The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, “See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.” — Harry Browne
Trump has broken farmers’ legs with his tariffs, and the crutch is going to cost $12 billion:
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday plans to announce a $12 billion package of emergency aid for farmers caught in the midst of President Trump’s escalating trade war, two people briefed on the plan said, the latest sign that growing tensions between the United States and other countries will not end soon.
Trump ordered Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to prepare a range of options several months ago, amid complaints from farmers that their products faced retaliatory tariffs from China and other countries. The new package of government assistance funds will be announced Tuesday and is expected to go into effect by Labor Day.
The aid package is expected to target soybean farmers, dairy farmers, and pork producers, among others. White House officials hope it will quiet some of the unease from farm groups, but the new plan could revive debates about taxpayer-funded bailouts and the degree to which Trump’s trade strategy is leading to unforeseen costs.
Farm groups have complained that moves by China and other countries in response to Trump’s protectionist trade stance could cost them billions of dollars, spooking Republicans who fear a political and economic blowback to Trump’s approach.
The White House has searched for months for a way to provide emergency assistance to farmers without backing down on Trump’s trade agenda, and the new program will extend roughly $12 billion through three mechanisms run by the Department of Agriculture.
Tariffs are taxes:
a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.
synonyms: tax, duty, toll, excise, levy, charge, rate, fee, countervail; price list
What’s more, they represent the government telling you that you cannot voluntarily purchase goods from someone who voluntarily wants to sell them to you, at a price that you both voluntarily agree to.
Here’s how the Economic Genius in Chief feels about these taxes, that interfere with your freedom of choice:
Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that – and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2018
Your choosing to spend money in the way that you choose is “robbery” according to this guy.
But hey. As long as we can bail out the victims, that’s better than just taking his tariff power away. Right? Just ask the Very Courageous Republicans in Congress and they will tell you exactly that, through their inaction.
[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]