OK. The Senator in question did not put it quite that way …
Knowing the Major countries of destination for U.S. soybean exports in 2017 tells us why Trump’s agricultural tariffs are so important for the American farmer. China imported 31.99 million metric tons in 2017 which was way over what was imported by the next 9 countries combined (17.34 million metric tons). So if China stopped its soybean imports from the U. S., our soybean farmers would lose about two thirds (64.85%) of that market. Given that, it is puzzling why any member of Congress would shrug off the harm that will be incurred by our farmers because of Trump’s trade fight with China. Yet, there are some in Congress who are with Trump no matter what damage they will do to the country. Here’s an example.
Jen Hayden of the Daily Kos Staff reports that Arkansas senator shrugs off farmers going belly up from Trump tariffs: ‘Some people will sacrifice’
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton appeared on CBS This Morning as part of a promotional book tour and was asked about Donald Trump’s latest round of trade war tariffs. Trump has promised $15 billion in new bailout funds for struggling U.S. farmers to counter the fallout from his tariffs, in addition to the $12 billion he’s already doled out.
Let’s take a Trumpometer break. Trump is the chief steward of Republican values, right? He’s the chief GOPlin. Is he (or the head Munchkin) just printing money? Where’s the money coming from? Cuts to social security and Medicare, perhaps? How can the GOP reconcile paying out welfare to the farmers who need it because of what Trump is doing?
So how did Cotton react to the struggling farmers back home in Arkansas? With a shrug. Even worse, he used U.S. troops as a shield, noting that they make bigger sacrifices than other people. Listen to Cotton shrug off U.S. farmers losing their shirts.
“There will be some sacrifice on the part of Americans, I grant you that. But also that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes or laid to rest,” @SenTomCotton on trade war with China
Summarizing Tom Cotton, “some of you may die, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”
For the record, economic experts far and wide have been advising against these tariffs from the start and are loudly warning of the dire economic impact.
For example, the Tax Foundation tweeted:
Tariffs raise prices and reduce available quantities of goods and services for U.S. businesses and consumers, which results in lower income, reduced employment, and lower economic output: http://bit.ly/2WJ7QQW
Picking up on Cotton’s view of what others should happily sacrifice, Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) writes As farmers struggle, Cotton offers odd defense of Trump’s trade agenda.
I suppose there’s an element of literal truth to the far-right senator’s argument: it is, in fact, better to be a farmer with a failing business than it is to be a soldier who’s died in the line of duty.
But I’m not sure Cotton has fully thought this one through. Is the Arkansas Republican really prepared to tell a struggling family, “Sure, your farm may be failing as a result of Trump’s trade agenda, but your sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to Americans who’ve died on the battlefield”?
Wouldn’t it be easier to simply encourage the administration to pursue a different course?
I am intrigued by the possibility, though, of how to apply Cotton’s argument to other political debates. Some millionaires may howl in response to proposals for higher taxes on the wealthy, for example, but as Arkansas’ junior senator has argued, “There will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make.”
Some business owners may balk at an increase in the minimum wage, but as Tom Cotton reminds us, “There will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make.”
Some may resist systemic efforts to combat the climate crisis, but they can take solace in the words of Tom Cotton: “There will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make.”