Trump Doesn’t Hate Welfare When It Goes to Wealthy White Farmers

Trump Doesn’t Hate Welfare When It Goes to Wealthy White Farmers
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File under: “It’s not socialism when we do it…”

Donald Trump has never hidden his disdain for people who need government assistance. As far back as the 1970s, he grumbled that the Department of Justice was forcing him and his father to rent to “welfare cases” after it sued the Trumps for racial discrimination. Decades later, he called Barack Obama “our Welfare & Food Stamp President.” But one of his administration’s signature policies has laid bare the racial and class implications of this disdain. It’s not that Trump hates all welfare. He just hates it when it appears to be going to poor black people. One of the few campaign promises that Trump has fulfilled is on trade. In an attempt to boost American industries, he has levied billions in tariffs on foreign-made products, particularly on goods from China. American farmers have felt much of the pain, especially those who grow soybeans, whose sales began to dry up after China responded with its own tariffs. To soften the blow, the Trump administration started making direct payments to farmers. The sum is huge. Trump’s farm aid is larger than the auto bailout during the Great Recession. The total package comes to $28 billion ; $19 billion was paid out last year, with more to come in 2020. That amount dwarfs the kinds of public programs that Trump rails against. We spend just $17 billion each year on traditional cash welfare, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Still, in his most recent budget proposal, the president called for slashing […]

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