Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media | Getty Images
So, what is the punishment for all these liberal governors and county officials violating the Constitution and shutting down our lives when their edicts don’t even work to stop the spread of a transmissible respiratory virus? Senate Republicans and White House officials negotiated a package of bills to throw even more money at the states, thereby further incentivizing them to continue the flat-earth shutdown.
Now that Republicans have agreed that the feds can print an unlimited amount of money, why not just send everyone a $100,000 check? What about $200,000 so they can go on a nice vacation? Why draw the line at just one more $1,200 check per person? Also, if after accruing monthly deficits as large as our biggest annual deficits and creating more dependency than we had during the Great Depression, how can Republicans run against socialism? What exactly is socialism if not what Republicans are championing?
Here are the top problems with the proposed series of lockdown bailout bills that will add another $1 trillion to the deficit, create permanent dependency, empower the education cartel, and reward and incentivize liberal governors to continue their bad behavior. The actual bill has not been written, but here are the broad contours of the negotiations:
- Paying off the teacher’s unions … for shutting down schools! Remember the promise by the president to cut off funding to schools that don’t reopen? Not only will this not cut off existing funds, but it will add $70 billion in new funding for schools – with half the funding being dispersed on a per capita basis without any conditions and $30 billion dispersed to those schools that have “some” in-person instruction, which is to be defined by the governors! So rather than fighting a battle where the science and the data are clear, Republicans are rewarding the teacher’s unions for their selfish child abuse in destroying elementary school kids’ education and lining their pockets. Also, if schools are basically shut down, why do they need even the existing pot of money they get from the feds, much less a new cash infusion?
- Bailing out the Marxist universities so they can teach BLM anarchism: The only good thing about the shutdown is that the poisonous university campuses have been closed. Yet this bill offers $30 billion for universities with zero conditions attached! This is after the universities successfully got the Trump administration to back off its requirement for in-person instruction in order to continue the foreign student program. Now, not only do they have no incentive to open up normally, but they will get paid extra to spread their poison without having to rid their rolls of foreign students and without having to return to normal life.
- Creating permanent dependency: The counties have so much cash from the first round of bailouts that my county of Baltimore is giving out three free meals a day indefinitely to anyone with a child, regardless of income level, and delivering free meals to anyone over 60, including wealthy people. It makes the Obama stimulus era look like Barry Goldwater nirvana, yet it’s evidently not enough money. States can’t have it both ways on federalism. If they believe they can shut down our liberty and economy indefinitely, then they have the obligation to deal with the financial fallout, especially after the feds have already pumped in this much money.
- Only handouts but no tax cuts: The proposal provides more forgivable Small Business Administration loans for businesses under 300 employees that have lost more than 50% of their revenue. This is the most justifiable part of the deal, given that government has shut them down. But left out is Trump’s promise of a payroll tax cut. Also, the bill extends expanded unemployment benefits, though at a lower amount than during the first round. This provision works against the first one. Either we are getting businesses reopened or not.Paying people not to work makes it impossible for restaurants or other business to find workers. Moreover, if you further incentivize states to continue with the lockdowns without placing conditions on their powers, what is the point of shoveling more money at businesses that can’t stay open?
- Who says crime doesn’t pay? This framework provides governors with a $5 billion slush fund to be used for whatever they want in the realm of education. Could they now use it for BLM activities? Who knows? While it doesn’t offer any direct handouts to the state and local governments, it allows them to use the original $150 billion from the March bill to make up for lost revenue and extends the deadline for using the funds from Dec. 30 to four months after the end of the fiscal year. Thus, all the states that have allowed both tyranny against peaceful citizens and anarchy for BLM at the same time are being rewarded rather than defunded.
- Throws money at the wrong people: The negotiated package will also provide families with more direct handouts at a level yet to be determined. It makes the same mistake the last bill does – providing too little and too much at the same time. Rather than targeting the relief only for those who actually lost income because of the shutdown, regardless of their income, the proposal once again indiscriminately writes checks to anyone under a certain threshold of income, even if they didn’t lose a penny. At the same time, it provides nothing to those above that threshold, even if they lost everything. It needs to be situation-tested rather than means-tested. During the first round, the government claimed it was an emergency and there was no time to properly assess who needed the checks and to more effectively target those in need. But this is months later, after we already know people got extra checks, including dead people.
- Investing in a reopening while funding a shutdown: The package would offer another $25 billion to hospitals, bringing the total hospital payout since March to $200 billion. That sounds good, but the obvious question is if we are bankrupting ourselves to throw so much money at hospitals, as well as extra funding in this bill for testing and PPE for businesses, then shouldn’t those funds be contingent on ending all of the restrictions? It has become clear that we have no power to stop this virus, just like the flu, and that most people do not get fatally sick from it. The entire concern, originally, was the ability of hospitals to handle it. With this amount of money being spent on hospitals, plus billions more in the proposed package for more testing, why can’t we end the shutdown?
Fundamentally, this bill rewards bad behavior of the states and further incentivizes and subsidizes shutdown, while doing nothing to spawn economic activity, such as regulatory and tax cuts. If anything, it further subsidizes unemployment and the shutdown of our schools. If Republicans are going to bankrupt us with welfare with no regard for the debt, at least slash taxes and get some growth out of it. It also allows anarchist governors to control an even larger pot of money through health care and education funding, which will further empower them to shut down our lives, criminalize civil liberties through a mass police state, and abolish the policing of violent crime.
All Republicans can say is that Democrats would spend even more money. But Democrats aren’t dumb. They purposely commence negotiations with insane demands knowing that it will ensure Republicans come closer to their position. Then, Republicans give Democrats most of what they want without any conditions on the anarchy or violation of civil liberties.
As CNBC explains, “The new proposal will serve as a starting point for negotiations with Democrats, who have passed a $3.4 trillion bill in the House and have been pressuring the GOP to move quickly on new aid as COVID-19 cases and deaths rise in the United States” (emphasis added).
Who needs Democrats with Republicans like this? Then again, with Jared Kushner, a lifelong liberal, writing the GOP platform, there really is only a uniparty in town.
Author: Daniel Horowitz
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.