The Republican's Faux Assistance Bill, Dems Must Oppose

Here's a summary of what is in the Republican's $2 trillion spending bill to reboot the economy. It's a bailout of big industry and business and a pittance for individuals.

It's also money that mostly has to be repaid. With what? Donald Trump's belief that when this is over our economy will "skyrocket" and the companies on the receiving end will be able to repay these humongous loans? [More...]

The bill would authorize the Treasury to use $425 billion of the $500 billion “to make loans, loan guarantees, and other investments in support of programs or facilities established by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the purpose of providing liquidity to the financial system that supports lending to eligible businesses, states or municipalities.”

What do individuals get? A one-time payment of $1,200. A four person household with 2 adults and 2 children gets $4,800. For the tens of millions of Americans with little or no money coming in to meet their existing obligations for housing, car payments, health insurance and food, this will last about as long as it takes me to write this post. The other pittance in the bill? You can take the standard deduction and still write off up to $300 in charitable donations. Is this a joke?

Oh, and the owners of the small businesses, restaurants and bars, who were shut down immediately and without notice this past week for the good of their communities, what do they get? They get to deduct their renovation expenses and losses when they resume business. What if they don't have the money to reopen? A tax deduction is only of value if you have income against which to offset it.

Memo to Donald Trump: The only thing we have after a crisis is our behavior during it, and you and your Administration are failing miserably.

What should the Dems be insisting on? The New York Times has this report on what leading economists say is necessary to reboot the economy and the pitfalls of Donald Trump's method.

I'm more interested in helping Americans this minute than I am in rebooting an economy. So here are some of my ideas. How about tangible and immediate help for individuals who aren't in a four person household, don't have kids at home, are disabled or elderly and considered too old for most jobs, who don't own their home, who don't qualify for commerical or government loans...you know, tens of millions of us.

How about providing rent money to landlords so renters don't lose their leases. How about providing first and last month's rent and security deposit to anyone in danger of losing their lease so they aren't homeless if they don't have that much money when this crisis is over? In 2017, 83 million Americans rented rather than owned their homes. That's 36.6% of American households. The federal government can't tell landlords to postpone or forego rent they are owed, but it can pay the rent Americans owe directly to the landlords for a few months. If homeowners are going to get a break on their mortgages (I guess because unlike rent, mortages involve federal agencies), shouldn't the feds make an equivalent commitment to renters? What if the Governors of their state don't order the state's sheriffs not to carry out evictions?

What about help with life insurance and health insurance premiums for those under 65 who have families to provide for? Just eliminating a few mortgage payments won't go far enough.

How about doubling social security payments for the rest of the year? Although millenials and those under 50 are testing positive for the virus in greater numbers than previously thought, according to all sources, it's still the elderly and those with prior signficant health issues who are most at risk from the coronavirus.

Not every business owner has employees and will be able to benefit from a deferment of payroll taxes. What about relief for all the freelancers, artists, performers, and professionals in various industries who use contract labor when necesssary rather than permanent employees? How about eliminating their obligation to double pay social security taxes (as both the owner and employee)for a year? How about advancing what they are owed in accounts receivable, which those who owe them money are unable to pay due to the pandemic? How about advancing money to them for their business expenses for a year? They all can't get jobs at McDonalds or the grocery store when this is over.

Finally, if you listened to or read the transcript of Donald Trump's speech today, it was just one more time he passed the buck. He takes no accountability. Not for his delayed response to the pandemic which he originally pooh-poohed as a hoax cooked up by Democrats or his failure to hit the ground running and order the correct testing kits in sufficient quantities or ensure there were adequate quantities of personal protection equipment available to medical workers and first responders. According to Trump, these are the problems he inherited from the incompetants who previously had his job or worked in a prior Administration.

