OPINION The May 24 (trade-aid) announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture leaves far more questions than answers. The department has provided dangerously little detail about how the most recent bailout will operate. What we do know is that this is the second time the USDA has been asked to provide a supposed “one-time” fix for the problems the administration has caused for our farmers.
Even more concerning are reports that more than half of the administration’s previously issued bailout funds were paid to only 10 percent of U.S. farmers. What we have now is a pattern of a president making impulsive decisions that damage the farm economy, only to just as impulsively direct the USDA to spend billions in taxpayer money on a temporary fix. That’s as irresponsible as it is inept. It takes time, money and energy away from things the USDA should be doing, like implementing the farm bill and feeding hungry Americans.