Perdue Can’t Defend Trump’s Broken Promises To Farmers

Today, Secretary Perdue testified before Congress, where he failed to defend Trump’s dismal record and his broken promises to protect American farmers.

Trump and administration officials have repeatedly insulted farmers and downplayed their struggles, even as farm bankruptcies continue to rise.

Wall Street Journal: “Dim U.S. Farm Forecast Extends Into 2020”

Market Intel Report: “The Verdict Is In: Farm Bankruptcies Up in 2019”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “President Trump In Milwaukee Says Farmers Are ‘Over The Hump’ As Dairy Farms Continue To Close In Wisconsin.”

Perdue has repeatedly mocked the concerns of U.S. farmers, saying they were whiners and telling small farms they may not have a future.

Huffington Post: “Perdue made the joke while getting heat last week from Minnesota farmers complaining about, among other things, the latest blow to their businesses from the trade war. China has canceled all purchases of U.S. farm products in retaliation for Trump’s decision to impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports. At a Farmfest listening session with farmers in Minnesota, Perdue hit back at the complaints with his joke: ‘What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.’”

Associated Press: “President Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary said Tuesday during a stop in Wisconsin that he doesn’t know if the family dairy farm can survive as the industry moves toward a factory farm model. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters following an appearance at the World Dairy Expo in Madison that it’s getting harder for farmers to get by on milking smaller herds. ‘In America, the big get bigger and the small go out,’ Perdue said. ‘I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.’”

PERDUE: “Most of the macroeconomic issues we’ve had with ethanol this year have been because of lower exports, not small refinery waivers. And I’ll say that, I’ve got the facts to prove it. I know that emotionally people want to talk about it. You got to have something to blame in farming, if you’re a farmer you’ve just got to have something to blame.”

Though Trump has touted his phase one trade deal with China, China is already not expected to live up to the ag purchase agreements that Trump repeatedly promised have already begun.

TRUMP: “We just signed a deal with China, and they’re going to be spending $250 billion a year now in our country. $50 billion will go – 40-to-50 – will go to the farmers with the purchase of farm product. But China’s been, you know, it’s going to be a great deal. It’s a great deal. I’m very happy with it.”

Washington Post: “China Could Purchase Much Less U.S. Farm Product Than Thought, New USDA Estimate Suggests”

Bloomberg: “Commodity markets have had a lukewarm response to the trade agreement, which includes commitments by China buy more U.S. farm products. Soybean futures in Chicago are down slightly since Dec. 12, the day before Trump announced the China agreement.”

Year after year, Trump’s budget proposals have called for cuts to crop insurance subsidies and other programs that support rural economies.

Politico: “The blueprint also would cut $57.7 billion in mandatory agricultural spending by 2030, like lowering crop insurance subsidies, tightening eligibility for farm payments and gashing conservation programs — similar to Trump’s previous budget requests.”

CBS Moneywatch: “The Trump administration’s proposed 2020 budget also contains cuts for rural housing programs, Stan Keasling, president of National Rural Housing Coalition, said in testimony at the Congressional hearing earlier this month. The cuts target ‘a laundry list’ of programs, including direct homeownership, home-repair loans, and loans and grants for rural rental housing.”

Omaha World-Herald: “Trump’s Budget Proposal Includes Deep Cuts To Agricultural ‘Safety Net’ Programs.”

Trump’s tax law, which gave massive handouts to the wealthy and corporations, was projected to lower farm output and raise taxes on low-earning farm households.

New York Times: “Yet some of the president’s economic policies could actually harm the farm industry. New analyses of the tax law by economists at the Department of Agriculture suggest it could actually lower farm output in the years to come and effectively raise taxes on the lowest-earning farm households, while delivering large gains for the richest farmers.”