“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening. Don’t Believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” says Donald Trump on July 24, after claiming that the U.S. is doing better that it has ever done economically after bailing out farmers by paying them $12 billion to survive the tariffs that he created to embark in a trade war. Earlier this month, Trump also announced an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.
$12 billion dollars out of thin air, to undo Trumps failing ‘investments’ is kind of a slap in the face to a country that still has crisis in Flint, crisis in Puerto Rico and an unstable healthcare system. In business, Trump uses bankruptcy to avoid paying for his past bad investments – so this comes with little surprise. However, if the economy is stronger than it ever has been… why are we using depression era tactics and emergency support to aid farmers? Likely to seed voters before the midterm, as farmers represent large portion of the Trumps past voters.
The $12 billion dollars is a nice Band-Aid for the time being, however this aid doesn’t aid the fact that these new tariffs will continue to impact farmers. The E.U. announced on Wednesday that it will increase imports of American soybeans. Not to mention that China imposed 25% retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans, along with other agricultural exports at the beginning of the month. After these imposed tariffs, China then began turning to other markers such as South America. As China quickly build international markets, the likeliness that they will abandon the U.S. markets in the long-term increases – even after the trade war is over.
A representative from the Farmers Union Cooperative in Ossian, Iowa announced Thursday that, “[farmers] would just prefer to have their markets back and not have handouts from the government.” Another consequence of Trump’s tariffs is the consequence of job loss. An Arkansas Television station called THV11 reported that tariffs could cost 24,000 jobs to just that state.
How will this impact Trumps midterms? Well, a huge portion of farmers are huge Fox News fans, which often recycles the old virtues of Trumps farming policies, rather their reality of failures — not that the truth usually matters when it comes to watching or listening to Trump, Usually in politics, tariffs are political poison.
The reality is, Trump is hurting the base of his voters – the white male farmers. The people who invested the most money and campaigning into his presidency have essentially been lied to the most. What that means for the rest of us is unclear, as the trade war continues to simmer and the trade deal with the E.U. continues to become a complexity, it seems that the lines between fact and fiction are just becoming more and more blurred. The unreality created by fake news and by world leaders is frighteningly far from the reality that we are stuck with.