Trump Announces New Plan to Retain the Farm Vote

So many soybeans.Imago via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of 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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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