April 1, 2020

THERE IS NO SAFETY WORD:

How Chuck And Nancy Made Moscow Mitch Gag On The Stimulus Bill (Gene Lyons April 1, 2020, National Memo)

With TV news networks and their star performers focusing upon Rose Garden theatrics, they've neglected the story of how Pelosi and Chuck Schumer outwitted and outmaneuvered GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to where he felt compelled to admit that "because the country was desperate for results...I literally told my own Republican colleagues to 'gag and vote for it.'"

The final Senate vote was 96-0. That's a lot of gagging.

Unlike the original Republican bill with its proposed $500 billion in corporate bailouts, the $2.2 trillion Pelosi-Schumer effort--formally known as the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,"--added $150 billion for hard-pressed state and local governments, another $150 billion for hospitals, and $31 billion for schools. That and $25 billion for Food Stamps.

To be sure, there's still plenty of cash for Fortune 500 companies, but oversight has been added to prevent its becoming a political slush fund.

However, the real game-changers for hard-pressed families as well as the potential salvation of the US economy are two features many voters are unaware of: paycheck-protection loans enabling small businesses to retain employees for up to eight weeks, and that needn't be repaid; also greatly expanded unemployment insurance for individuals who lose their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The original McConnell bill called for one-time $1200 checks to be sent to every taxpayer--definitely useful, but hardly a bonanza. To that, Pelosi and Democrats added unemployment insurance providing an additional 13 weeks of cash assistance to state-funded programs. The CARE Act also expands eligibility to include part-time, self-employed and so-called "gig economy" workers such as Uber drivers and food delivery services, providing up to $600 a week income for those practicing social distancing.

Do the arithmetic. That's upwards of $10,000 between now and the end of June. With plenty to worry about, people can at least quit obsessing about money.  They'll have sufficient funds for rent, food, utilities and other necessities. Nobody's got to risk his or her life to keep the children fed.



Posted by at April 1, 2020 12:00 AM

  

« OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING: | Main | ALL THE BATTLEGROUNDS ARE RED: »