President Trump's trade war is quickly becoming a corrupt cliche.
The administration will support a multibillion dollar relief package to ease the pain for farmers caught in the crossfire between U.S. and Chinese tariffs. More generally, the federal government will attempt to fix a problem it is in the middle of creating, doubling down on bad central planning with even more bad central planning.
The Wall Street Journal reports administration and congressional officials are examining programs pioneered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression, like the Commodity Credit Corporation, which could spend as much as $30 billion to stabilize markets — though the spending could grow even higher. That government program was created in 1933, coincidentally the same year Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, was born. Just nostalgic or unaware of the irony of the GOP resurrecting Depression-era bureaucracies designed by Democrats, the Iowa Republican seems to like the idea of rebooting the CCC.
“I’ve had a conversations with people in the administration that thought if there were ever tariffs imposed,” Grassley said, “that the income coming from the tariffs could be used for that purpose.”
Note that when President Barack Obama’s Agriculture secretary used the CCC to spend $348 million buying up cheap cotton, rice, and soybeans in the South, the Grand Old Party threw a fit. They saw the move as an attempt to help then-Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln. Her opponent at the time, then-Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark., correctly called it a racket.
“To bail out somebody who's in a difficult election by somehow coming up with money,” Boozman said on the campaign trail of a race he would end up winning, “there are real questions about whether they have the authority to do it."
If Republicans move forward with this scheme and embrace more government central planning as a solution to the problems government has created, how will Democrats even top that?