It Is Time To Help Farmers Hurt By the Tariffs We Imposed on Them

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We have screwed our farmers, so now we must help our farmers:

The White House plans to announce on Tuesday a plan to extend $12 billion in emergency aid to 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.

….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 different mechanisms run by the Department of Agriculture….It will rely in part on a Depression-era program called the Commodity Credit Corporation, a division of the Agriculture Department that was created in 1933 to offer a financial backstop for farmers.

Wow! After 85 years, the New Deal comes roaring back to life! And if the CCC doesn’t work, there’s always the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Or the Farm Security Administration to help small farmers sell out to giant agribusinesses. Those are likely to be the only “farmers” who benefit anyway.

Anyway, it’s a good thing that remnants of all those New Deal programs are still floating around out there. Trump can now latch on to them as a reminder of what the federal government did back when it actually believed its primary mission was to help people.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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