Trump Likes Farmers Better Than Some Other Welfare Recipients

Now why would that be?

Comments: 219

  1. The farm bailout was twice the size of the auto bailout. And the auto bailout was paid back in full, plus interest. Let’s not fail to mention that the farm bailout was the result of self-inflicted damage. Once farmers resented such handouts .. that too seems to have changed.

  2. @Deanx I had no idea of the relative size of the bailouts, and I generally pay attention. Wonder why this has not been more widely discussed? Seem like it should be.

  3. Of course we need food, but have plenty of autos so it is not quite the same.

  4. @JimH The auto bailout was paid back, The farm welfare won't be paid back, What about other industries that the tariffs have affected or do we just bail out and help Trump voters. This is just vote buying pure and simple. Remember the farmers voted for this they got what they wanted now they expect help for their own decision making . If China was so bad why did the farmers even sell to them to start with ?

  5. Why do we subsidize this business but not other? Where were the subsidies, price fixing, and public insurance when the bottom dropped out of the year tile and shoe industries in the northeast or south? The commodity agriculture model only works because the rest of us subsidize it. It is senseless to be a wheat, corn, or soybean farmer and own land only in one river valley in one small part of whatever agricultural belt you belong to. One bad year in that small area can break you. If this were treated as a business companies would spread the risk across the world owning production in multiple continents to off set losses in one locale. It’s time to let the market decide, the rest of us paying for a failed economic model is coming to an end.

  6. @William Mansfield I don't see that that is an answer either. Having lived near farmers when I was younger, many farmers come to it as a way of life they inherited. While this may sound old fashioned, I don't see how you have farming without having men and women who lived the life - know the issues involved. So understand what hoeing a field to get rid of weeds means, or helping a struggling cow give birth. That said, we cannot expend resources to help farmers and then refuse to help the poor.

  7. We subsidize more businesses than anyone would believe with special exceptions built into the tax code for products. We also subsidize wealthy people with mortgage and state and local tax deductions.

  8. @William Mansfield we subsidize farmers because if we don't--and there's a war--we instantly lose. That's why. Also, there is emotional attachment to the family farm. After all, it isn't like we can't just buy sugar from Haiti and the Dominican Republic at 95% less than what we pay. However, for the most part this is a cold, national security decision.

  9. If you didn't know otherwise you would think that a person who had the capability to manipulate stock and commodity prices with his twitter feed and profit from the exercise was doing just that..

  10. @Jay Buoy Don't forget his tax giveaway to the 1% - no millionaire left behind.

  11. Actually, you need a better constitution. Under the 18th century model, unpopulated real estate has more political rights than densely populated metropolitan areas. Trump is playing to the electoral college while being protected by the Senate. This cannot stand.

  12. @DavidS Sadly, the electoral college itself will stand. But the National Popular Vote Compact - if enacted by enough states (currently 15 + D.C.) - is constitutional and can overcome that anachronism. Will take much work at the state level, and more years, but might succeed in (some of) our lifetimes (it took ~75 years for women to get the vote).

  13. @DavidS And why would someone in a presidential election not "play to the electoral college?"

  14. To the commenter who said it took ~75 years for women to get the vote: From 1607 landing in Jamestown—or 1776 in Philadelphia—to the 19th amendment in 1920 seems like a bit more than 75 years. (But then, you know, being a girl, maybe I didn’t do the math correctly...)

  15. If we don’t help farmers then we risk our future. America loses farm land every year. The reality is that when farmers go under, many times the land is broken up and sold in smaller chunks less suitable for commercial farming.

  16. @John, the people farming on American soil (with foreign entities owning more than 28 million acres) should be supported. However, this massive bailout should be acknowledged as such and as an unintended consequence of Trump’s disastrous trade war.

  17. @Harvey I am certainly no fan of the trade war or most of the tariffs. I also don’t want to see farmers hurt in an internal political battle.

  18. Farm subsidies can help replace the economic losses from tariffs in the short run but tariffs also do a greater harm in future years. Faced with an unreliable supplier in America, China will seek other less encumbered suppliers like Brazil for its soybeans. And when you lose the market, you loose future ongoing sales even if tariffs were instantly discontinued. Tariffs, once employed, hang as a threat to these future sales which subsidies will not undo.

  19. @Doug McNeill Exactly. These markets may be gone for good

  20. @Marie Brazil, Russia and Argentina have swooped in, selling soybeans to China.

  21. "It’s not a majority, but our election rules (starting with the Electoral College) and the structure of our government (like equal representation of states in the Senate) make it large enough to claim and maintain real political power." I think Mr. Bouie is exactly right. The Electoral College and representation in the Senate reward rural white America. When we include voter suppression in those states, white rural America becomes over-represented. It is difficult to break down the old stereotypes that food stamps and welfare are for the lazy. The vast majority of people who want to destroy these things have never suffered in their lives, yet they call themselves Christians and choose to punish the poor.

  22. On a "Firing Line" program, (the conservative interview series on PBS started by William Buckley and restarted by Margaret Hoover), Paul Ryan and Hoover discussed that 40 percent of food stamp recipients are white and 32 percent are black. They pointed out how much poverty exists in rural areas. And yet rural voters keep voting for Republicans . . .

  23. @Helene S Great point. It is just insane how many rural whites continue to vote against their interests. It was the point of Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas" from '04.

  24. Sure, come to Wisconsin! The farms have had Trump/Pence signs up in their yards since 2016 and still going strong. They’re going to the poorhouse, their kids’ and grandkids’ public schools have been decimated, their lands that have held natural resources for decades don’t account for anything, their chances of healthcare insurance are getting slimmer by the minute, but they still cheer for their Republican Leader, by golly!

  25. @MIMA - The small family farmer's GOP sentiment in Wisconsin might be changing due to their losses in Trump's fool's errant China negotiations. Only larger farms and Corporations received the taxpayer welfare bail outs. Wisconsin is a huge swing state in the electoral college which Trump will be courting in the next year. He'll be faced with questions about the 13,000 "good paying" FoxConn jobs that seem to have evaporated into thin air. The Democrats have rebuilt their blue wall in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania & Michigan based on voting indicators from 2018 Congressional races. Tony Evers, the new Wisconsin Democratic governor, was also elected as a rebound against the destructive GOP governance of Scott Walker and Trump's policies.

  26. @Dunca City folk came out for Evers. Thank goodness. But his hands are tied with our Republican legislature. One dirty trick after another, especially with voting. At least Walker’s gone! Heard he’s going to be leading Trump’s Wisconsin campaign. Birds of a feather.

  27. @MIMA Right-wing propagandists have worked hard for 50 years to ensure this state of affairs. Stockholm Syndrome has nothing on the inexplicable loyalty of working people to a party that conspires against them in so many ways.

  28. Rather than handing out 19 billion in aid with no strings attached, the government could have put a few restrictions on the aid (similar to the work requirements for SNAP). Tell farmers that while they are receiving handouts they must stop growing GMO soybeans and corn, using roundup for weeds, insecticides for pests and plant a diversity of cover crops to start healing their soils. That 19 billion could have helped reverse the incredible damage that has been done to the soil by chemical farming rather than biological farming. Regenerative agriculture is the future of farming, why not invest some of those billions towards the future.

  29. @San Francisco Peaks Or do away with large scale CAFO farming operations which is beyond inhumane.

  30. @San Francisco Peaks Once again, the pearl clutching over GMOs. Evidence, please.

