A reasonably decent article from Politico explaining what a joke the “stimulus” actually is. Basically, corporate welfare plus. Republicans and conventional conservatives have made much fun of the various “special interest” provisions that got tacked on to the bill. However, as usual, they fail to recognize that corporations, financial institutions, and businesses are the biggest special interests of all, but the kind Republicans love. So basically what happened is that the Republican and Democratic leadership collaborated to “bailout” the ruling class (as if the most powerful ruling class in history needs bailing out), with run-of-the-mill Democrats trying to bleed a little extra for the various bureaucracies they represent, and the supposed “left-wing” Democrats trying to get a little more for their favorite “progressive” causes (“gotta have that diversity, Planned Parenthood, and green whatever”). This crap was passed 96-0 in the Senate and as far as I know, as I haven’t been able to find a precise vote count, only one voice of dissent was raised in the House (this Massie guy that everyone is now hating on). Read the article here.
“But Republicans won some huge concessions from Democrats, most notably a $500 billion bailout fund for big businesses and a $170 billion tax break for real estate investors like the president. And Democrats didn’t get much that Trump didn’t actually want in exchange for helping him pour cash into the locked-down economy in an election year. They didn’t guarantee postal voting in the November elections or win any assurances that the Trump administration will start complying with House subpoenas or get permanent stabilizers that could ensure fiscal support for the economy in future crises even if a Democrat were president.”
Let’s take a look at some of the spending approved in the bill:
$300 million to the Social Security Administration
This money, however, would not be going directly to senior citizens. Instead, the funds are directed “to help SSA keep up with key workloads, make up for lost productivity, and otherwise improve the ability of the agency to serve the public.”
In other words, more money for bureaucratic overhead.
$1.018 billion to Amtrak
Lawmakers claim the government railroad funds are needed “for operating assistance to cover revenue losses related to coronavirus. In addition, funding is provided to help states pay for their share of the cost of state-supported routes.”
But Amtrak has never turned a profit since its creation in 1971, chronically relying on billions of dollars in government subsidies to keep the trains moving. In essence, the federal government is doubling up on the sunk cost fallacy.
$353 million to the United States Agency for International Development
That’s right. In a bill aimed at helping the American people, hundreds of millions of dollars have been allocated to assist other countries. $258 million is specifically marked for “international disaster assistance” in order to “continue to address humanitarian and health needs in coronavirus-affected areas abroad.”
$350 million for Refugee Resettlement
You thought that during times of crisis, the federal government would be putting Americans first? Think again. Slipped into the stimulus bill is $350 million designated for noncitizen refugees, migrants, and immigrants, while millions of Americans file for unemployment.
$150 million in National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities
Unbelievably, the bill approved by the Senate includes money for the arts, including “funding to state arts agencies and other partners in an effort to help local, state, and regional communities provide continued access to cultural organizations and institutions of learning.”
And speaking of the arts…
$25 million for the Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center, a performing arts center in Washington D.C., is slated to receive money for “deep cleaning, increased teleworking capabilities, and operating and administrative expenses to ensure the Center will resume normal operations immediately upon reopening.”
$75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
This is the organization that subsidies PBS and NPR stations across the country. The stimulus package includes funds “for stabilization grants to maintain programming services and to preserve small and rural public telecommunication stations.”
So, don’t worry. Big Bird and liberal radio talk shows will be taken care of.
Among the items stuffed in the Democrats’ proposal:
A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.
$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.
Categories: Economics/Class Relations