs are threatening $977 million in state exports.  Those are real people — Iowans — who are waiting for terms to be negotiated, for new deals to be finalized.”

A regular Trump critic, an anomaly in Washington politics, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) issued a statement saying:

This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and the White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches. . . .America’s farmers don’t want to be paid to lose — they want to win by feeding the world. This administration’s tariffs and bailouts aren’t going to make America great again, they’re just going to make it 1929 again.”

After Trump gave a speech in Kansas City Missouri claiming that the economic and trade experts were wrong, and that his damaging tariffs were benefitting America’s farmers, one of Trump’s supporters, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said:

The president’s Trump is going to have to say more than ‘I like the farmers and I support the farmers.’”

Retiring Tennessee Republican, Senator Bob Corker, spoke plainly in condemning what he labeled “Trump’s incoherent trade policy offering welfare to farmers to solve a problem he created.” As Mr. Corker rightly noted, the “overall problem is Trump’s trade policies that go against free-market principles.”  Mr. Corker continued:

“You have a terrible policy that sends farmers to the poorhouse, and then you put them on welfare, and we borrow the money from other countries. It’s hard to believe there isn’t an outright revolt right now in Congress over what is happening.”

Another Republican senator, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, compared Trump’s bailout plan to cover his ineptitude to the former Soviet Union, labeling it “downright un-American.” Mr. Johnson said:

“This is becoming more and more like a Soviet type of economy here. Commissars deciding who should be granted waivers. Commissars in the administration trying to figure out how they’re going to sprinkle around benefits.”

An agricultural trade group leader who obviously understands the dangers of Trump’s trade war stated the obvious; “American farmers need contracts, not taxpayer funded welfare, for stability and to keep their livelihoods in place.” Brian Kuehl is the executive director of a trade group, Farmers for Free Trade, who said regarding Trump’s welfare for farmers:

“The best relief for the president’s trade war would be ending the trade war. This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs.”

It is noteworthy that there is indeed going to be long-term damage even if Trump should rescind the tariffs; because America’s once loyal trading partners are swiftly moving forward with a rash of new “free trade” agreements with nations opposed to isolationism. Trump’s bovine excrement lie that the taxpayer funded cover for his trade malfeasance is necessary to protect the farmers until he can negotiate new trade deals is typical Trump stupidity.

For dog’s sake, no nation in their right mind will negotiate with Trump because everyone knows he cannot be trusted, and they have already moved on to better trade deals. They have no reason to deal, or negotiate trade deals, with America when they have made remarkable “free trade” agreements with nations that are not opposed to globalization or afraid of Trump’s America.

It should be no surprise that despite the immediate negative reaction from members of his own party, Trump is not only undeterred, he intends to expand the trade war with utmost haste. Many pundits have opined that Trump’s intent to spend $12 billion of taxpayer funds to cover the damage from his tariffs is proof he is Hell-bent on expanding the trade war. In fact, after being criticized mercilessly by his own party for implementing an “incoherent trade policy” and creating “a Soviet-type” economy to cover his idiocy, Trump “tweeted” that his “Tariffs are the greatest!

This issue, like everything connected to the criminal in the Oval Office, should inspire ire and outrage among the population for myriad reasons. The people Trump is going to provide welfare to assuage the economic damage he created are among his most ardent and bigoted supporters. That includes the Senate Republicans from agriculturally rich states now railing against the policies Trump pledged to enact at every campaign rally throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.

No decent American wants to celebrate the economic damage Trump is wreaking on his supporters in the agriculture sector, but it is difficult to have an iota of compassion for their plight. Because despite the deliberate pain Trump is causing their families and livelihoods, they still support him and his make America white and Christian agenda.

However, the aspect of this latest abomination that is the most infuriating is that Trump is going to use $12 billion of taxpayer money for injuries he unilaterally inflicted on his base. In addition, it is a slap in the face of every American that Trump bemoans spending “money we don’t have” on healthcare, food, education, and housing for the poor, but is quick to drop $12 billion of other people’s money to cover his incompetence and idiotic trade war. Throughout his alleged “illustrious” business career, Trump has used material suppliers’, contractors’ and financial institutions’ money to cover his greed and incompetence. It should not be surprising he is using American taxpayers’ money to cover the damage from his “incoherent trade policy” and “Soviet style economic agenda.”

As retiring Republican Senator Bob Corker said, “It’s hard to believe there isn’t an outright revolt right now in Congress over what is happening.” It is also hard to believe there isn’t an outright revolt among the general population, because they are the ones who will suffer most from Trump’s trade war and now they have to pay for Trump’s incompetence.

Although Trump has provided a thousand reasons to be enraged over the past two years, the idea that he is blatantly using Americans’ tax dollars to pay for his idiocy, no matter who gets the money, may be the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. At some point, even Republicans in Congress have to comprehend that like some of their colleagues, Americans will only stay silent and passive for so long, especially with midterm elections looming large.

Americans may continue tolerating Trump’s treasonous affair with Vlad Putin and Russia’s oligarchs; and they may even overlook Trump and his family personally profiting from living in the White House. But it is difficult to fathom very many Americans’ overlooking having to pay $12 billion to cover Trump’s personal incompetence and outrageous tariffs – especially when they understand that Russian President Vladimir Putin likes Trump’s tariffs on America’s trading partners.

