To the unlettered, Donald Trump's trade war with China doesn't seem to fit the technical definition of “winning.” The average consumer will pay an extra $800 this year due to his import taxes on everything from shoes to televisions. And a spooked Wall Street is trading like it hasn't stopped binging on cocaine and hookers since New Year's.
Then again, Trump launched his career with a meager $413 million stake from daddy, beginning his meteoric rise to occasionally successful businessman. That's why he's president, and you and I are not.
So to lessen the casualties of this war, the president has turned to a tried and true method: the socialist redistribution of $25 billion in taxpayer money to those who need it most, big city executives.
Technically, the money is supposed to help starving farmers driven to ruin by the loss of Chinese purchases of everything from corn to soybeans. But when the Environmental Working Group analyzed welfare data from the Department of Agriculture, it found 9,000 more deserving farmers residing in America's biggest cities.
That includes 70 residents of San Francisco, 65 from New York City, and 61 from D.C., where hog production is apparently bleak this year.
Then comes Minneapolis, where R.D. Brummand and Sons' homestead is among the glimmering towers downtown. It received $97,000 in welfare. Not far behind is Karnik Leifker, which has taken in $96,000. It's headquartered in what AgMag calls a “luxury lakeside community” in Blaine, where it appears to be growing single-malt scotch and those sweaters you tie around your neck while boating.
Federal records show that Hennepin County farmers have become particularly needy since last year, running up a welfare tab of more than $2 million. (Those in Ramsey County take personal responsibility a bit more seriously, not taking a dime.)
Yet the agricultural arts have always been more difficult to master for the wealthy, which is why they get the most. Meet Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.
Grassley may be worth $3.3 million, but $1.6 million of that has arrived via backhoe from Uncle Sam. Fellow Republican Ernst lists her net worth at $477,000. Were it not for $461,000 in welfare payments, her savings account would be comparable to the guy who cleans the Pizza Hut.
The upside for the uber-wealthy is they'll now be able to mooch even more. Recent changes in law allow cousins, nieces, and nephews to glom welfare even if they don't live or work on a farm. Congress has also removed means testing, which makes even Bill Gates eligible, should he so desire.
Most of these recipients tend not to be big fans of socialism. Yet the concept tends to gain a certain luster when it's targeted to the truly deserving.