Trump’s Policies Hurt Farmers And Rural Communities

Trump’s Policies Hurt Farmers And Rural Communities

As Trump prepares to speak at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in Nashville today, here is a look at some of the many ways his policies have hurt farmers and rural communities.

Trump broke his campaign promises and has not prioritized rural America.

Des Moines Register Editorial: “Will Trump Finally Help Farmers And Rural America?”

Bloomberg: “As he approaches his first anniversary in office, the president is struggling to fulfill his campaign promises to segments of his voting base, including farmers, and his approval ratings have been stuck at historically low levels.”

Des Moines Register Editorial: “The USDA, and agriculture in general, doesn’t seem to be much of a priority to Trump. Seven of the top 13 USDA officials still haven’t been nominated. Perdue is also reorganizing the department in ways that threaten to downplay rural development.”

The Trump Tax will raise taxes on lower-income farm households and result in lower agricultural production.

New York Times: “The law actually shrinks tax refunds for the lowest-earning 20 percent of farm households, Mr. Bawa said in a session hosted by the Agriculture and Applied Economics Association. The reason stems from a combination of changes in the bill, including its elimination of a tax break for domestic production.  ‘The lowest quintile is actually getting a tax raise under this,’ Mr. Bawa said.”

New York Times: “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.”

Trump’s budget called for deep cuts to crop insurance, the Department of Agriculture and SNAP, all of which overwhelmingly benefit rural communities.

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

Politico: “His proposed cuts to the popular crop insurance program and to the Agriculture Department budget have also alarmed many.”

USA Today: “That’s the question White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney posed when defending the administration’s proposed 25% cut to the program. Food stamps would take one of the larger hits in President Trump’s first full budget proposal revealed Tuesday, which relies heavily on cuts to social safety net programs to fund Trump’s priorities, such as building a wall along the border with Mexico and ramping up defense spending.”

Trump has ignored the infrastructure needs of rural America.

Farm Bureau News: “The nation’s rural towns, cities and counties—and their unique challenges—should be represented on the Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure, the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 200 other rural and agriculture organizations wrote in a recent letter to Pres. Donald Trump.”

Reuters: “Job training for unemployed coal miners would be threatened and drug treatment programs would face cuts at a time when heroin and prescription pill addictions are tearing at rural America. Subsidies for commercial air travel in rural areas would be cut by more than half.”

Washington Post: “The Rural Utilities Service would lose billions of dollars under the proposed budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including more than $2 billion used to keep power lines, phones and Internet connectivity working in rural areas.”

The repeal of the ACA individual mandate will have its most devastating effect on insurance markets in rural communities.

New York Magazine: “Obamacare Mandate-Repeal Would Hammer Pro-Trump Rural Areas.”

Los Angeles Times: “The Senate Republican plan to use tax legislation to repeal the federal requirement that Americans have health coverage threatens to derail insurance markets in conservative, rural swaths of the country, according to a Los Angeles Times data analysis.”

Republican inaction has jeopardized community health centers that rural communities rely on.

Michigan Radio: “But there’s another program that reaches even more people that is in even more jeopardy. That’s funding for the nation’s network of Federally Qualified Health Care Centers, mostly in rural areas.”

Trump proposed cuts to rural hospital grant programs and supported Republican health repeal bills that would have disproportionately hurt rural hospitals and communities.

Modern Healthcare: “Proposed cuts in President Donald Trump's 2018 budget for HHS would reduce funding for rural hospitals and hurt the supply pipeline for black and Hispanic healthcare professionals. The budget proposal targets several rural hospital grants in its projected cuts. The Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant, at $42 million, is proposed for elimination … The new budget also zeroes out grants to state offices of rural health, a $9 million program.”

CNN: “Many providers worry that the newly proposed health care legislation — and in particular its proposed cuts to Medicaid — could push a number of hospitals over the edge.”

Boston Globe: “The Senate bill — if it became law — would cost the nation’s roughly 2,200 rural hospitals a collective $1.3 billion in lost revenue in the first year, according to an analysis done by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, an advisory firm. The bill would trigger 34,000 job losses in the first year, according to the study.”

Trump has not pressed for more spending to combat the opioid epidemic, which has directly impacted farming communities.

Politico: “Starling said the president on Monday also plans to highlight the White House’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis ravaging rural towns, including declaring the epidemic a national health emergency. To date, the White House hasn’t pressed Congress to devote more spending on the effort however, but instead to leverage current resources.”

Politico: “A recent survey commissioned by the Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union, a more left-leaning organization, found that 74 percent of farmers and ranchers reported they have been directly impacted by opioid abuse.”

Trump proposed cuts to key economic development programs for rural areas and farm workers.

Wall Street Journal: “Also cut would be an $82 million program aimed at training migrant and seasonal farm workers. In both cases, the administration said those workers would be eligible for similar services through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, a separate Labor Department division.”

The Atlantic: “In the budget, Trump proposes a reduction in funding and eventual elimination of 18 independent agencies—those that exist outside of federal departments headed by a Cabinet secretary. One of those agencies is the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership focused on economic development in a region encompassing all of West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.”

Trump’s cruel immigration policies threaten the viability of the U.S. agriculture industry.

Los Angeles Times: “To Keep Crops From Rotting In The Field, Farmers Say They Need Trump To Let In More Temporary Workers”

New York Times: “Expelling Immigrant Workers May Also Send Away The Work They Do”

The Trump administration rescinded a rule protecting independent farmers against large food companies.

The Hill: “The Trump administration is rescinding an Obama-era rule that would have made it easier for independent farmers to bring lawsuits against big food companies they raise chicken and other livestock for.”