  31. @San Francisco Peaks Make the bailout funds dependent on not employing undocumented workers. Surely Trump and his supporters would approve.

  32. Map out the Farmers on Trump’s welfare subsidies and overlay with Congressional, Electoral, MAGA rallies. Best to include hog, pork-belly Farmers as well, although swine flu erased Chinas appetite for tariffs on that commodity. Earmarks and patronage system, or is it spoils are alive and well. Then stump that someone else pays for tariffs as the anvil falls on the silent majority.

  33. Odds are that these payments to Midwestern welfare queens will become a permanent fixture of American politics. Republicans will do anything to preserve their hold on these states, and taking away entitlements is never easy.

  34. We won't need these payments to farmers when president Sanders or Warren restore something like normalized trade with China and other International trading partners. And you can bet that they won't negotiate with China without a clear list of tangible outcomes that will improve our trading situation. These include opening up china's markets to fair competition and protecting intellectual property. That was the cover story for trump, but of course he doesn't have the patience to follow through on any of it, focusing instead on easy bombastic headlines that stir up his base and do nothing for the United States.

  35. Farm subsidies were an explicit bribe to Iowan farmers intended to correct damages from Trump's trade war. Trump needs Iowa badly. That the move also contained a large degree of racial animus is hardly surprising. Despite the injustice though, consider the state of manufacturing. Who isn't Trump subsidizing? Manufacturing continues a steady decline despite Trump's promises in Michigan and Wisconsin. Manufacturing accounts for 8 percent of US employment compared to agriculture's 3 percent. That 3 percent includes wage employees like the immigrants Trump is trying to deport. The actual number of self-employed farmers is 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, tariffs are decimating steel as well. Trump's farmers might be happy but there's not a lot of votes there. Manufacturers are by far more determinate. Trump is buying-off negative publicity. He's not actually supporting the voters he needs to win an election. That's a sliver lining we can appreciate.

  36. I so hope Cory Booker is the Democrats' VP candidate, and so across the country there can be a reasoned discussion on race and racism. Ok, a reasoned discussion is a bit much to hope for, but a VP debate between Pence and Booker would be priceless. Hugh

  37. Isn't state welfare targeted to segments of a nation's economy exactly what Republicans hate and rail against? About European countries? Aren't handouts to farmers not just welfare, but European style socialism? Stalin style socialism? Creeping Russian communism? Is it not true now that farmers are the new welfare queens? The new taker class? Is it also not true that Republicans are dedicated socialists when it comes to the welfare needs of the wealthy? When coal mine companies struggle to make a profit, who is willing to give them a subsidy and cut their costs by allowing them to pollute our rivers and air? When corporations want higher profit margins, who cuts their taxes? Farmers are not the only welfare class, wealthy tycoons and corporations have been getting tax welfare for decades from the open hands of Republicans. But a woman, not working because she is the caretaker for her elderly parent or child, best not ask for food stamps...she'll get a swift back of the hand from Republicans.

  38. @JABarry I might also add, While Republicans are fine with subsidies to keep coal competitive with other energy sources and happy to deregulate coal burning plants so they don't have to be troubled with polluting our air, those same Republicans are outraged that anyone has the audacity to ask for public funding to help those suffering from the higher air pollution. Asthma rates in children have gone up, the elderly and ill are advised not to go out when air pollution is high, motorists pay higher gas prices for gas specially formulated because of high levels of air pollution. And Repubs can't be bothered with silly ideas about climate change. Because they fear that would cut into corporate profits. And how corporate-socialist it is for Republicans to support lower emission standards for car manufacturers. You know, because more pollution in the air is a good thing! For Toyota et al. They can spend less on manufacturing cleaner burning engines and increase their profit margin. Meanwhile human beings and our earth suffer health consequences. Repubs find humans annoying and ignore us, but Mother Nature is striking back and her anger is won't long be ignored.

  39. @JABarry When coal mine companies struggle to make a profit, who is willing to give them a subsidy and cut their costs by allowing them to pollute our rivers and air?' Let's not forget the savings derived from loosening mine safety regulations. A single mine explosion can and has killed dozens; black lung disables many and cuts short many miner's lives. Funding of miner medical care by compulsory contribution taxes on mining companies is eliminated. Hey, mines are supposed to make money, not be a charity.

  40. @JABarry Conservatives have always supported welfare as long as it doesn’t help “others”

  41. Dems and liberals like to argue that Trump only helps the rich. But by capping the real estate tax deduction at $10,000, Trump ended a long-held “mortgage welfare” system. Yes there was screaming and still is, but that was a very progressive move. Why should to government support those who own houses by allowing them to deduct mortgage tax payments but not allow renters to do the same? Fair’s fair but not in this era of tribal politics.

  42. @Pablo Renters need to take it up with their landlords. The landlord is the one getting the tax deduction.

  43. @Pablo The reason this is wrong is because it endangers tax revenue for the blue states. It was designed to force down home ownership by making it more expensive and thus to make blue states suffer tax losses. And the additional tax revenue goes to oligarchs as tax cuts, not the red states, which rely on federal tax revenues from the blue states. It's complicated, but this tax increase was clearly designed to punish middle class people in blue states and the states themselves.

  44. @Pablo But it's "fair" to hand out billions to farmers?

  45. These farm welfare bailouts were distributed on the basis of acreage. Farmers that owned large tracts of land got most of the money. Farmers that owned small plots got very little. In other words, those that needed it the most got the least. This goes right along with standard Republican policy to help the rich and hurt the poor. Trump never was a working class populist. He is a top down, owner supporting, standard tickle down Republican. Trump's success in hurting those he claims he wants to help just goes to show how powerful racial anxiety is in this country. The white nationalism theme cuts through all else.

  46. @Bruce Rozenblit Also, many corporations that got huge sums of money from the bailout are based in China (Smithfield) and Brazil (JBS). How does giving huge foreign companies our hard earned taxpayer money make America great?

  47. Why? Perhaps because the subsidies farmers receive help maintain fair prices and put food on the table, whereas entitlements don't do that. It's more of an investment in staying alive than welfare.

  48. @Mark "...the subsidies farmers receive help maintain fair prices and put food on the table, whereas entitlements don't do that." Wow, that's ironic. I believe the whole point of SNAP is to put food on the table, but when you drill down to the details of actually helping individual people, then you seem to have a problem? The farm subsidies--the sum of which dwarfs the cost to bail out the auto industry by 50%--cover up a failed trade policy and was done by decree with no Congressional oversight or debate. It seems that fiscal conservatives only believe in the "Invisible Hand" of the "Free Market" until they don't.

  49. @Mark Why pay for Trump's self inflicted wound? Under other circumstances, I'd agree with you.

  50. Not a winning argument here. Democrats generally believe that government should help people who suffer from circumstances beyond their control (like hurricane victims or farmers caught up in a trade war). You can criticize the distribution of the benefits, but the impulse to help farmers is no different than relief for the car industry, or student loan debt, or bad home mortgages.

  51. @JohnK I think the point is that the trade wars are a self inflicted wound...shouldn't have happened or could have been negotiated with diplomacy instead of bombast and ego inflating grand standing.

  52. @JohnK The problem is that trump is only helping one group and denying help for other groups.

  53. I was wondering where all the soy beans are grown. According to a google search: "More than 80 percent of soybeans are cultivated in the upper Midwest." Are these perhaps among the "must win" states for presidential election? Once again, google search: "Democrats and Republicans think the swing states for the 2020 presidential election will be in the Midwest -- Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- and the Sun Belt -- Florida, Georgia and Arizona." I would suggest that US taxpayers are financing part of 45's election strategy.

