GOP senator: Bankrupt farmers should be happy to 'sacrifice' for Trump


Tom Cotton thinks farmers going bankrupt thanks to Trump's trade war have it pretty good compared to soldiers.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has a disgraceful new defense for Trump's unnecessary trade war: that it's fine if farmers are going bankrupt because their sacrifices are "minimal" compared to the sacrifices made by members of the military.

On Monday's edition of "CBS This Morning," Cotton was asked about a recent study showing farmers in Arkansas will be hurt by the trade war.

"Is President Trump hurting the Americans he promised to help?" asked anchor Norah O'Donnell.

"There will be some sacrifice on the part of Americans, I grant you that," Cotton said. "But also I would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas, that our fallen heroes who are laid to rest in Arlington make."

"You can't compare those two sacrifices," anchor Gayle King said, seeming taken aback that Cotton would try.

But Cotton doubled down. He claimed that farmers "look at the sacrifices soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines make around the world, and they're willing to bear some of the sacrifices in the short term, to hopefully in the long term ensure our long-term prosperity and security."

It's worth noting that even the conservative Heritage Foundation argues Trump's trade war will cause long-term economic harm, not just short-term pain.

But even if Cotton's argument about "long term" sacrifices were accurate, his framing is insulting to both farmers and soldiers. It uses soldiers as political props, and trivializes the suffering of farmers.

And farmers are indeed needlessly suffering due to Trump's trade war. The bankruptcy rates from farmers have skyrocketed since Trump imposed his reckless tariffs, which have caused major consumers of U.S. goods like China to retaliate and price American commodities out of the market.

Trump is spending billions in tax dollars to bail out farmers, but it's not enough to cover their lost sales. American farmers are losing money while Trump brags that trade wars are "good and easy to win."

Trump's allies like Cotton clearly understand how indefensible Trump's trade war really is. That's why Cotton took the cowardly route and used the men and women of the military to try to cover for Trump's poor decision-making.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.