Farmers probably know better than anyone that "it" rolls downhill. A shoddy presidency tends to do the same.
They're one of the pillars of any country's economy and under President Joe Biden's ancient, liver-spotted thumb, farmers are getting pinched. Hard.
In a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak expressed his concern for farmers.
"There are 61,670 farm families in America today that are on the brink. 61,670 farm families that are either delinquent in their loans to [the U.S. Department of Agriculture] or bankrupt or are pending foreclosure. This is a serious issue and I'm pretty confident that every single member of this committee probably has a number of those 61,000 farmers living in their states," Vilsak said, according to CNS News.
In other words, farmers are in deep.
According to an article in Time magazine, the national farm debt was $416 billion in 2019. More than 50 percent of American farmers had lost money every year since 2013.
Later in his remarks on Tuesday, Vilsak seemed to hint at the problem of farmer suicides.
"I represented farmers during the 1980s as a small-town lawyer. I can tell you the pain. I can tell you the stress. I can tell you the decisions that folks make under these circumstances. I can tell you very tragic decisions that they make under these circumstances," he said.
Farmer suicide may not be anything new. In fact, according to a 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relative to other industries, suicide rates are significantly higher in five major industry groups. Agriculture is one of those five.
But Bidenflation and "green clean" energy policies can't be doing much to reduce those rates.
Keeping a farm profitable is a merciless endeavor. In 2019, Wisconsin lost 700 farms, an average of about two per day.
Economic cycles, the rise of fuel, fertilizer and equipment prices, and dependence on factors such as seasons and climate, among other things, all contribute to the hardship. But farmers expect varying degrees of this in any economy and do what they can to prepare.
But nobody could have prepared for Biden.
Rather than acknowledging that he is largely to blame for issues such as inflation and price increases, he instead blames them on Republicans, COVID-19 and Russia -- even though record-high inflation rates can be traced back almost to the day he was crowned in January 2021.
According to a recent NBC News article, inflation has increased every month since Biden has been in office.
In January 2021, inflation was 1.4 percent higher than it was 12 months before. By July it was 5.4 percent higher. By December it was 7 percent higher and by February this year it was almost 8.
The article went on to explain, "Furthermore, the price increases have been across the board, on cars and gas and groceries to homes. If you're spending money, you're paying a little more for almost everything you're buying."
The last time inflation was this high was 40 years ago, in 1982, NBC reported.
Like a true tool of the left, inflation and price increases are inclusive -- nobody gets left behind, everybody gets screwed. But judging by the rate at which farmers commit suicide, perhaps not everyone gets screwed equally.
When farmers lose their job, they are really losing a lot more than that. They have to give up their land and homes, which have often been in their families for generations.
So how does Biden plan to support our farmers?
According to a statement from the White House, first, he will blame Russia and COVID-19.
Next, he will wave his magic wand and cut costs (which doesn't seem to work for cutting gas prices).
Then, he will increase the number of farm counties that are eligible for double cropping insurance.
Double cropping is when a farmer is allowed to plant a second crop on the same land in the same year. This can be risky and many farmers who practice double cropping cannot acquire crop insurance. Hence Biden's plan for increasing insurance eligibility.
I am no farmer, but that does not sound like much help to me. It's just Biden attempting to look like he's doing something.
It reminds me of a line from the Vietnam War movie "Apocalypse Now": “It was the way we had over here of living with ourselves. We'd cut them in half with a machine gun and give them a Band-Aid.”
If only Biden would listen to his agriculture secretary's pleas.
"So I would hope that as we talk about the future of agriculture in this country, that we don't lose sight of those 61,670 farm families," Vilsak said.
"They deserve our attention. They deserve some creative thought about how we may be able to assist them during this pandemic-stricken time. And I sincerely hope that we can work collaboratively together in a bipartisan way to make sure that they have a hopeful future as opposed to one that is currently stress-filled today."
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.