Since the time Donald Trump became President of the United States, he has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Be it women, Mexico, Climate Change and now farmer subsidies. Trump in his 2020 proposed budget plan has decided to cut federal funding for farm subsidies along with other safety net programs for agricultural producers. The move has only met with criticism as farmers in the states have already been suffering.
As per an Illinois Farm President, they are disappointed with the proposed budget as at present farmers are already facing a farm economy which is depressed, along with which the market is also uncertain with trade agreements remaining unresolved.
The budget proposal has a reduction of 15 percent in funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Not only this, Trump has asked the department to come up with targeted reforms to duplicative programs and the overly generous subsidy programs. The document states that they will try to save some money through elimination of subsidies to higher income farmers, reduction of overly generous crop insurance premium subsidies to farmers along with the payments made to private sector insurance companies.
The chairman of the National Corn Growers Association says that crop insurance is a necessity with the agriculture they have at this point in time. While they aren’t insuring for profit purposes, they expect insurance if weather conditions are adverse so as to be paid back. Farm income is at present on the weaker, costs also haven’t dropped at a great rate which means agricultural producers are suffering.
Crop prices being low and the trade war with China has made things even worse. The president is looking towards one of the largest cuts ever to domestic discretionary spending. The $4.7 trillion fiscal 2020 budget proposal looks forward to boost defense spending along with $8.6 billion for building a border wall. The plan will cut the budget of the department of agriculture by $3.6 billion to $20.8 billion, The average premium subsidy is being slashed to 48 percent from a good 62 percent along with limiting subsidies for growers who make less than $500,000 in a year. This comes a few months after Trump’s “Farmers, I LOVE YOU” tweet
Farmers will be a a very BIG and FAST beneficiary of our deal with China. They intend to start purchasing agricultural product immediately. We make the finest and cleanest product in the World, and that is what China wants. Farmers, I LOVE YOU! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
Farmers have been the rural base of voters which is responsible for Trump’s entry to the White House. The trade war with China had caused Trump to promise an aid of $12 billion, but even before that farmers were facing low prices and reduction in their incomes.
As per Gene Paul, legislative coordinator at the National Farmers Organization, “Crop insurance is probably more important now than ever because of lower farm incomes and tariffs put in place by the president. The president just doesn’t get it.’’
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