Trump Cornholes Farmers
Donald Trump is highly unlikely to lose the farm vote in 2020. Although he is giving it the old college try! Seriously, what the hell is this?
Suck it, FARMERS! If you only knew how to agriculture good, you'd find someone else to buy your soybeans when the Chinese close their markets in retaliation for yet another round of punitive American tariffs. Russia, if you're listening ... oh, whoops, Russia is ramping up its soybean sales to China to take advantage of the trade war. Excuses!
Trump won 93 of 99 counties in Iowa in 2016, so he's got a pretty comfortable margin there. But, as the Associated Press reports, he's doing his damnedest to piss off Midwestern corn producers, with the EPA issuing a record 31 waivers this month exempting oil refineries from blending corn alcohol -- AKA ethanol -- into their gasoline. Forty percent of the country's corn crop gets turned into ethanol, harvests have been bad because of lousy weather, and China's not buying any more corn right now. So naturally, Donald Trump thought it was the ideal time to give a big, sloppy kiss to the oil companies by letting them shave costs by cutting out the corn farmers.
Yes, we know ethanol is environmentally problematic. And it is not lost on us that the very same people railing against evil, Venezuelan socialism are clamoring for a gubmint welfare check through laws forcing private business to subsidize farmers and pass the cost on to consumers as higher gas prices. All of that is true, and yet, it's still really fucking stupid to piss off the farmers by reducing demand for ethanol by 2.6 billion gallons in the lead up to a presidential election. The wisdom of ethanol subsidies is a complicated issue; the wisdom of Trump's farm policy is not.
"That flashpoint was reached and the frustration boiled over, and this was the straw that broke the camel's back," president of the National Corn Growers Association Lynn Chrisp told the AP. The National Corn Board accused the president of "destroying demand for corn and ultimately choosing to bail out the oil industry rather than helping American farmers." And National Farmers Union leader Roger Johnson trashed Trump's trade war on a radio show this morning, calling China a "lost market" for American farmers. (Insert FAKE NEWS COASTAL ELITES joke here, because of how these farm people are not those people.)
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, fresh off his successful appearance at the Minnesota Farmfest where he joked that two farmers in a basement makes a "whine cellar" -- GET IT???? -- reassured farmers in Decatur, Illinois, that Trump thinks all these waivers his EPA keeps issuing are "way overdone." In the immortal words of H.I. "Hi" McDunnough, "They say Reagan's a decent man, so maybe his advisors are confused."
It may look like Tariff Man is about to stick his dick in the thresher, but he's got it all under control. Sure, 16 ethanol plants have already shut down since Trump's EPA started upping the waivers. But Trump will be unveiling his plan to make everyone happy by doing ... errr, something, REAL SOON.
There's no problem there, it's a giant package! He'll be unveiling it in two weeks. Or after Halloween. Or maybe five minutes after he gooses the stock market by making up some phone calls with China that imply he's on the cusp of a trade deal. GET READY!
No, really Charlie Brown, just kick it. This time he means it.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.