New Op-ed: Why Trump’s at 83% approval with America’s farmers
An unwatchable impeachment trial proceeds at molasses pace in Washington, its outcome a foregone conclusion.
Meanwhile, in Iowa another drama awaits as Democratic caucus goers prepare to choose their favorite candidate.
But there too the outcome is certain:
For whichever Democrat comes out on top, he or she will in the end be bested by the man who has delivered more for the state and for farmers than anyone else – President Donald J. Trump.
Compare President Trump's record to the Democrats' alternative.
As one of his first acts in office, President Trump canceled the EPA's Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation. President Obama wanted to extend the Environmental Protection Agency's jurisdiction far beyond "navigable waterways" to farm ponds and even ditches with water in them.
Agriculture is one of the most regulated businesses in America, and they won't forget President Trump terminated WOTUS – just as he promised. President Trump's regulatory reforms and staunch support for property rights win him fans down on the farm.
President Trump promised to fix our broken trade deals, and he's delivered on that as well. China has committed to increase its purchases of American farm products and other goods and services by $200 billion dollars over the next 2 years.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, USMCA, replaces the disastrous NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement that allowed Canada to slap tariffs as high as 298% on American dairy and use non-tariff barriers to sideline American grain.
USMCA removes these barriers and creates new market opportunities for U.S. farmers. Exports of American food and farm products are expected to increase by $2.2 billion.
Then there's that hardy perennial, biofuels. President Trump approved the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol, the renewable fuel made from corn. This expands the market for biofuels, supports farmers and gives drivers more choices at the pump.
Further, President Trump reinstated the tax credit for biodiesel, making it retroactive to 2018 and extending it through 2022, the longest forward-looking extension since the credit was first introduced in 2005.
Looking at the big picture, the president's tax cuts have been a boon to farmers too, allowing immediate 100% write-off of new equipment purchases, scaling back the inheritance tax and lowering rates all around. With large sunk costs in land and equipment, farmers would be hit by the higher taxes Democrats promise.
The president's energy reforms have resulted in lower fuel costs for farms and produced abundant natural gas, the main ingredient in fertilizer.
In contrast, the Democrats want to ban fossil fuels. That would mean higher fuel and fertilizer costs at best; at worst, obsolete farm equipment, lower crop yields and food shortages if not famine.
The Green New Deal presents the clearest contrast between President Trump and his Democratic opponents. Even the Democrat-leaning National Farmers Union rejects the Green New Deal.
When the climate crusaders are on the loose you better lock up your farm animals.
Green New Deal Democrats have all but promised to regulate cattle out of existence. And without cattle, it's awfully hard to run a cow-and-calf operation or a feedlot.
The long arm of the law is reaching for the south end of a northbound steer. A U.S. appeals court ruled livestock farmers must report "greenhouse gas" emissions from manure on their farms.
That is, until President Trump exempted farms from the reporting requirement.
The New York Times, ever a reliable barometer of the liberal mindset, advises us "reducing your meat and dairy intake can help mitigate climate change."
If the Green New Dealers take power, exactly how long do you think it would take for the culture commissars' gentle suggestions to harden into legal requirements? How long for the federal pharaohs to rebuild the food pyramid with an unblinking eye atop ensuring everyone it sees, whether in a food stamp office, school lunchroom or hospital cafeteria, obeys the strictures of the Novus Ordo Alimentum?
As Democrats march ever forward in their climate jihad, even ethanol, the biofuel they once championed as "renewable, clean energy," is under attack.
Environmental activists now claim ethanol increases rather than reduces CO2 emissions. It would be eliminated in the drive for electric vehicles.
It's clear President Trump has delivered for farmers. That's why they give him an 83% approval rating, the highest ever.
It's equally clear Democrats would bring blight to the land.
-Curtis Ellis is the senior policy advisor for America First Policies.