Monday, March 30, 2020

The Hidden Goodies in CARE, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020

$2.2 trillion. $2,200,000,000. Eight zeros. That’s an amazing spending bill, even for Congress. It’s 5x greater than President Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Bill. . The times call for it. This is the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression. The American economy has collapsed in the space of a couple of weeks. The world’s economy is in intensive care. Parts of our major cities look like Post-Apocalyptic America. 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. This week is probably just as bad. All because of a microscopic virus. Emergency action was needed, and more may be needed in upcoming weeks and months. President Trump is not President Hoover. President Trump and the Republicans had a few objectives. First, buy time. Keep the employers, large corporations and small business alike, alive, afloat so jobs will be available when America restarts the economy. Memo to our Democratic Socialists: without employers, there will be no jobs!!! It will be Venezuela! Second, just as critical, is helping the American workers thrown off work and their families, who have lost their jobs and usually their health insurance. Speaker Pelosi had a different agenda. In the words of Rahm Emanuel, “No good emergency should go to waste.” She is interested in pushing her social agenda, including the Green New Deal and Planned Parenthood. $2.2 trillion, $2,200,000,000, actual $6,200,000,000, is too good to resist. The media focuses on the major payments, loans and loan guarantees, unemployment compensation and extensions. Supplemental appropriation bills are like Christmas trees. The trick is to find the hidden ornaments. The evil is in the details. Pure politics for Speaker Pelosi. Anything less than a billion dollars in this bill is petty cash. Even a few billion is an accounting error. But it adds up! The good of CARES. $250 billion for extended and expanded unemployment benefits. A new program t cover gig workers. $300 billion for households for households. $349 billion in loans for small business. Emergency grants up to $10,000 each for small business, with a total allocation of $10 billion. Payments of $1,200 to persons making $75,00 or less, with payouts scaled down up to $99,000. $500 billion lending fund. $130 billion to hospitals, which are on the front lines of fighting the virus. It may not be enough! $20 billion for Veterans’ Health (long overdue). $22 billion for commercial airlines, cargo airlines, and contractors for maintaining employment ($8 billion for the cargo carriers). $22.5 billion more for employees $3 billion for airport service and contract workers. Another $48 billion for the nation’s farmers and nutrition programs. $4.3 billion for Centers for Disease Control. One other feature: The President, Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Congress, and their families are barred from participating in the program. Here’s the Pork. $150 billion to states to cover the Covid-19 expenses, but without tight strings. $1.32 billion for community centers responding to the virus. $25 million to the Kennedy Center, certainly a national institution, but nothing directly for the performing arts or museums elsewhere. Another $7.5 Million for the Smithsonian. $75 million each for the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, but even if the National Endowments distribute every cent of it, many of the nation’s cultural institutions, large and small, will perish, as well an unknown number of non-profits. Nothing directly for them. $359 million for refugee resettlement $150 billion for states for Covid-19 expenses. $10 billion for the postal service. $50 million Legal Services Corporation, lawyers are srvivors $25 million for public transit, with a paucity of riders. $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (never heard of it before) $1 billion for Amtrak. $400 million in grants for election security, which means mail in voting, same day voting, etc., but not ballot harvesting. $100 million for rural broadband. $99 million for the Department of Energy. $65 million for NASA. $37 billion for the Forest Service. Speaker Pelosi even stuck $25 million in CARES for the House of Representatives for salaries and expenses. One estimate is $600 billion is going to government. President Obama would be proud. Boeing sought $60 billion, but will only be able to apply out of a $17 billion national security loan fund, which might be open to GE and a host of other suppliers in the airline manufacturing industry. Boeing wants to give no concessions in exchange for $. “Boeing doesn’t get it.” The company only needed one year to destroy all the goodwill and credibility built up over a century. Incidentally, Boeing had paid out in share buybacks from to the 757Max crashes. Here's how not to aid the American people: $10.8 billion for three international organizations, The African Development Fund, The African Development Bank, and the International Development Association. A measly $500,000 for a water project in Utah. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gloated in striking $3billion to replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Senator said it was . The Democrats hate fossil fuels, big coal, big oil. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader are experienced negotiators. They understand you have to give something to the other side. Speaker Pelosi want even more next time. The good news. No matter how much was porked into CARES, much of it is going to the people and businesses which need it. Second, President Obama repeatedly told us his $831 billion 2009 Stimulus bill was for shovel ready jobs. That was one of many political lies, including “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and “If you like your insurance company, you can keep your insurance company.” He said laughingly on June 13, 2013 “Shovel ready wasn’t as …uh…shovel-ready as we thought.” His Stimulus program was to prop up the unions, especially the teacher unions.

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