President Donald Trump, as a private individual before he ran for political office, was not a fan of the automotive bailout that occurred under his predecessor’s watch.
When automotive companies were given large sums of government loans to help them during the Great Recession, Trump was initially in favor of doing so, NBC News reported. “You have to save the car industry in this country,” Trump said at the time.
But once President Barack Obama came into office and pushed the idea — and once Trump himself started contemplating a run for president himself — he was decidedly against it.
Trump derided the bailout as being costly, and even dubiously said it was being used to create jobs in China, not in the U.S. (a Chrysler vice president of design responded to Trump by saying he was “full of s—). But as costly as the auto bailout was for the United States, Trump’s own bailout for farmer’s has cost more than twice as much.
“The $28 billion given to farmers who were hurt by Trump's trade war is over twice as much as it cost to save the auto industry during the Great Recession. The one the GOP slammed.” https://t.co/tZOa4FQc8K
— Steven R. Green (@athens_lawyer) December 26, 2019
The auto bailout, according to The American Independent, cost the U.S. about $12 billion when things were all said and done. The bailout for farmers under Trump, which began due to his trade wars with China, have cost $28 billion so far.
Additional bailouts aren’t scheduled to happen for farmers, but it’s also not outside of the realm of possibilities, as the trade war is at a standstill presently, even with a so-called “phase one” deal moving forward.
Helping farmers keep their farms afloat is seen by many as a cost that’s worth the expense cited above. But another problem with Trump’s bailout abounds: it’s mainly going to wealthy farmers, and not to those in more dangerous situations.
The bottom 80 percent of income earners on farms across the nation received, on average, just over $5,000 per farm from Trump’s bailout, Bloomberg reported. That’s a paltry sum, compared to what the top 1 percent of farms, mainly factory farms owned by large agri-businesses, earned. Among those wealthier owners, the average farm received $177,000 each.
Whether the farm bailout is doing good or not, is hard to tell, though it seems clear that it’s doing too little for farming families that are struggling the hardest. What is clear is that the bailout itself could have been largely avoided had Trump not attempted to begin a trade war in early 2018, one that he said was going to be “easy” to win and yet still persists to this day.