This is becoming commonplace. The Trump administration causes a problem, then tries to act like heroes by swooping in to fix the damage it caused. That’s what is happening today as the White House tries to help struggling farmers.
The AP reports:
“The U.S. readied a plan Tuesday to send billions in emergency aid to farmers who have been hurt by President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China and other American trading partners.
The Agriculture Department was expected to announce the proposal that would include direct assistance and other temporary relief for farmers, according to two people briefed on the plan, who were not authorized to speak on the record.”
“The administration’s trade aid plan is also a bid to shore up support among a slice of the rural electorate ahead of the midterm elections. But it has been criticized by some parts of the agriculture industry and is also sparking questions about whether other sectors suffering from retaliation will receive assistance.”
Hours before news of this plan surfaced Trump was celebrating tariffs on Twitter.
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
We are assuming the farmers whose businesses have been hurt certainly wouldn’t characterize the tariffs as “the greatest.” Vox points out:
“Farmers have been among those hit hardest under Trump’s protectionist trade agenda, as foreign countries levy tens of billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs largely on the American agricultural industry. China, Mexico, and Canada have responded to the Trump administration’s taxes on imported steel, aluminum, and electronics with taxes on American soybeans, dairy, pork, apples, and potatoes, as well as other US products.”
One of the President’s biggest supporters of late is speaking out against this plan, in support of the farmers.
Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers. If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers — the answer is remove the tariffs.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 24, 2018
Dan Rather concludes by saying, “Let’s be clear. This is a self-inflicted wound to the U.S. economy that now requires a bailout by the political party that used to sanctimoniously lecture about free markets and fiscal responsibility. I can abide by a lot but hypocrisy always rubs me raw.”