  54. “Under the new rules, states will have a harder time waiving work requirements for able-bodied adults in high unemployment areas.” The projected savings is $5 billion and there is no downside to those that can earn much more than the SNAP benefits year after year. The $19 billion to farmers was a one-shot adjustment in a high stakes trade war with China. We won thanks to President Trump. Forget the food stamp handouts to the “able-bodied” and the temporary farmers’ compensation, it is all taxpayers that reap the benefits of Trump’s good judgment and amazing economy. The comparison between “handouts” is just a cheep shot by the NY Times Editorial Board. We are all better off under the leadership of President Trump.

  55. @Eugene Patrick Devany Its NOT a one shot...there are more billions in the pipeline for this year too.

  56. @Eugene Patrick Devany Our amazing economy was a gift from Obama to Trump. It was the Obama administration that saved our country from George Bushes’ depression. Under Obama we had many months of growth in employment. Trump only job was to not mess it up. Tariffs have added taxes to goods imported and we had to pay $19 billion out to farmers became of Trumps “good judgment “ in losing farmer’s markets in China. That’s 19 billion added to a deficit that he has blown out of proportion because the top one percenters in our country wanted more welfare. I don’t consider that to be good judgment. I call that greed. And don’t get me started on all the environmental damage this President is causing along with his Republican sycophants. It is a travesty! Rita from Colorado

  57. @Eugene Patrick Devany The economy is great if you're a stockholder, corporation or desperately want a job that pays minimum wage. If you're a poor working class American or a middle-class W-2 wage earner, then the economy will again this year leave you in status quo, without a raise (or with a paltry raise) while your expenses will continue to rise. Of course the answer is to take a second job - likely at minimum wage. Working harder while staying in the same place financially has never been the American dream, but that's the Trump economy for most Americans.

  58. It should also be noted that in addition to the lack of support to minority farmers, fully 30% of American farms are currently owned by large investment companies. In the next decade that number is expected to increase by 92,000,000 acres. The real "family farm" can't compete with these mega land owners who lease out the land to farm workers. And because of their size they are able to gain economic leverage over everything from equipment purchases to seed and water rights.. In essence, Trump's subsidy is another form of corporate welfare masquerading as support for the little guy.

  59. Trump in a nutshell - There is an in-group that is protected by the law but not bound by it, and there is an out-group that is bound by the law but not protected by it.

  60. Farmers get subsidized because it is brutally hard work, very insecure and has high rates of burnout. We want to encourage the production of food in our own country and not be dependent on imports which can be dangerous in times of war and we don't have any ability to control for quality, genetic therapy or pesticides. Intelligent countries like Norway and Switzerland have extremely high subsidizes for their farmers. Look what happened when we started importing cheap honey from China and mostly contaminated with a high percentage of fake sugar syrup. We need to stop strengthening China by giving them our money but not at the risk of bankrupting our ability to produce food. That being said small farmers and certainly black farmers should be especially supported as well as attempts at more green farming practices.

  61. @Allright Yes, farming is hard work...especially hard for those who actually do the hard work in the fields. But, is farming harder in the mid-west than in California? Is farming harder on huge farms than small family farms?

  62. @Allright I'm fine with subsidies, but not because of actions that are not productive, not well thought out. Those countries you mention do a lot of things different. I agree, we should take note.

  63. The red states love their coastal elite supplied welfare. Their way of saying 'thanks' was to raise my taxes by cutting the SALT deductions I enjoyed. The reason we are more prosperous out here on the coasts is not magic, but because we invest much more in education. Thus the higher local taxes (which are no longer deductible). I don't mind helping bubba out, but he is a sanctimonious, ungrateful and vindictive guy who, given the opportunity, raises my taxes for his own amusement.

  64. @Chazak As someone who grew up as an east coaster and moved to the Midwest, I can attest to resentment here; and yet the Midwest does nothing to improve itself by investing in education. They want to keep their local taxes low, complain about the productive east coasters, and claim everyone is taking from them.

  65. @Chazak I grew up with farmers who currently plant more Trump signs in their fields than they do corn. Not sure how that's working out for them, but it's definitely hurting me. And it's ironic that the same Republicans who justify cutting corporate taxes under the fiction of saving corporations from "double taxation", have no compunction about enacting the SALT penalty so they can double-tax millions of ordinary people on the taxes they already paid to schools and states. We'll see how that works out for Republicans in 2020.

  66. @Chazak Well said!

  67. I am aligned with Trump on this issue. Farmers are the backbone in this country and unlike other welfare (food stamps, public housing) recipients in the inner city, farmers actually work. The author ignores this key distinction.

  68. @Eagles Fan thank you for strengthening the point the author is making: white recipients of welfare are good because they work unlike non-white ones who receive benefits and do not work. Needless to say that many recipients of those food stamps and public housing benefits actually work and many have more than 1 job. The difference is that they are not wealthy, like most white farmers, and therefore have no political power.

  69. @Eagles Fan According to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities..... the share of all SNAP households that have earnings while participating in SNAP is about 31 percent in 2017. Most SNAP recipients who can work do so. Over half of individuals who were participating in SNAP in a typical month in mid-2012 were working in that month.

  70. @Tamara 31% is not even half? In the inner-city it is even lower. I am not sure why anyone thinks 31% is acceptable.

  71. No, soybean farmers in particular and farmers in general have not been devastated by Trump's trade policy. Soybean prices took a sharp drop in April 2019 as China claimed it would cancel its orders, but prices recovered almost immediately. Prices of the main export crops soybeans, wheat and corn are not high, but the main drop took place around 2014 and nobody is blaming Obama. The USDA projects total farm income in 2019 and onward to be greater than in 2016 and 2017: https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-sector-income-finances/highlights-from-the-farm-income-forecast/ The irresponsible reporting of the media on farm matters, including by pundits, gave an excuse for Trump to reward his farm supporters. The media claim that most benefits will go to big corporate farmers, but by now who can trust their reporting? At this point many small farmers are hanging on by a thread , for reasons not primarily related to Trump's trade policy, and will probably be grateful for any crumbs of subsidy they get.

  72. @skeptonomist Great post and nice to see factual data instead of the usual NYT spin on everything Trump.

  73. So, where does this $19B to pay corp farmers come from? The answer from the Trump administration would be - from the tariffs on the Chinese goods. Tit for tat. And we don't want the emotional issue of farms failing to shortcut the re-elections of republican candidates in those areas. Nope - the right answer is from the $1.1T deficit - ie, future taxpayers. Our children and grandchildren. Crippling debt that masks the "winners/losers" of the Trump economy. "Winners" - corporate farmers, "losers" - poor people who need SNAP to survive. "Losers" - companies and the American people who have to pay more for imports. "Winners" - South American countries whom China is paying to farm soybeans. "Losers" - the rain forest that is being destroyed for that land. "Losers" - all of us, when biodiversity is gone, so the Chinese can have a cheap source of soybeans.

  74. Trump doesn't necessarily like farmers. He needs farmers. If reelected we'll see his true feelings when he has no more use for them.

  75. We should all love farmers; not multinational conglomerates posing as independent farmers.

  76. @Nature I totally agree. These subsidies, to the extent they will occur regardless of our economic opinion, certainly should only go to individuals or closely held (family) corporations/LLCs directly engaged in agricultural production. Further, why not require that, instead of ground lying fallow, production continue but the products be donated to feed hungry people?

