Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Donald Trump for using $28 billion in taxpayer money in an attempt to salvage farmers from his open-ended trade war with China, adding that the term “socialism” is never used when billionaires are buying voters in rural areas.
The New York Congresswoman reiterated Bernie Sanders’ accusations that the Trump administration is hypocritical and she called attention to conservatives who kept the $28 billion in handouts as a secret.
Newsweek reports that on Monday Ocasio-Cortez shared an article published by Bloomberg highlighting the President’s handouts for rescuing farmers primarily in the Midwest, which cost twice as much as the bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers in 2009 by former President Barack Obama.
“When the public democratically decides to invest in ourselves, in working people, they call it socialism. When a billionaire-captured government forces the public to pay for their misdeeds at the expense of working people, they just call it the cost of capitalism,” Ocasio-Cortez remarked on Twitter Monday.
In a call to Illinois farmers and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in late August, Trump boasted that farmers should be thanking him for their bailout money instead of worrying about cutting them off from China, one of the world’s most important export markets. “Well, they can’t be too upset, because I gave them $12 billion and I gave them $16 billion this year. I hope you like me even better than you did in ’16,” the President remarked.
At a June rally to supporters of his 2020 presidential campaign, Sanders made a similar comparison to how Trump and other billionaires pick and choose what types of “socialism” they criticize.
“While President Trump and his fellow oligarchs attack us for our support of democratic socialism, they don’t really oppose all forms of socialism. They may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people but they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other billionaires,” said Sanders.
Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders frequently point out that the 2008 Great Recession and ensuing Wall Street bailout were an example of the rich forcing the working class to pay for their own capitalist “greed, recklessness and illegal behavior.”
“Let us never forget the unbelievable hypocrisy of Wall Street, the high priests of unfettered capitalism,” Sanders said in June.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the first Market Facilitation Program (MFP) in July 2018, which gave $12 billion to farmers in an effort to offset what the federal government estimated was about $11 billion in damages to U.S. farmers. In December 2018, Trump signed an $867 billion farm bill which saw Congress hand abundant bailout money to farmers.