.@realDonaldTrump is right - workers deserve much more than $600, as I have repeatedly said & fought for. And there’s obviously plenty of $$ to do it - look at what Congress threw away on corporate giveaways & foreign buyouts. Let’s get it done— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 23, 2020
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
America First! Amirite!
Yippee, we are going to be "given" $600 per person as relief payments for a man-made virus that led to an authoritarian man-made crisis that has tanked large segments of the economy! Of course the "money" is coming out of thin air and the debt will be tacked on to the impossible to repay number but still it is free "money"!
A lot of people are complaining about the amount. In our family where we have had one of the best years financially in almost 28 years of marriage, with three kids under 17 still at home, we are looking at getting a deposit of $3000. That will wipe out the small balances on a card and still leave lots of money left over for more ammo. For many others, that money is going to pay the rent and heating bill at least for a month.
On the other hand, if you are a suspicious person like me, you might be tempted to do a little math here. There are around 330 million people in America. Assuming all of them are eligible for the $600, that comes out to a pretty big number:
330,000,000 x $600 = $198,000,000,000
198 billion seems like a lot but the bill that was passed was for around $900,000,000,000. A little more math:
$198 billion is about 22% of $900 billion
Less than a quarter of the coronavirus relief bill goes to direct payments to Americans.
Where is the rest going?
A big chunk goes to boosting unemployment, because it is smart to pay people extra to be unemployed rather than opening the country back up and rolling the dice on a disease with a tiny mortality rate for the vast majority of people. I talked to a guy who is a supervisor in a local factory and they are already having trouble getting workers to show up and they fear the extra unemployment funds will just encourage workers to stay home.
More money for small business "loans", a scheme that ended up being wildly abused the first time around.
A couple billion for the "Space Force"
Rental aid, airline industry aid, a bunch of money to the tune of $82 billion for schools. $54 billion for K-12 and another $22.7 billion for colleges and universities.
This is a nice chart from the Wall Street journal:
Why is there $82,000,000,000 in spending for schools in a coronavirus relief bill? Don't know. Why is there $7,000,000,000 in funding for broadband in a coronavirus relief bill? Don't know.
At least those are American schools. The coronavirus relief bill is full of extra goodies for every nation on Earth. Zero Hedge has a good list of this garbage here: Pork City: Here Are The Most Ridiculous Pet Projects In $900 Billion Stimulus Package
Read the whole thing if you have a strong stomach and are not prone to doing something violent but here are some "highlights"
Let's start off with Our Greatest Ally:
$3.3 billion in grants to Israel.
As I have pointed out on many occasions, Israel is an advanced nation with a robust economy. With a population of 9.2 million, that $3.3 billion in "aid", which I assume is on top of the money we already lavish on them annually, works out to....
$3,300,000,000 / 9,200,000 = $358 for every Israeli
Remember, our niggardly overlords could only pony up $600 for each American but we can find enough in the couch cushions to send more than half that amount per person to Israel. I get that the payments to Israel are not direct checks to Israeli citizens but still, the idea of sending that much to citizens of a foreign nation that is quite prosperous is obscene, especially since we already send the equivalent of around $23,000 in "aid" for Israeli family over the course of a decade (see: Why Are We Sending Foreign Aid To Other Nations? Especially Wealthy Nations?).
I am well aware that questioning why a nation so deeply in debt and in the middle of an existential crisis thanks to a "pandemic" is sending money to Israel, or even noticing that we are doing so, is "anti-Semitic" but it turns out I just don't give a shit.
How about almost half a billion to Ukraine, a nation you might remember for it's role in Trump's "impeachment" and also well known for employing the cocaine-and-hooker addicted sons of prominent American politicians. I am sure none of that half billion will be channeled right back to politically connected Americans and will instead all go to helping the poor in Ukraine.
$10 million for "gender programs" in Pakistan, whatever the hell that means.
$1.3 billion for Egypt
$700 million for shithole Sudan.
$130 million to Nepal
$1.4 billion for an "Asia Reassurance Initiative Act"
On and on. Money for the Kennedy Center, money for HIV/AIDS workers, whatever those are, to buy cars. How about telling people to stop being degenerates and they will stop getting the HIV? That is pretty cheap.
Bottom line, while I understand and sympathize with the argument that we shouldn't be spending money we don't have on relief, I also note that the reason we need relief is a direct result of the American government warring against American businesses. So if we are going to have relief in the form of make-believe "money", doesn't it stand to reason it should be directed to, oh I don't know, Americans? Not a nickel should go to foreign nations, especially not prosperous nations like Israel.
Last night Trump threatened to veto the whole thing and demanded payments to Americans be raised to $2000 and the pork be eliminated.
"The bill also allows stimulus checks for the family members of illegal aliens, allowing them to get up $1,800 each," the president says. "This is far more than the Americans are given.
"Despite all of this wasteful spending, and much more, the $900 billion package provides hard-working taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments and not enough money is given to small businesses -- and in particular restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously."
Rightly so although he didn't mention the money for Israel. Weird.
His call for larger payments was applauded by some of his harshest critics like wizened old bat Nancy Pelosi, retired tavern wench Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three house owning commie Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican Senator Josh Hawley.
If we are going to have another bill, it should include zero dollars in payments to government agencies and zero dollars to foreign nations. Better yet it should suspend all foreign aid payments indefinitely until the "pandemic" is over. America shouldn't be sending money to other countries in the first place and definitely not when so many Americans are on the brink of financial ruin.
We will see what happens but there is growing anger over this bill and perhaps for once Congress will listen.