Image: Reuters

Farmers’ Crops Are Rotting in the Fields Thanks To Trump

At this juncture it would be difficult, if not impossible, to list the myriad ways Trump has hurt America and, more importantly, Americans. Whether it was his actions such as devastating executive orders abolishing protections for the environment, or his threats to withhold funding that sent the insurance industry into a panic-driven increase in healthcare insurance premiums, he has proven himself to be a friend of no-one but Nazi fascists, white supremacists, and Donald J. Trump. However, although the media is being swamped with outrages against decency committed by the occupant in the White House on a daily basis, they should show a bit more interest in the plight of the agriculture industry and Americans’ access to its produce.

Back in late April after a farcical “Roundtable on Agriculture” and executive order signing ceremony, Trump did what was expected and lied through his teeth about his high regard for “agriculture and rural prosperity in America.” For those of us who have been keeping score, Trump has singlehandedly wrought more damage on the agriculture industry with a couple of ill-advised moves than any administration in history. And the American people are going to pay the price; many, many farmers have already paid the price.

After praising himself at the “Roundtable on Agriculture” Trump announced:

They [farmers] had a very good day.  We’re doing well, very well.  Things are turning around.  I know they’re turning around for you folks, so I just want to welcome you very much to the White House.

So this is promoting agriculture and rural prosperity in America.  And, now, there’s a lot of words I won’t bother reading everything.  But agriculture and rural prosperity in America, that’s what we want.  And we don’t want to be taken advantage of by other countries — and that’s stopping, and that’s stopping fast.”

Kind of like “getting tired of winning,” the only thing that Trump is stopping is agriculture and rural prosperity that is indeed turning around; but it is going in the wrong direction for the American agriculture industry and in the ‘winning’ direction for the rest of the world. And, what that wrong direction amounts to for farmers is watching their crops rot in the fields because they are facing an impossible task of finding field laborers with expertise to harvest and process the crops to get them to market in a timely fashion.

In the third or fourth report in a couple of months about how Trump’s immigration and trade policy is singlehandedly hurting an already struggling agriculture sector, farmers are crying, literally crying, that they cannot find the people qualified to harvest their crops. Unlike most other industries, agriculture is an extremely time sensitive industry where harvesting crops at precisely the right time is the key to success. But harvesting in a timely manner is an issue many farmers aren’t even having to face because they cannot find field workers to harvest at any time due to Trump’s immigration policy.

Farmers in California have continued reporting that they are having extreme difficulty in finding, much less hiring, enough experienced people to do the dirty work during harvest season causing crops to rot in the fields. According to a report by NBC News, that difficulty has already “triggered losses of more than $13 million in just two counties;” and the harvest season is just getting underway. What that means for American consumers is that vegetable and fruit prices are going to rise substantially because the migrant farm workers with expertise to harvest quickly and efficiently are nowhere to be found.

All of the blame for the shortage of field workers is being attributed to “the ongoing battle about U.S. immigration policy” since Trump won the election; the troubles started months before he was in the White House. Although migrant farm workers are integral to agriculture nation wide, “the vast majority of California’s farm workers are foreign born, with many coming from Mexico.

As noted in a report from the PEW Research Center, not only are migrant workers not making the trip North to work and help feed Americans, after Trump’s election more Mexicans are fleeing America than are coming here. And it is noteworthy that because of Trump, there is nothing farmers can do to entice immigrant labor to risk working in the fields; even if they are American citizens or are authorized to work in the United States; and who can blame them?

The blame certainly is not on the farmers, unless it is for voting for the imbecile who did tell them his raison d’être in the Oval Office is purging Mexicans from the nation that won him the unwavering support of the white supremacist cult. Now those farmers who admit they supported Trump have to take extraordinary steps to lure migrant workers to the fields with no success.

Those extraordinary steps include trying to make the dirty jobs more appealing and worth the risk of being hunted down, arrested, and roughed up by Trump’s ICE brown shirts. Farmers are offering actual “salaries” well above the minimum wage as opposed to “piece work,” offering paid time off for vacations and illness, and 401(k) retirement plans. Despite those benefits and higher salaries, it is not nearly enough. And the travesty is this issue is plaguing farmers across the nation.

Despite what Trump says, the American agriculture sector is in big trouble due to his racist immigration policy and isolationist trade incompetence. In July, it was reported here that Trump’s threat to pull out of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) prompted Mexico to shift to its “plan B” that entails making trade deals for its agricultural products with other nations.

Just talking about scuttling a trade pact since he took office prompted Mexican farmers to go to their Plan B and has driven “American soybean exports to Mexico to decrease 15 percent, corn has dropped 6 percent; and chicken dropped 11 percent; it is the largest decline of 14 years.”  Trump’s big mouth is making those “rural states” that helped put him in the White House worried sick that their primary industry will take more significant economic hits than have already occurred.

Add to that terrible farm news was Trump’s unilaterally withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP). It was an incompetent error that incited Japan and the European Union to reach a monumental trade deal that leaves America’s agriculture sector with crushing tariffs on its products that were slated for extinction under TPP. Now, the tariffs remain on American products while the EU, Japan, and remaining signatories to the “free trade” agreement will eliminate tariffs for participating nations putting America’s farmers in a horrible position; inability to compete.

Although it appears Trump’s immigration and trade incompetence will only have a deleterious effect on the agriculture sector, and it is already costing them dearly, it is the American consumers who are going to pay a healthy price, literally, for fresh fruit, vegetables, and livestock products.

Every time a farmer has to watch their crops rot in the field, or our former trading partners ship their products to other nations with competent trading policies, the price of food for Americans is going to rise significantly. And it is noteworthy that all of this is down to the incompetency of the Trump administration; not the farmers, not the migrant farm workers, and not America’s trading partners.

Image: TheGuardian