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

Trump’s Betrayal Cost Steelworkers Their Jobs

The reports of Trump supporters struggling to realize they were really duped by a second-rate two-bit con man because he was on television continues unabated.

It is getting more difficult by the day, even for a lifelong avowed secular humanist to have a modicum of empathy for “betrayed and lied to” Trump supporters.  Their stupidity, evangelical fanaticism and racism has and will continue adversely affecting all Americans for a couple of decades at least – just think permanent corporate tax cuts.

The latest group to comprehend that they were lied to are steelworkers who are not looking forward to a very happy holiday season because they are looking for their impending layoff notices. And it is noteworthy that those layoffs will likely be permanent because last April Trump said America has no issues with China over its trade or currency policies. Remember, a pillar of Trump’s tough-guy campaign persona was clamping down on trade with China; he was not going to “let them keep raping America.” Instead, as a Merry Christmas to steelworkers, Trump’s ineptitude and China course reversal contributed to the steelworkers losing their jobs.

The New York Times reported that a “sprawling steel mill” on the outskirts of Philadelphia will lay off 150 of the plant’s 207 workers.  The job losses are considered “severe” in that  “they go so deep that even workers with decades of experience will be cast out.” It is a trend that is not going to change anytime soon.

This was a terrible assault to the senses of the workers after they celebrated Trump’s election last year and relished their part in helping him “making America great” and resurrecting America’s manufacturing sector. His campaign promise to create “a new dawn for the American steel industry with a strong ‘buy America’ agenda never happened. Trump promised to protect factories “from unfair imports” and made special pledges to  “revive the American steel industry” with what he touted was his world-renowned trade expertise and negotiating skills. Instead he made the issue worse.

Trump has done nothing to help the steel industry and in fact indicated early after his poorly-attended inauguration that loyalty to his friendly Russian oligarchs supersedes any effort to protect American jobs or manufacturers. Add to that betrayal, Trump’s big mouth and incompetence in international trade has put more than one sector of American industry in the exact opposite position he promised – at a distinct disadvantage in global trade.

Even though he has done nothing to help American industry, foreign steel makers rushed to get foreign steel into America in case Trump actually did anything. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, there was a 20 percent increase in imported steel in the first 10 months of Trump’s tenure than in the same period last year. That is a direct result of Trump running his big mouth that he would stop steel imports with high tariffs and demonstrates the fallacy of his so-called business acumen and negotiation skills to put “America first.”

The only thing Trump accomplished was producing the same results as pulling out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and threatening to “renegotiate” NAFTA. Just the “threats of reneging on the NAFTA trade pact sent Mexico to implement its ‘Plan B’ trade strategy.” A strategy that is leaving American farmers struggling to survive and drove America’s favored trading partners to forge new and more prosperous economic alliances that America is no part of with Trump. America’s agriculture industry is the big loser and America is further isolated from the rest of the world.

In fact, just pulling out of the TPP back in January prompted the president of the United Steelworkers International Union to express an industry-wide fear of exactly what is happening today; steel workers losing their jobs. Leo W. Gerard said after Trump’s ill-advised exit from TPP:

It’s frustrating because of the impact it’s having on the [steel] industry. It’s creating a crisis that’s being exacerbated.”

For the steelworkers losing their jobs in Pennsylvania, the crisis prompted one single mother at the plant for over 22 years to tell her children:

Christmas is going to be kind of scarce, because Mommy’s going to lose her job.”

Because of Trump, the surge of imported steel hurt American steel makers who were already struggling to compete against cheaper Chinese steel. When the ArcelorMittal Philadelphia plant announced the layoffs it blamed cheap imports, as well as the low demand for American steel, on the job cuts.

It is noteworthy too that Trump did not do the industry any favors and broke another pledge that hurt the steel industry he swore to revive by allowing TransCanada to use “foreign steel” in its Keystone XL pipeline. Instead of following through on a line in the sand that TransCanada would be forced to use “American-made steel exclusively or we’re not building one,” Trump gave TransCanada a pass because one of his Russian oligarchfriends” is heavily invested in manufacturing cheaper foreign steel TransCanada wanted to use. The Russian oligarch didn’t have to do much heavy lobbying for his BFF Trump to exempt TransCanada from the “buy American” pledge and give his blessing for them to use all the foreign steel they wanted; American steelworkers and the industry they work in be damned.

To make matters worse for the steelworkers duped once by a Trump con, his Commerce Department spokesman, James Rockas, said that Trump is “aware of the plight of American steelworkers and will continue working to halt unfair trade practices that harm our economy and kill American jobs.”

Trump has no regard for the plight of American workers and it is stunning that steelworkers are just now coming to that painful realization; but losing one’s livelihood does inform a new level of sober reflection. Trump has single-handedly hurt American workers in several industries with his ineptitude on trade, and the GOP tax reform Trump is championing is full of incentives for corporations to outsource more American manufacturing jobs to avoid paying what little corporate tax the new plan envisions.

Of course it is a shame that the steel workers Trump promised to protect are losing their jobs, but they should have known the con man was lying the minute he said he would work to help them. The president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, Scott Paul, heads up a trade group representing steelworkers and he summed up exactly what Trump’s campaign pledge to help save jobs and “revive the industry” was really all about.

The president [Trump] has been using the steelworkers as political props. The president’s [Trump’s] own words and lack of action have actually put the industry in a worse position than if he had done nothing at all.”

It cannot be overstated that no small number of pundits, commentators, Nobel prize-winning economists, and regular folks warned Trump supporters they were being double-crossed. It is something they can reflect on while they stand in line for unemployment benefits – if Trump and Republicans don’t eliminate them first.

Image: AFL-CIO