  77. @TDD Yes and totally agree.

  78. Straight up vote buying much like bailing out the coal miners pensions and other vote investments.

  79. @MGRemus Yes, I disagreed when Obama did it for the UAW and I disagree when Trump does it with coal miners and farmers. It is the way politics appear to work. We need to eliminate all special treatment. Of course, Trump is the only president in modern history to do it for himself. He should reimburse the government for all charges leveled by his hotels and resorts to accommodate his security detail.

  80. @MGRemus And on the other side: “free” healthcare, education loan forgiveness, reparations, it goes on forever and all of it is buying votes.

  81. T Smith, Health care is vote buying? I guess if you aren’t alive you cannot vote. Education is a social good. Unless you don’t want an educated citizenry, making sound decisions for the general welfare of all Americans, when they vote.

  82. Some commentators point out that farmers work. Is it not the case that many of the farmers are working only because of subsidies? That is, they would not make it otherwise? Work that is not profitable would cease under pure free market conditions. So one could say that farmers who depend on subsidies are not much (if at all) different from people who are not working at all in purely economic terms. Leaving the issue of work v. non-work aside (which is a deserving v undeserving poor argument), we as a society should be asking ourselves explicitly whether government assistance should help the poor (and/or the unprofitable) in general or just some of them and why - i.e. what are the underlying moral (and other) beliefs underpinning our position. This is separate from the role that political expediency plays in who gets helped and who does not (which is obviously enormous). The article does a nice job of bringing these issues to the fore.

  83. The last paragraph of this piece is a perceptive warning. Let's hope most folks got to it, recognized its perception, and prepares accordingly.

  84. Oh yes, “All you have to do is deliver pain to disfavored groups, to target them and make a show of it.” The most chilling sentence I’ve read in a long time. One hopes this moral mess we are living in ends, and then this sentence points to new apprentices waiting in the wings learning from the master.

  85. I honestly think the only solution to this problem is concerted liberal migration. Wealthy liberals should seed businesses that have highly educated workers in Fargo, Sioux Falls, Missoula, Cheyenne, Boise, and Anchorage, and liberals of means and choice need to favor places like that--smallish cities with liberal amenities in conservative states--as their residences. Many of these states were once--and not that long ago--much more bipartisan. Their current anti-immigrant racism is not deep-seated or long-lived. And, hey, cold-weather clothing is better than ever these days.

  86. The racial and economic decline? I get the economic decline. Most of them have been doing it to themselves by voting for republicans. But racial decline? Is that a reference to the proportions of the population by race? I suppose I can see it but again its a self inflicted wound. In that case inflicted by choosing to be ignorant about your fellow human being. All these years of economic strip mining of our country why haven't we heard anyone discuss building a steel mill in the US? A new car factory that bought all of its parts from American factories who made them from scratch? That is what we need. The benefits are more than just profit. It creates self sufficiency for the country and security for the country. It provides for all the infrastructure and schools the GOP have abandoned since the 80's. The article reminded me a human trait. That is the reaction to reward. Somehow people will try for a reward they have had once or a part of and in some cases imagine the benefit of, far harder than actual results indicates they should. The most obvious example to me is in cocaine use. Basically every use after the first time is an attempt to get that first high which felt so good even though each subsequent use can only ever be less fulfilling than the use immediately preceding it. As for paying attention to Trump's techniques, it seems the Russians are helping him again. They've done a hack attack on Burisma to find (or plant) evidence about the Biden's.

  87. As in many other topical areas, Trump has conned the small farmer and diverted resources to the 1%. "And while the White House trumpeted aid to farmers [to compensate for trade war losses], the Environmental Working Group reports that the top 10 percent of farms — 'the largest and most profitable, industrial scale farms in the country' — received 50 percent of the money. The bottom 80 percent received an average of $5,136." (Katherine van Heuvel, WaPo today) That's some kind of real aid to real people. In a real democracy.

  88. You make a good point, but the problem is more systemic than partisan. The arrangement of the primaries is such that Iowa, an agricultural state if there ever was one, predisposes all candidates ,of both major parties, to pander to agricultural interests. This problem originated in the Great Depression when FDR implemented many of the then embryonic programs that exist to this day.

  89. So SNAP recipients are being denied government money unless they start working. Farmers are given government money to stop working. And I thought the GOP was against wealth re-distribution!

  90. White-oriented support programs are not ipso facto racist. Globalization turns the normal sense of racial fairness upside down. It does indeed involve the oppression of whites. Meshing our economy with the rest of the world, globalization, has made for greater production and income than we should otherwise have seen. Isn't that good? Not quite. The gains are not shared equally: some regions and classes will be injured as a cost of the general social improvement. This happened to the heart of traditional US industry, centered in the Midwest: the region was devastated as its production was lost to China and other countries. The other side of this sacrifice was that Blue Coast prosperity boomed. Directly, globalization was an assault on Midwestern industry. Now, for historical reasons, the Midwest is the whitest of the four US regions. This means that, globalization is an assault on whites. Globalization was an intentional government policy. It injured the Midwest just as building an urban park injures those whose houses are torn down to make room. Now, in the case of the park, we agree that the injured house owners should be compensated. Yet, the far greater injury, a ruined fourth (plus) of the country, has not been compensated. Collecting these observations, it is impossible not to say that the rest of the country was benefited by a grievous injury to an overwhelmingly white population. On this count, some white-directed reparations are in order.

  91. @alyosha how is globalization a gov't policy , rather than a corporate one ?

  92. @thostageo Nixon's opening to China. The US's pampering the Maoists for forty years. Granting Stalinist China Most Favored Nation Treatment, while denying it to democratic Russia, which overthrew Stalinism. GATT-WTO NAFTA Milder versions of these for other nations that have replaced US production.

  93. Golly thostegeo, haven’t you noticed that our government has been captured by corporate interests?

  94. The United States (as Germany has) is within its rights to control who passes its borders. Relabelling this as the new form of bigotry only dilutes the impact of the word. As distasteful as I find corporate tax expenditures (i.e., farm subsidies), Bouie is struggling to racialize something that is far from being racist. Arguments like this do more to divide Americans into warring camps between anti-racists and the woman/man on the street who just wants to get through the day.

  95. Trump loves only the corporate farmers.

  96. Again... the "benevolent" ruler makes his own decisions without the functioning of house or senate. The US Treasury is in his back pocket...

  97. Humm..., because farmers actually work, perhaps?

  98. Why is everything about race? Just to answer the title: every country needs farmers since we all need to eat! Very simple, straightforward answer.

  99. Mr. Bouie: Please include all of the facts: "The change is projected to end SNAP benefits for nearly 700,000 adults, saving $5 billion — or less than a third of the $19 billion the government has spent so far on farmers affected by the trade war." SNAP benefits supplied roughly 40 million Americans in 2018, at an expenditure of $57.1 billion. 57 billion is not chump change......and farmers work. All of these programs were created by "progressives". You can't grouse when America's food is so inexpensive.

  100. Yes, Trump likes farmers because they'll vote for him, even though he has cost them the biggest overseas market for their agricultural exports. Now that China is getting its soy beans and hogs from Brazil, and exporting more good to Europe than the United States, what new trade war will the stable genius dream up in his very large brain?

  101. We know why. So do Trump’s supporters.

  102. Why do we subsidize farmers that are growing product for the Chinese market but give no assistance to companies serving fellow Americans?

