Trump Understands Something Moderate, ‘Pragmatic’ Democrats Do Not

You have to give your supporters nice things. The last year hasn’t been a good one for many U.S. farmers. Between flooding and a trade war, they have been hit hard. In fact, there was a time when some farmers were turning against Trump. But he understands something too many Democrats don’t–you help your supporters when they’re in trouble (boldface mine):

Donald Trump is boasting that he’s made farmers “really happy.” He’s not wrong, but it’s not just the trade deal that’s left farmers optimistic for 2020.

Analysts are saying the accord signed this week mostly just takes trade back to normal for American agriculture. China has committed to $32 billion in additional purchases over two years, but that buying will be market dependent and retaliatory tariffs are still in place. Even the status quo is still a welcome relief after more than a year of escalating tensions.

The thing that’s really moved the needle for farmers is Trump’s $28 billion farm bailout. The trade aid meant incomes rose in a year when they were widely expected to fall.

Even better news: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue just confirmed he’s expecting the administration will make the third and final payment for the aid package, even with the China deal. Perdue said those checks should be coming “imminently.” That extra income boost underscores why farmers are feeling good in places like Iowa’s Sioux County, the top agricultural producer in a state that’s No. 1 for corn and hogs.

“I’m really optimistic,” said Chris Ten Napel, who farms 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares) and raises 15,000 hogs a year in a family operation with his father and brother in Sioux County. “Things are looking up, you might say.”

…In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects national net farm income for 2019 will be up more than 10% to the highest since 2013, with the bailout payments accounting for the increase….

Without the trade aid, almost no one would have made money,” said Eric Walhof, president of Northwest Bank in Sioux Center, Iowa. About half the bank’s farm borrowers turned a profit last year, and the rest had what he called “manageable” losses….

“He understands we’re at the front lines of the trade war. He’s taken care of us,” Brad Den Herder, who grows corn and soybeans and raises hogs with his brother and father, said of Trump before trade deals were finalized this week. “We don’t feel forgotten.”

If it weren’t for the aid — the $28 billion sum ringing in at more than twice as expensive as the 2009 bailout of automakers — many Iowa farmers would’ve likely posted losses last year.

Most people aren’t policy wonks–they use heuristics. One of those heuristics is ‘am I doing better because of something Politician or Party X did?’

Democrats are going to have to learn to stop worrying about HOW WILL WE PAY FOR IT?!? and start shoveling money towards their supporters, instead of the ‘eat your vegetables’ philosophy of valuing austerity over nice new things–and, Sweet Baby Intelligent Designer, no goddamn Social Security cuts. Regardless of the specific Green New Deal plan, along with many of Sanders’ and Warren’s other plan, their policies would disproportionately funnel money to Democratic-aligned institutions and voters.

You dance with them that brung ya.

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3 Responses to Trump Understands Something Moderate, ‘Pragmatic’ Democrats Do Not

  1. mjlauer says:

    It’s all about who gets the socialism.

  2. Joe Shelby says:

    I’ve got it. It is the vocabulary.

    If you call something a bailout, the media never asks where the money came from.

    Democrats should reword social security as “elderly retirement cost-of-living bailout”, medicare as “elderly hospital costs bailout”, welfare as “corporate-downsizing unemployment bailout”, and single payer as “excessive medical costs bailout”. Then we can finally get around to implementing good policies without the press constantly asking the right-wing question of where the money comes from.

  3. Danielle Z says:

    I believe my Republican Mayor who is also our State Senator and was our police man before retiring from that job will be our next Governor. The Democratic team has been pushing tolls for revenue. The first toll plans were onerous on the working poor. They had tolls everywhere on all highways. ( My democratic rep admitted that they were in fact the plans. ) The Repubs like my Mayor knew this was impossible for working people to pay $1 a day or more to commute to work. They fought it. They know that the grocery store/hot dog tax is onerous on the working poor and they are fighting that. All you get from the Democrats is well we had tolls back in my youth and it was fine- also totally oblivious of how this is not the economy or culture of the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. Also this plan allows our very rich Dem governor to give big payouts to many of his friends to build this toll infrastructure- not much different from our President using his office to enrich himself, his family and his friends. But hey we are the good guys so it is not wrong and not hypocritical.

    I tried to volunteer for the Democrats in 2018. The office was stuck in the back of a shopping center with no signage. I asked why- especially since the Republicans are at the shopping corner of major routes with huge signs that fill their windows. They said it was because Republicans are rich and they are not. But then, I found a nice, huge professionally made sign in a back room. It apparently had fallen down and no one would spend the time to put it back up- so that seems to be who they are- they lie and are lazy and do not care about pissing away resources (someone made or got sign made) or pissing away good will ( was sign donater still donating?) and because they drive so many away, their policy programs stink and get worse.

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