What Donald Trump told the American people tosday was that the federal government does not have their backs and they should not expect it to. He told them to look to their individual Governors if they want help with this crisis. What was he thinking? That it's 1974 and he's Freddie Prinze, Sr. in "Chico and the Man" and "Ees not my job"? That he's only going to help big business because that's all he knows how to do? That he has to cater to them because, as with catering to veterans earlier today, he knows he can't get re-elected without them? Donald Trump has shown by all of his actions since the day he was provided a desk in the oval office that he has no idea how to lead or how to govern. Americans are afraid, and should be afraid because the country is like a rudderlsess ship with him trying to find the helm. No one who cares about anything but their own bank account would have confidence in him. World leaders don't and either do Americans who are looking for assurance, however small, that we will survive these horrible times.

If Donald Trump really cared about America, he would admit he lacks the skills, judgment and temperment to steer America through this crisis and he would resign tomorrow. Unfortunately, the only way I see that happening is if (or when) his sons run his own business into the ground and he decides to save himself first.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I could almost tolerate the inherent evil (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 12:21:26 PM EST
    and corruption of this "Administration", if it was at least somewhat competent. (Narrator: it isn't)

    apparently, with access to the smartest people in the world, in practically every field, they somehow manage to get the bottom 5% of every class, to come work for them. they ignore the actual experts, because they tend to work with facts, not fantasy, and that's out of step with the Republican Party and its adherents. example: giving money to big corporations is going to do nothing for demand, because they aren't buying their own products, and I can pretty much guarantee none of that money is going to their non-upper management employees.

    Not only that (2.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 24, 2020 at 09:46:53 AM EST
    it does not:

    Provide $35 million for the Kennedy Center
    Mandate  nationwide ballot harvesting
    Set gender quotas for corporate boards
    Forgive $10k per person in student loans
    Set new airline fuel efficiency standards
    Require same day voter registration

    Clearly things needed to juice the economy.

    The GOP (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 24, 2020 at 07:27:27 PM EST
    would vote for everyone of those if it had a secret slush fund.

    Dude, voting by mail is important in a pandemic but then as we know conservatives aren't too keen on democracy.

    Ironically you guys are probably going to have the higher death toll but apparently you're fine with that too.


    Same day registration (none / 0) (#10)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Mar 25, 2020 at 09:37:04 AM EST
    Has nothing to do with vote by mail.  

    And what is wrong with (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 25, 2020 at 12:01:30 PM EST
    letting people same day register during a pandemic? Those who are sick during the registration period shouldn't be allowed to vote?

    Pay people (none / 0) (#1)
    by jmacWA on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 05:08:09 AM EST
    Agreed, that paying corporations doesn't do much to help the problem.  The money needs to go directly to people.  The other issue to avoid IMO is means testing, it would take years for congress to agree an any means test... just give the money to all the people and ensure that they spend it quickly not add it to their stash.  Perhaps instead of checks give prepaid credit cards with a 3 month expiration.

    I (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by FlJoe on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 05:40:22 AM EST
    think they should do retroactive means testing. Give everybody cash now and compel everyone over a certain income to repay in full when they file taxes for 2020. That should be relatively easy to implement and roll out quickly.

    I like it (none / 0) (#3)
    by jmacWA on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 05:44:36 AM EST
    I didn't think of this... the problem would be coming to agreement on the income level, but I think that in this case it would not take them forever, and any rule the come up with would be unlikely to hurt those who need it most.

    I always end up owing in April. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 11:25:10 AM EST
    If they send me a check, I'm just going to deposit it, then use those funds to pay my 2019 income tax bill. Fair swap.

    Me too. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 08:03:13 PM EST
    One of the reasons why I am waiting to see what is going to happen with the checks.

    Tonight on Short Attention Span Theatre: (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 23, 2020 at 09:47:06 PM EST
    As an impatient President Trump continues to careen off the guardrails of life's highway, Americans are collectively regretting that decision to hitchhike and accept a ride from this guy:

    Los Angeles Times | March 23, 2020
    Frustrated by economic damage, Trump says he may ease restrictions - "President Trump, desperate to turn around the cratering economy, indicated Monday that he is likely to ease within weeks extreme restrictions on commerce that were intended to stem the deadly coronavirus pandemic, resisting advice from public health advisors who have urged a longer shutdown."

    MAGA: Morons Are Governing America.