  103. I have known personally some of the Midwestern inheritors of vast landgrant farmland. After the hired harvesters have collected their government subsidized crops, they fly to the Southwest in their private planes to spend their winters at the "other" house. I kid you not!

  104. In our state we have a Representative who has a beautiful Hispanic first name. The Republicans are using her name to make fun of the word "socialism". But really, besides the fact that they are ridiculing her name, why don't they see that Trump is actually promoting socialistic programs? Oh no, their pure enjoyment is coming from the fact that they are ridiculing a "disfavored Democratic Congresswoman" who is trying to save our water and our healthcare. With Trump, it is all about pseudo protecting the "whiteness", while he sticks it to the taxpayer in bail outs, taking money from the Pentagon, taking away health insurance benefits, pushing money to charter schools, and letting industry destroy our water and environment.....among other things.

  105. So if a political decision is made to send factories to China and nobody gets bailed out how come farmers get bailed out?

  106. But they have one difference don't they. They produce something don't they?

  107. Americans farmers have received more in federal funds than the auto bailout and the Wall Street bailout. The farmers will never pay the Treasury back but GM did and so did Wall Street. These tariffs are costing the US billions, those markets are never coming back and those farmers will never pay us back. Trump is the worst president ever and must be stopped. Country over party in November. Any dem will do.

  108. African Americans are moving towards Trump more and more now as they realize the lowest Unemployment rate EVER is a result of his policies. I think your pile of cards is getting very thin about now.

  109. @Joe Paper Why is unemployment capitalized?

  110. Welfare for the "haves" is always a reminder of how twisted our system has become. And then the ever--present racial bias. At least under Obama, things were tilting in the right direction. Now, it's tilting down the drain.

  111. Let’s stop the mythology of the small farmer. Most of these farm welfare programs “help” large farms and agribusiness. Farm subsidies are corrupt, corporate welfare.

  112. I just finished reading about Bloomberg trying to buying a nomination and an election using his own $1B and then here is Trump buying the election using the taxpayers' money at $28B for just our farmers. And who pays for his countless rallies where he adds to his 15,000 lies. It's not the 10,000 rally attendees that bother me but the millions of cable TV watchers that he reaches at again, taxpayer expense. How much taxpayer money is Trump using to buy this election from his base? The US government, CNN, MSNBC & Fox News need to give all candidates equal time and equal support in this election.

  113. Spot on! The best comment I could make is to highlight this from Bouie: "That gets to one takeaway from the Trump years: that there’s a real constituency for the white welfare state he gestured at during his campaign. It’s not a majority, but our election rules (starting with the Electoral College) and the structure of our government (like equal representation of states in the Senate) make it large enough to claim and maintain real political power. And the Trump phenomenon also shows that you don’t have to deliver the benefits to hold those voters in your camp." Add the following post script from another commenter and you pretty much have the story: Who's paying for this? We are in the form of bearing a massive increase in the deficit. Trumponomics at its finest.

  114. So who would this be? “Donald Trump has been too erratic and undisciplined to take welfare chauvinism as far as it could probably go. But it is almost certainly true that somewhere in American politics, there’s someone who has paid attention to what Trump has discovered and is planning accordingly.”

  115. Right wing extremists like Missouri Senator Hawley and Arkansas Senator Cotton are paying close attention to Trump’s open use of white nationalism and his doling out of favors to his voters only. The only thing stopping future (and smarter) mini Trumps is what happens after he leaves office. If Trump is prosecuted and convicted for his many crimes, and serves a long prison term they may he discouraged from repeating this experiment.

  116. Welfare payments to white farmers and targeting benefits to minority Americans is just a single example of Trump’s governing philosophy. All decisions are political: benefits flow to those who vote Trump, while pain is inflicted on those opposed. Trump is not president of all Americans, just those who vote for him. That is the shame of this administration.

  117. These handouts (paid by our tax dollars) were caused and self-inflicted by Trump and his trade wars ….”Trade wars are good and easy to win”. Ironically, Trump OKs payouts (welfare) amounting to $19 billion dollars to farmers while cutting back on the SNAP program which helps those in need to save $5 billion. Let’s not forget the recent pension bailout for minors which will be funded by the tax payer as well and the tremendous tax cuts for the rich and corporations. This administration is great for calling out disadvantage segments of the population and criticizing them for not pulling their weight every opportunity they get while at the same time providing generous bailouts and subsidies to advantaged groups and those they favor or who favor their party. The GOP, Trump, supporters and voters criticize Democrats and label them as socialist for trying to make this a better and equal Nation for all. However, when it comes to the GOP distributing tax payer dollars it is called anything but socialism while their supporters (recipients) gladly take the money………….If this isn’t socialism what is?

  118. Pardon me for noting this, but is there any topic in which you can't frame your response as old white men being advantaged over underrepresented minorities? This approach in your columns reflects an intrinsic, and sometimes explicit, bias against those who are the majority in this country. This bias is what drives that majority to support Trump.

  119. @Dr B Excuse me, but the bias started with "old, white man" against all others including white women and has continued for my entire 57 years on this earth. As a woman, and white, I agree 100% with the author's view.

  120. @Dr B As an old white man, I'm perfectly fine with Mr. Bouie pointing out systemic inequity in federal spending. To acknowledge a problem candidly and articulately is a good thing. It forces all of us to evaluate where we stand and why we stand in that particular spot. Looking at the long view, small black and white farmers have been systematically disadvantaged by the flow of farm subsidies to large private land owners and the ever enlarging agribusiness mega farms. There is both a racial inequity and a wealth inequity in these programs that must be addressed.

  121. @Dr B White people may be in the majority in this country, but old white men definitely are not, and I say this as a white woman. Yet old white men like Trump and many of his supporters have disproportionately grabbed everything they can for themselves, leaving as little as possible for everyone else. That's not bias; it's a fact.

  122. "And the Trump phenomenon also shows that you don’t have to deliver the benefits to hold those voters in your camp. All you have to do is deliver pain to disfavored groups, to target them and make a show of it." Trump supporters get off as much from hurting those deemed "enemies" by an irresponsible president who plays favorites. Sure, every politician plays to their core audience, but never before in our history has a president played the reverse Robin Hood game--steal from the poor to reward the rich--as significantly as Trump. To think that mega farmers, even those whose headquarters are outside the US, are profiting from presidential largesse at the expense of the truly needy is sickening. He traffics in cruelty and exclusion to hold onto a base convinced they deserve more than any other demographic group in the country.

  123. He likes Real Estate Developers with the capital gains carry forward hidden deduction best. Next , Dead 1% with no estate tax at all . Then comes corporations with their new lower tax and the the mega-farmers. The rest can take comfort in who he hates the least or ignores, if you're lucky.

  124. So very well said. I love this column. Thank you Mr. Bouie!

  125. Trump is subsidizing those who vote for him. Farm products are the most often harmed by tariffs if they trade with foreign entities. These tend to be the more affluent producers. These are the Republican farmers.

  126. As with Iran, the tariffs and their consequences are a crisis of Trump's own making. The bar is now so low that whenever the president starts a fire and puts it out—instead of pouring gasoline on it—he and his supporters feel they deserve a round of applause. Personally? I buy all my meat and 90% of my produce from small, local growers close to me in New England. It is a privilege to be able to buy good quality, organic food grown on a biodiverse farm and I will support my local farmers in whatever way I can, especially they don't receive the big federal subsidies that the Trump-supporting farmers do.

