Will Farmers Accept Trump’s $12 Billion Bribe To Stay Quiet?

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
Posted 7/26/18

8 Comments on "Will Farmers Accept Trump’s $12 Billion Bribe To Stay Quiet?"

  • Rick, I like your article. However, it is my understanding that there are many other subsidies, long established, that already have made farmers “welfare queens.” For example, isn’t crop insurance considered a subsidy when it is sold at prices far below cost?

    • It seems to me that China is a unique situation that requires drastic measures. China uses dumping to weaken or manufacturing base, currency manipulation to gain a price advantage, they steak intellectual property at will and fence us out of their domestic markets. Tariffs are a lever to get them to open markets. China brought the farmers into this not trump and they did it for political calculation. They figure by inflicting pain they can make trump back off. Trump is showing them it won’t work. Who are you cheering for in this issue?

  • Actually, Bill, crop insurance itself is subsudized by the Feds. Farmers buy into it and the government picks up part of the tab. Thing is, I’m not sure that it covers loss of revenue due to trade wars. That’s not normal market forces (But, then, I’m not any kind of economist!)
    Nonetheless; it is just another example of the Repubs having their cake and eating it, too. And it seems that our “illustrious” congresscritters (both in DC and here in the state) have no problem holding two dichotomous ideas (adn can therefore speak either scathingly or wit praise no matter which audience they attempt to bamboozle. Rick is right, but I think that 1) $12 billion is a drop in the bucket (unbelivable that!) and 2) there are too many other Republicans in DC making too much noise about this “bailout”. We’ll see; I expect that only the first reason will have any traction, and then, inertia will kick in – and if they vote, they’ll vote as they usually do, mostly against their self-interests.

  • If you believe your getting it up the wazoo, you may as well get paid for the pleasure . Business as usual by our lame politicians, as you can’t expect anything more from what we put there ………ENJOY THE STUPIDITY !

  • Iowa taxpayers who are paying more than half the real cost of crop insurance (along with all other American taxpayers) could get a better deal if crop insurance were firmly tied to requirements for good farm conservation that would protect water and soil. Instead, crop insurance is barely tied to very minimal conservation, and enforcement is iffy, partly because soil conservation staff are too few and overwhelmed with work.

    The industrial farm groups that complain that urbanites “don’t understand farming” should actually be very grateful. If Americans really understood what Big Ag gets away with, in terms of destroying natural resources and shoving the costs on everyone else, there would be public outrage. I get regular information about farm conservation. While a small percentage of Iowa farmers are dedicated conservationists and deserve high praise for it, the majority are taking a “wait and see” attitude toward water quality. And Iowa’s toothless water policies enable that. What percentage of people would pay taxes if doing so were completely voluntary?

  • There are more Americans on Social Secuity and Medicare than there are farmers. If Trump and the GOP try to take
    $12 billion from these essential programs
    before the Nov. election, they will be signing their own death sentence.

  • It seems to me that China is a unique situation that requires drastic measures. China uses dumping to weaken or manufacturing base, currency manipulation to gain a price advantage, they steak intellectual property at will and fence us out of their domestic markets. Tariffs are a lever to get them to open markets. China brought the farmers into this not trump and they did it for political calculation. They figure by inflicting pain they can make trump back off. Trump is showing them it won’t work. Who are you cheering for in this issue?

  • How much in subsidies is the average farming household receiving from the govt? How much is too much??? At what point does the public say “enough is enough” and start to peel back some of the ag subsidies?

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