The Nebraska Farm Bureau Has Learned Nothing — It Endorsed Ben Sasse
The Nebraska Farm Bureau (NFB) has a long history of being just another branch of the Nebraska Republican Party. It always endorses Republican candidates for Congress and has consistently supported Pete Ricketts. The only Democrat to receive Farm Bureau’s endorsement in a legislative race was a Democrat running against a fellow (and more progressive) Democrat.
The NFB is an insurance company first and a “supporter” of agriculture second. That’s why the NFB is such a loyal GOP party soldier. This insurance company benefits from the GOP’s policies of socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everybody else. The NFB — like most big companies — doesn’t want to pay taxes or be regulated. Moreover, the NFB supports the GOP’s so-called “tort reform” agenda — they don’t like paying claims.
The NFB’s emphasis on the regressive agenda of the D.C. Republicans has been at the expense of Nebraska farmers. As everybody knows, Trump launched a series of ill advised trade wars against China, the EU, Mexico, and Canada. Trump once even said that: “Trade wars are good and easy to win.”
The NFB’s support of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation boils down to support of Trump’s disastrous trade wars. Deb Fischer, Ben Sasse, Jeff Fortenberry, Don Bacon and Adrian Smith have all supported Trump’s trade policies. For example, Fortenberry said: “This reckoning has to take place with China.”
The NFB’s own research indicates that the Trump/GOP trade wars cost Nebraska farmers nearly $1 billion in 2019 alone. A spokesman for the NFB admitted that the Administration’s subsidy payments to farmers aren’t making them whole. Nebraska farmers want markets — not welfare. (Interestingly enough, we haven’t seen any complaining about “socialism” from the GOP about these payments.)
A Stateline analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis data further confirms that the Trump/NFB trade war is crushing Nebraska’s farmers. According to this analysis, the top ten decreases in average personal income between 2016–2018 were in Nebraska. According to this study, the decreases in average personal income were anywhere from 21% in Banner County to 36% in Sioux County.
According to Creighton University economist Ernie Goss: “There were 31 counties in our state (Nebraska) that saw a decline in income, and farm income constitutes a pretty high percentage of income in those counties… The average disguises a lot of the pain that’s going on.” In contrast, the Democratic leaning urban areas of Omaha and Lincoln are doing quite well according to Goss.
Unfortunately for Nebraska farmers, the NFB has learned nothing from its support for Trump’s disastrous policies. This GOP friendly group recently endorsed Ben Sasse’s re-election bid. The endorsement makes no sense since Sasse left the Agriculture Committee in 2017 to join the Judiciary Committee. As a result of Sasse’s abandonment of the Agriculture Committee, there was a period of time in 2017 when no Nebraska members of Congress served on that vital committee for the first time since the early 1970s.
Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb blasted the NFB’s endorsement of our junior Senator: “Sen. Sasse supports (President Donald) Trump’s reckless trade policies. Sen. Sasse supports corporate agriculture rather than leveling the playing field. There is nothing farm-friendly about Sen. Sasse.”
Nebraska’s junior Senator is a loyal servant of Trump, the top 1% and the radical right. Sasse isn’t this folksy regular guy that he is portraying in his re-election campaign. He is another D.C. elitist who will prioritize the special interests over his Nebraska constituents.
In addition to being a tool for the nation’s financial elites, Sasse has been an ineffectual do nothing Senator who is more interested in making money off his books rather than serving his constituents. Chris Janicek, Alisha Shelton, Angie Philips and Dan Wik are all running against Sasse. I would recommend that you get behind one of these candidates and help them throw out Ben Sasse. We must regain control of the Senate and end McConnell’s destructive obstruction. Now let’s get it done!