  127. If the 14% of farms in Mississippi run by black operators are significantly smaller than those run by others, it makes sense that their share of aid isn't proportional. Including this statistic is attempting a lie. More information is needed, to evaluate its real significance.

  128. Farmers work for a living and produce goods - Mr.Bouie's counterexample eat cheese and watch TV for their welfare checks - you see the difference there - it is not all that subtle. Mr. Bouie's welfare poster examples could disappear form the macroeconomic environment and nothing would be amiss - farmers disappear and we would all starve.

  129. @SteveRR So you've bought into the stereotype then of people who need food assistance, that they're shiftless folk? Good for you. Take a minute to really learn about what these people do to improve their lives or the lives of others while on SNAP. You won't? Figures.

  130. Welfare for farmers and the rich is so simple tat even Trump could understand it. they are his constituents who he must cow tow to to keep his presidency. It is all about his fixation on self interest before everything else. The idea of helping people for the sake of helping them just does not enter his mind and if it does it only is with disdain.

  131. Well, it all goes without saying. To the 45th President's supporters it's all about causing pain to "those people" while taking care of "The right sorts of people." And that's always been the American way!

  132. I hear this all the time at my workplace in mostly rural northwest Georgia: my fellow white folks complaining nonstop about how the federal government is taking money out of their hard-earned paycheck and giving handouts to undeserving minorities who refuse to work and keep having kids. Meanwhile, many of the woman are grandmothers by their late-30s, with their kids and grandchildren both on PeachCare, the Georgia state Medicaid program. Many of the men have kids by multiple women. Work affairs run rampant. Inevitably, though, they NEEDED the assistance. Things are DIFFERENT in their case! It always is, isn't it? It always is.

  133. Politicians have been buying the votes of Midwest Farmers with handouts as long as I can remember and I am 60 years old.

  134. Folks that work and need government assistance should get it whether a fast food worker or farmer regardless of ethnicity or where they live.

  135. @DWC - This. The idea that any one group of workers represents America is false, and I'm sick to death of it. I'd like to see the farmers of today get by without the products of the tech sector and and the workers in both rely on workers in the service sector. And we'd all die of boredom without those in the arts and entertainment sectors. We all depend on each other, and unless we start acting like it, we'll all fail as a group, too.

  136. The argument isn’t about Socialism, it’s about who gets it.

  137. @Jean The large farms owned by corporations are getting the lion's share of the financial help from government. Meanwhile, thousands of small farmers are declaring bankruptcy, while they are using food stamps and food banks but they see this as a hardship they have to bear because "45 is MAGA" and everyone will benefit in the long run. What a head scratcher that is!

  138. @Beener And, when a family farm declares bankruptcy who benefits? Developers and corporate farms that swoop in to gobble up the land at fire sale prices-crying crocodile tears the entire time.

  139. I gotta say James, that I very much enjoy your clear and concise writing style. We know Bernie has been watching, and I hope he is elected. I hope you agree, enough so, anyway. I feel he will, with an eye to your thinking for decades, turn these kinds things around, on a dime.

  140. Now why would that be? Because we all like to eat. Capitalism nor socialism benefits farmers. If demand is high and supply is low, farmers do not benefit. If demand is low and supply in low farmers do not benefit. If demand is low and supply is high farmers suffer. If demand is high and supply is high helps. Markets must be sought and kept. There are enough food deserts in urban areas. Let's not bite the hands that feed us. We don't need more food deserts. Maybe we should just say thank you to the farmers.

  141. @EFS - We have food deserts not because we don't have enough food, but because we can't get quality food to markets that need it at an affordable price.

  142. @EFS Ha Ha, since 911 America has funded right wing people that inhabit the Military, Police, Border Patrol and Farmers then railed against Socialism. Hypocrisy is founding premise of the GOP. PS those Farmers keep the money and there is no trickle down to the laborers, truckers or other entities that support farming operations.

  143. @Greg And I thought the founding premise of the Republican Party was stopping the spread of slavery. Farmers are the laborers and the truckers. Without farmers there are not entities to support them.

  144. Very salient points. Trump has also said he wants to make Social Security Disability Insurance more onerous. He wants people to have to prove they're disabled every six months. Who is on SSDI? The downtrodden in society, of every race and ethnicity. He has targeted his farm welfare at the biggest landowners, making the most income. Will farmers realize his climate policies will eventually doom him? Will small government conservatives recognize his patron capitalism will turn against them if they cross him? If he doles out transactional favors to those who support him, what happens when one disagrees with him? He is creating a wall of inviolable pocketbook support, when presidents should be doubted at every turn, so great is their power.

  145. ". But his supporters could relish in the anti-immigrant hostility of his administration, as if travel bans and detention camps could actually restore the lost wages of racial advantage rather than build a worse, more precarious world for everyone." Democrats do the same thing. They blame the rich - though would taxing the rich at much higher rates really improve the income for those unmarried or without an education ? And Democrats solutions like Obamacare disproportionately help minorities and the young which form the core of the Democratic base. (46% of those on Medicaid are black or Hispanic and most are young.) https://www.kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/medicaid-enrollment-by-raceethnicity/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D That's really where Trump is different - and what really upsets Democrats. In the past, Republicans were relatively optimistic. Sure, they passed policies which helped the rich such as lowering taxes - but keep in mind that income is first and foremost owned by the person whose name is on the check. But now, BOTH parties scapegoat the "other". For Democrats, the "other" is rich, white males. For Republicans, the "other" is immigrants and foreigners. In both cases, however, curtailment of the other doesn't really help the country. But both parties will do what they can to pass policies that prefer their segment of the population.

  146. Kentucky is the third poorest state in the union and it is over 90% white. Some of the only people in Appalachia with steady incomes are those who are on Social Security Disability. Scamming social security has become one of their cottage industries. When I lived there I knew some of their workforce development people. In moments of candor they would admit that yes, there were unemployed people, but no, they weren't a workforce.

  147. Given that the farm states that receive these most of these handouts send very few Democrats to congress, I don't understand why the House of Representatives just doesn't refuse to continue the farm subsidies. Republicans endlessly advertise themselves in opposition to government assistance since it promotes dependency. Help them realize their goal starting with the farm subsidies. Or make them pay by funding something that really matters to Democrats.

  148. @Bill Baker Read the article. The subsidies are being provided under current law and need not be approved by the Congress. If Congress wants to stop the subsidies then the law needs to be changed. An impossibility under our current system.

  149. There are certain major differences between the soybean subsidies and traditional welfare programs which make the comparisons somewhat inaccurate. First, they are more related to the earned income credit than to SNAP, as they are only going to individuals who are working but are unable to maintain their income levels. Second, the reason why these farmers have lost income is directly related to government actions. Since it was the government's fault, it is only fair that at least some of the sting should be alleviated by the government. As to the disparity mentioned in the article, how many of the 14 percent of farms run by black farmers are soybean farms, and what is the comparison of revenues between them and the farms which received the subsidies.

  150. There are certain major differences between the soybean subsidies and traditional welfare programs which make the comparisons somewhat inaccurate. First, they are more related to the earned income credit than to SNAP, as they are only going to individuals who are working but are unable to maintain their income levels. Second, the reason why these farmers have lost income is directly related to government actions. Since it was the government's fault, it is only fair that at least some of the sting should be alleviated by the government. As to the disparity mentioned in the article, how many of the 14 percent of farms run by black farmers are soybean farms, and what is the comparison of revenues between them and the farms which received the subsidies.

