Isn’t it fascinating that Republicans have had a sudden epiphany on the benefits of welfare? Apparently, when it improves their election chances, welfare has a previously unknown value. Where is the GOP’s protest about giving “free stuff” to win elections? Recall they accused President Obama of winning by giving free stuff.
Where is their anger over the government picking winners and losers? Where is their outrage over makers and takers now that they’ve transformed farmers from makers to takers. Why are they only concerned with poor people’s dignity degraded by accepting handouts? Aren’t Republicans concerned about damaging farmers’ self-esteem by giving them welfare? Why aren’t they concerned that they are taking away farmers’ pride to support their families with a paycheck rather than a handout? Recall Ronald Reagan warned about the dangers of creating welfare queens by putting folks on the government dole. Will Trump require farmers to have drug tests to qualify? Will there be additional work requirements for farmers?
President Trump’s announcement on Tuesday of a massive $12 billion taxpayer funded bailout to farmers is a gift to Republicans as well. Republicans can now have it both ways. They can criticize tariffs and the government bailouts but if farmers remain loyal to the GOP in the November elections Republican candidates will likely benefit. Iowa Republican leaders were getting very nervous about a 2018 rural voter backlash to the tariffs that might empower a blue wave.
Even though Trump’s taxpayer handout runs counter to nearly every Republican belief in free markets, welfare subsidies and big government, don’t expect them to protest too loudly. The Republican-controlled House and Senate could easily stop Trump from offering these subsidies if they really wanted to act.
Trump’s been saying for months that he would pay off farmers if necessary to keep them in line. As we approach the 2018 election and farmers are suffering from the economic impact of Trump’s disastrous tariffs, he’s keeping his promise to pay for their silence. Trump doesn’t want farmers complaining and voting for Democrats, so he’s using taxpayer dollars to buy their votes, their silence and their loyalty. Republican political leaders will simply go along in order to get reelected.
Trump has been described as a transactional president. Transactional leaders use rewards and punishments to gain compliance from their followers. Trump is simply empowering the Department of Agriculture as a welfare agency to reward farmers for their compliance. It’s all part of his marvelous art of the deal. Are we getting tired of winning too much yet?
Remember in October 2016 when Trump bribed porn actress Stormy Daniels with $130,000 to prevent her from revealing their alleged affair prior to the election. Now he’s screwing farmers and wants them to keep quiet at least through the 2018 midterms. It’s costing a bit more to silence farmers, but since he’s raiding the Federal Treasury, it’s not his money.
Iowa Republicans including Govenor Reynolds, Senator Ernst and Senator Grassley all reacted to the bailouts with a muted protest. Reynolds called them “a short term fix.”
Translate Reynolds’ “short term fix” to mean, please keep farmers happy until I can get reelected in November. Then you can do whatever you want to farmers.
Senator Grassley, the master of double talk, opposes government handouts but will accept them if it wins elections for Republicans. He’s willing to wait until after November to find solutions.
“What farmers in Iowa and throughout rural America need in the long term are markets and opportunity, not government handouts. I look forward to reviewing the details of the President’s proposal and continuing to work with the Administration to find permanent solutions,” Grassley said.
The Republicans’ disgusting responses to the tariffs and bailouts is further evidence of their inability to challenge Trump. It’s more proof that they will completely betray and repudiate their core beliefs just to win elections.
by Rick Smith