Trump To Give Farmers Another Twenty Or Fifty Bucks Each, NOW SHUT UP ABOUT IT

Donald Trump plans to spend another $16 billion to bail out farmers who have been hurt by Donald Trump's trade war with China, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. That's on top of the $12 billion bailout Trump already promised farmers last year. That seems like a really smart way to run a trade war: Raise prices on consumers, and then send taxpayer funds to pay off farmers who are losing business, so maybe they'll keep voting for Trump.

Perdue explained the subsidies were necessary to offset China's retaliatory tariffs on US ag products, which is totally unfair for China to do, after all:

"Well, President Trump feels what they're trying to do is really outlast him and that's not gonna work. Their economy has hurt a lot more than our agricultural economy and that's why President Trump has authorized a $16 billion facilitation program," Perdue said Thursday morning on Fox Business.

Perdue said that the farmer aid will be paid for by an equivalent amount the US expects to pull in through tariffs. But Perdue also claimed that "China's gonna pay for these" -- a false assertion made repeatedly by Trump.

Let's say that one more time very slowly: American consumers pay for the tariffs when importers raise their prices to cover the import duties. China isn't paying diddly, although the tariffs are designed to hurt China by reducing imports.

CNN notes, helpfully, that at least Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, acknowledged earlier this month that the costs of imported goods are paid by US businesses and US consumers, although even then Kudlow insisted China would "suffer" because reduced imports would hurt its GDP. Pity that nobody in the CNN video thought to ask Kudlow whether he has informed the Great Man who actually pays tariffs.

Politico notes that the timing of the bailout announcement is kind of crap, since it's planting season and the prospect of government payouts may lead some farmers to switch to

crops that receive higher payouts from the aid package, such as soybeans. That would add to already record supplies and further depress prices that have been falling for five years.

Sounds like some of that crazy supply and demand we keep hearing about. Someone should look into that, but the USDA has been busy boning its own economists, so don't expect a peep out of them!

We're sure the new bailouts will be every bit as good for the average farmer as the first round was. The Environmental Working Group estimated the top ten percent of bailout recipients received 68 percent of all the money, leaving many farmers affected by the market disruption with little to show for their heroic duty in the Trade War. In Iowa, for instance, dozens of corn farmers got subsidy checks for $25 or less, woohoo! But others made out like bandits, getting even more than the "maximum" $125,000 subsidy thanks to a loophole that allows multiple related persons to make bailout claims.

"These numbers match trends EWG has been tracking for years, which indicate that federal farm subsidies tend to benefit the largest, most financially secure farmers — or those who have a financial interest in a farm, but may never set a foot on it, let alone drive a tractor," said Sarah Graddy, an Environmental Working Group spokeswoman.

In conclusion, bailing out already wealthy agribusiness is an American tradition that isn't likely to change this time around either, because the very term "agriculture subsidies" makes people's eyes glaze over. Hell, I think this shit is outrageous, but I'm barely staying awake, the end.

[CNN / Politico / Des Moines Register / Image: The Tractor Ploughing Squadron, 1965]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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