  151. My family’s roots are in the Dakotas. We have seen first hand the Trump subsidies provided help keeping money in farmers pockets. The sad part is many farmers know their on the hook to Trump. Many don’t care.

  152. @The Chief from Cali "the Trump subsidies provided help keeping money in farmers pockets. " So that's called welfare, right?

  153. @The Chief from Cal: Welfare is good for farmers but bad for everyone else?

  154. Puh-leeze! Can we stop talking about "farmers" and start talking about "agribusiness"? This is not Ma and Pa Kettle, it's ADM and Monsanto and Perdue (both the Hog Perdue who runs Ag and the Chicken Perdues of Ag-Welfare fame). Agribusinesses ($1M/yr +) = only 4% of US farms, yet produce 2/3 of US crops. Just a decade ago, those numbers, were 1% and 50%. Conversely, 3/4 of all U.S. farms gross only $50,000 a year and account for only 4 percent of production. The movement from Small to very Big is largely due to our federal gov't's policies, which have been strongly influenced by Citizens Divided-funded lobbyists. The Bigs have purchased our Congress Critters (who supposedly represent us) and will continue to extend their gains unless we vote the so-and-so's out of office.

  155. The President of The United States runs America as school yard bully the entire country his playground to bait sorting out the vulnerable to victimize. It’s Trump method of how to divide and conquer a nation with every step calculated to aggrandize his own power. American President as demagogue. Or as Trump may visualize it, ringmaster of a top rated reality show that has the world captivated 24/7. Who would ever have foreseen the advent of such a chapter in the American story? A dystopia where a prime agenda is, as written here, to “deliver pain to disfavored groups, to target them and make a show of it.” What this country is in the midst of is an American tragedy.

  156. Agribusiness, not even farmers. People with millions of dollars in land and equipment. The neighborhood pizza place, Chinese takeout, sushi bar, taco stand -- those are family businesses.

  157. The tariffs cost farmers business. China went to Canada. In order to get those sales back, U.S. farmers will have to undercut Canadian farmers. The effect of Trump's tariffs will inevitably result in lower prices for farm products in order to regain market share. After the tariffs and the subsidies, farmers will earn less.

  158. Note to Mr. Bouie: Please be aware that these "welfare recipients" keep food on your table.

  159. @John Jabo So do the minimum wage and many times illegals farmworkers who actually grow that food, harvest it and ship it. Did you know that the Federal minimum wages for farm workers is about 80% of non-farmworkers. Did you know that farmers get government water at below cost while the rest of us pay the full cost? Oh, and they are guaranteed government payments when the market price of their crops. dips below a certain level.

  160. @John Jabo If they are so good, why the rest of the society have to put them in the "preferred list" in welfare?

  161. @John Jabo He bailed out soybean farmers! How many soybeans do YOU eat? Meanwhile dairy farmers are going under and he doesn't blink an eye. I guess milk isn't real food.

  162. Another article about Trump's actions that caused me to take out my blood pressure monitor.

  163. great piece.

  164. Farmers grow stuff—that’s a good thing!

  165. @Pjlit All working people make stuff. But why should Farmers get massive federal aid that the average working person is denied? Byt the way, the largest farmers in California's Central Valley are Insurance companies and railroads.

  166. Didn't bother to read article based on title. Farmers are not afraid of work. Can't say as much about others who collect welfare benefits.

  167. @Eddie Nobody is afraid of work, they unemployed persons just reject been paid salaries that are not enough for subsistence.

  168. You know nothing about people who collect welfare benefits. And when people fight for living wage jobs, Republicans complain about that too.

  169. Many of the states receiving the highest subsidy amounts voted for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election and are key to his re-election chances in 2020. “You gotta remember why the trade aid is there: they’re political payments to farmers to keep them in the Republican fold,” said Bruce Babcock, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside. “Trump hurt farm income through his trade tariffs. And so what they’re trying to do is keep a big force — rural Americans and farmers — voting Republican.” https://www.marketplace.org/2019/12/12/these-are-the-states-benefiting-the-most-from-the-28-billion-farm-bailout/

  170. I don't think Trump likes anyone. He seems like a miserable person who is suspicious of everyone, including his family.

  171. Which group, farm welfare vs general welfare is waking up at 5 am to start their 16 hour day? Which group is working regardless of weather because they know there is work to be done and nobody else there to do it? Which group ends their day caked in dirt? I am willing to have my tax dollars go to whichever group is doing that regardless of skin color.

  172. @SH Every day of the year, or only in growing seasons?

  173. @SH General welfare recipients work as well. Clinton put those requirements in place. Get facts. Right now you have none. Plenty of working people don't have a livable wage. You've just demonstrated exactly what the author stated in his opinion. Now you've made his opinion fact. The sad part, you don't even realize how you proved the point.

  174. You have no idea how hard poor people work. Yes. They get up at dawn to, to make it to their first low wage job. They might have 2 or 3 low wage jobs and still can’t pay rent and still need food stamps

  175. Socialism is a curse word to Republicans and the Party of Trump. Yet, government subsidies to favored groups (farmers, coal miners) are a form of socialism -- an especially clumsy form of socialism. Apparently, socialism is OK, as long as it's Republican socialism.

  176. The human capacity for rationalization appears infinite. A white farmer convinces himself that he and all his coffee shop buddies are "righteous" recipients of welfare because their steely-eyed, real-American grit "built this country". The country "owes them", you see, and their "way of life" is to be propped up at all costs because it is righteous. It's a tautology, though very few would understand that word. They vote in pandering politicians with this belief, so they can create and reinforce this "reality". For now, anyway. The chickens are circling, looking for a roosting spot.

  177. Absurd! As if there are no white people on welfare. There are plenty especially down south. Even if there are more blacks welfare recipients, this is not a Black-White issue. The farmers were collateral damage from Trump's China trade deals. As he continues negotiations, subsidizing the farmers have been his way of helping them "hold on" until they can resume profitability. America needs our farmers, use of their farmland and their exports for our own economy. There is just no comparison to unemployed welfare recipients taking only from the system. This is just another example of calling out discrimination inappropriately.

  178. @Deb Accept there are more white people on welfare than black people. I see what you tried to do there.

  179. What an absurd opinion piece. While I am against farm subsidies, especially for large, multi-million dollar corporate operations, at least they produce food! What do urban welfare recipients produce?

  180. @Donna Gray "What an absurd opinion piece." Only to those who think american farmers produce all the food consumed in this country.

  181. @Donna Gray God's Children

  182. Poor children just can’t suffer enough to suit Republicans

  183. Just saw an article about suicide rate for farmers. Three times the national average.

  184. @David Many farmers that go broke prefer the "easy way out", than confront reality and learn a new job.

  185. Most poor people in the country are white, and most black people are middle class, so the author's analysis makes no sense. If you wanted to wage a war on poor folk, you'd be hurting white people most of all. I agree that there are many problems with "welfare" to farmers (and corporations) but making this about race is absurd.

  186. President Trump bragged about these payments at a recent rally in Toledo, Ohio, and promised even more for the nation’s farmers. “We’re signing a monster,” he said. “A big, beautiful monster. Forty to 50 billion dollars to our farmers.” Translation: vote for me...just like how he responds to money dangled in front of him so he thinks others will as well. Don't get me wrong...I feel for anyone who is suffering at the little hands of this foolishly dangerous president but he put this in motion and now my tax dollars are part of a bail out. I resent being forced into this ponzi scheme by the biggest schemer of them all. The big, beautiful monster is you, donald trump.

