To the editor: Reading about the roughly $20 billion spent by the Trump administration on aid to farmers hurt financially by the trade war with China, I was struck by a couple of things.
First, the statement that the payments are “roughly twice the net cost to taxpayers of President Obama’s auto industry bailout during the Great Recession of 2008" fails to address the fact that the auto industry paid the taxpayers back most of the loans with interest. These farm bailouts will never be paid back, even partially.
Second, the failure of Congress to require that the appropriation of the bailout monies go through them, rather than the president, allows Trump to target payments to his wealthy donors and ignore the smaller farmers, some of whom, according to your article, received only a $2 check.
Finally, please explain to Trump voters that this is a socialist program.
Catherine Green, Santa Ana
To the editor: The farmers of America are hurting because of Trump’s ignorant trade policies. So, the president has bypassed Congress to offer about $20 billion in aid to U.S. farmers, most of it going to states that are essential to his reelection chances.
I have great sympathy for the farmers who have lost access to markets in China, but doesn’t this mean that Trump is using tax dollars from all of us to help his campaign?
This is just another example of Trump gaming the system for his personal benefit.
Steve Schklair, Altadena
To the editor: Everyone is looking for a quid pro quo, and here it is.
Patrick Mauer, Pasadena