Trump’s Farm Bailouts Are Making Rich Farmers Even Wealthier
The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report on Tuesday finding that the majority of the Trump administration’s aid package for farmers affected by the U.S.-China trade war went to wealthy farmers, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Trump administration revealed details of a $16 billion aid package for farmers, with specific provisions meant to protect small farmers, yet the EWG found that the economic disparity (between wealthy farmers and smaller farmers) has grown.
The analysis found that the top 1 percent of recipients received, on average, $183,331, while the bottom 80 percent received, on average, less than $5,000.
DeLine Farm Partnership, located in Charleston, Missouri, has received $2.8 million in trade relief so far.
Although the Agriculture Department said in a statement that the program would provide an appropriate level of support proportionate to a farm’s size and production rates, the EWG believes some of these farmers could be quadruple-dipping from multiple federal aid programs. Farmers may be receiving money from either or both rounds of relief, agricultural risk coverage and price loss coverage, crop insurance, and disaster relief.
“These programs are designed to give the most subsidy money to the biggest farms, we don’t dispute that,” said Anne Schechinger, EWG senior analyst. “But for these huge farms that are making tons of money each year, is that really something taxpayers should be subsidizing while smaller farmers struggle?”
Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) supports the EWG’s findings.
“There should be a cap on them, because 10 percent of the farmers get 70 percent of the benefits of the farm program. The farm program is meant to help people over humps beyond their own control,” he said in his weekly agricultural conference call on Tuesday. “Some large farmers do have the benefit of having resources to get over those humps without government help.”