Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Trump $28B Farm Rescue, Asks Why 'Socialism' Not Bad When Billionaires Are Buying Votes

New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has criticized President Donald Trump's use of $28 billion in taxpayer money to rescue farmers from his ongoing trade war with China, saying it's never called "socialism" when billionaires are buying rural voters.

Self-described democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez echoed Senator Bernie Sanders' repeated accusations of hypocrisy toward the Trump administration Monday, calling attention to conservative lawmakers' silence over Trump's more than $28 billion in handouts to farmers in the past two years. Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of refusing to rail against anything as "socialism" when it involves billionaires who are forcing taxpayers to help them correct their own capitalist errors.

On Monday, she shared a Bloomberg News article which pointed out Trump's farm rescue handouts to primarily rural, Midwest agriculture businesses is more than twice as costly as former President Barack Obama's 2009 bailout of Detroit's Big Three automakers.

"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."

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.

"We have to take care of our farmers and ranchers, and we will take care of them," Trump said at the signing ceremony.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration bypassed previously capped maximums and handed out another $16 billion to farmers cut off by his China trade war.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks at a public housing town hall at a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residence on August 29, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Cortez, who represents residents from parts of the Bronx and Queens boroughs, spoke about issues residents face in New York, where one in 14 live in public housing. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images