  187. It's simple. People want looooow taxes, small gubmint, and gubmint out of our lives UNLESS it affects them. Isn't that right: - farmers (especially for corn and sugar used in products that help make Americans obese) - oil & gas producers - defense contractors

  188. Who knew so many farmers were socialists?

  189. Just another trick in Trump's endless bag of 'em: Throw obscene gobs of money to certain groups of voters while robbing others such as the poor helpless and to pay for the largesse. Just another day in these Divided States of America.

  190. you can call it welfare for farmers or you can call it what it really is: a bribe. the second choice is more honest.

  191. Ah yes. My husband and I life on a small farm where we keep resuce horses. We are surrounded by much larger soybean farms (100s of acres each). They all vote Republican as evidenced by they yard signs at election time. They complain about the "welfare state" of which they are now a part. They also complain that the subsidies take a long time to arrive, it is unclear how much they will be getting and that the payments won't cover the losses they are experiencing. Life is truy hard in welfare land. Better get rid of those black and brown unworthy welfare recipients who are taking too much of the welfare pie.

  192. @Susan : but by far, most people on welfare are white. Most people on food stamps are white. Most poor people are white. (Most black people are middle class.) Why is it you think everyone on welfare and food stamps is black?

  193. Curious how our president and his GOP lackeys embrace socialism when it comes to securing the votes of his supporters, our farmers, with welfare bailout checks.

  194. Buying votes isn't that progressive, actually. And when Trump shouted "I love the poorly educated!," he meant it. Stop giving this tyrant credit for anything, please.

  195. Why are Farmers are the recipients of handouts - its because these guys actually work as opposed to simply waiting for handouts. Why are White Farmers the disproportionate beneficiaries of this handout - Let me answer it this way : Did you know that Donald Trump and his father refused to lease / rent homes to African Americans? Yes - this was already well known before he entered the primaries in 2015.

  196. @Plato If a farmer goes broke, he becomes unemployed... same as many unemployed: that does not mean that as aa group they do not want to work, they are just out of their old job or area of expertise... Everyone works if a decent salary is offered; with few exceptions of people with mental problems.

  197. Why would that be? Maybe because farmers work for a living. And when they have children, they put their children to work on the farm, too.

  198. @Mario Diana So if they're working for a living, why do they need welfare? Say it out loud and realize how your assertion makes no since.

  199. You do know that poor people also work, sometimes 2 or 3 low wage jobs that still isn’t enough to live in the USA

  200. Because Trump seems to revert back to the time he thought life was great, does he simply like farmers because as a kid/teenager he was always told directly or indirectly that they are rubes? And, of course, Trump's entire business life involved swindling rubes to some degree. So he now subconsciously views them gullible to his 'deals'?

  201. @B.R. Indeed. The foundation of a grifter's success is identifying a mark.

  202. These small farmers are the same group that was trotted out to essentially nullify the estate tax, otherwise framed as the "Death Tax" by the GOP. None of them would have been effected because their estates are a pittance compare to the true land barons, but they had no problem showing up to photo-ops in their John Deere caps to be used as props for plutocrats. Now they're grinning stooges for Trump's reelection; at least this time, it's a paying gig.

  203. I look forward to my taxes going down because the administration wants to save $5 billion by moving 700,000 adults off of SNAP. Ha! Sometimes I make myself laugh. This administration is despicable.

  204. "Trump Likes Farmers Better Than Some Other Welfare Recipients" He finds it easier to buy their loyalty.

  205. If the 14% of farms in Mississippi run by black operators are significantly smaller than those run by others, it makes sense that their share of aid isn't proportional. Including this statistic is attempting a lie. More information is needed, to evaluate its real significance.

  206. Sixty Fortune 500 companies paid ZERO taxes in 2019. Why do we not call this welfare? Amazon warehouses require services from localities (especially additional ambulances), yet pay nothing in taxes. We need to reframe the discussion. Profitable businesses are the REAL “welfare queens.”

  207. @Babs Companies provide jobs, "welfare queens" do not.

  208. Mr. Boule is writing this as if the party in power benefitting those who voted for it is a revelation rather than politics as usual. The real condition of many, perhaps most Americans, is hidden by “full employment” statistics, a rising stock market and other indicators of a strong economy for those who are already high on the ladder. It’s hard to have boot straps when all you have is flip flops.

  209. @GiGi: One is no longer classified as "unemployed" when their unemployment benefits have run out. They are then classified as "voluntarily leaving the workforce." It's a neat Republican trick to make unemployment seem a lot lower than is really is.

  210. @Jeff The “voluntarily leaving the workforce” is not the only indicator that skews the data. And the politicians of either party will never point those indicators out.

  211. Individual farmers and executives at companies receiving this money must be routinely drug tested and told to learn to code.

  212. Agriculture and farming is the original and oldest “interest group” receiving subsidies and governmental support since the Republic was founded. There are sound reasons for this: providing food and raw materials for production is essential to the welfare of the citizenry. Unfortunately, the sole proprietor small farm has given way to the industrialization and concentration of agricultural land holding and attendant forced reliance on pesticide and GMO use. Agribusiness and monoculture is required for economic success, even by smaller operations. Ethanol is one of many schemes implemented to subsidize crop surpluses to keep farmers large and small in the money, even though it is well documented that ethanol production creates a deficit in total BTU production; i.e. the net energy produced by ethanol is many times less than the energy needed to actually produce it. This reverse alchemy is crazy, but it keeps agriculture afloat and allows farmers to work.

  213. @tim s. Not to mention the ethonal mandate caused many hectare of rainforest in Latin America to be slashed and burned to grow crops, since the per bushel price of corn and soybeans skyrocketed.

  214. Could it be that they are mostly conservative Republicans? The fact that they survive oas farmers is based on billions of dollars of government handouts doesn't change their far right politics.

  215. @Jeff The Republicans love to give money to each other and giving handouts to Republican farmers is no different. The welfare to farmers and ranchers is a way to ensure their votes. That is why many people refer to their land as ranches and get a horse or two to declare that handout status. Plain and simple.

  216. "Contrast the president’s enthusiasm for his farm payments with his disdain for traditional assistance." I find it ironic how assistance to urban residents is called welfare while the same money coming from the same source to farmers is called a bailout. I wonder why?

  217. America has always liked white farmers better than black farmers. Remember Shirley Sherrod was a lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging decades of discrimination against black farmers in every one of it's programs. Sherrod received some brief notoriety for being falsely accused of discriminating against a white farmer while she was employed at the Department. George W. Bush finally settled the suit with financial compensation. But the black farmers land was gone. My paternal great grandfather lost his cotton farming business to the boll weevil and a hostile Uncle Sam in Georgia. All federal benefits and programs from Agriculture to Education to Housing to Social Security to Veterans Affairs were set up to discriminate against blacks in America. In accord with the Jim Crow policies of Woodrow Wilson and his successors.

  218. @Blackmamba I also remember how Obama fires her after falling for that doctored tape by Breitbart and his minions. He was so afraid of hurting white people’s feelings... same with the embarrassing “beer summit”

  219. Trump is evil, but not exactly stupid. He needs the farmers and will continue to bribe them until election today. If he is re-elected he will turn off the money spigot on November 4th. My advice to America's welfare farmers is to save your acorns.