Trump Announces New Plan to Retain the Farm Vote

So many soybeans.Imago via ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

We have a new one-year plan, comrades:

The Trump administration rolled out a $16 billion aid package for the U.S. farm sector, which primarily will take the form of direct payments to farmers to offset losses resulting from the trade conflict with China….The program is a reprise of a similar initiative in 2018 which had authorized $12 billion in funding.

$12 billion for not selling our soybeans wasn’t enough! This year we will distribute $16 billion for not selling our soybeans. Soon, we will be world leaders in not selling soybeans.

On a more serious note, here is a short quote from the USDA’s projection of farm income a couple of months ago:

Inflation-adjusted net farm income is forecast to increase 8 percent in 2019, to $69.4 billion.

This forecast was published after China had already retaliated against Trump’s tariffs—so presumably that had been taken into account—but before Trump announced his new $16 billion worth of farm aid. Taken at face value, this means that the new forecast for net farm income is $85.4 billion, a whopping 33 percent increase over last year.

The USDA had already projected that direct government aid would account for one-sixth of net farm income this year. If farm operations really get another $16 billion, that will double to one-third of net farm income. Somehow this all seems unlikely, but I’m not quite sure where the math goes wrong. It sure looks as if farm income was already projected to go up and now Trump is going to increase it even more.

KEEP MOTHER JONES CHARGING HARD

You're busy, so we'll keep this short: We need to raise $325,000 over the next month to help fund the hard-hitting, fiercely independent reporting you get from us. It's a pivotal moment for our democracy, accountability, and so much more—but you already know that, you just read a Mother Jones article. If you can right now, please consider supporting our work with a donation so we're ready for the hard work ahead.

payment methods

KEEP MOTHER JONES CHARGING HARD

You're busy, so we'll keep this short: We need to raise $325,000 over the next month to help fund the hard-hitting, fiercely independent reporting you get from us. It's a pivotal moment for our democracy, accountability, and so much more—but you already know that, you just read a Mother Jones article. If you can right now, please consider supporting our work with a donation so we're ready for the hard work ahead.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate