The amount sent to farmers tops the auto-industry bailout by billions, and was delivered without congressional approval
“‘Trump money’ is what we call it,’ Missouri farmer Robert Henry told NPR of the taxpayer-funded subsidies sent to him and other farmers by the Department of Agriculture.
Farm subsidies have now hit a 14-year high after the USDA sent out payments of approximately $16 billion in aid in 2019 and $12 billion in 2018. The two-year total of $28 billion paid to American farmers tops the auto-industry bailout following the 2008 financial crisis by billions.
The other key differences between the auto bailout and the recent farm subsidies, NPR points out, are the lack of debate surrounding the payoffs and the fact that they were not authorized by Congress. Considering it can be argued this is a self-inflicted wound caused by the president, and at an enormous cost to taxpayers, one would think the subsidies would be more controversial. The unprecedented payments are mostly compensation for losses incurred from Trump’s tariff war with China, which has triggered crops to fall in value.