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COVID-19

Coronavirus Economic Help: Focused Reality vs. Political Fantasyland

The Senate bill addresses the problem. The House bill uses people’s suffering for political profiteering.

When a fire is raging, the firefighters should not debate what flowers to plant at the fire station before going to fight the fire.

When the President suggested the government pay $2,000 to each person, it sounded simple. Things always look simple from top management’s point of view. Implementing it is everything but.

I wondered what parts of the TV news and internet posts about the President’s request were fake news and what was real. So, I downloaded the Senate and House bills.

Reading the 247 page Senate bill and the 1,119 page House bill is a daunting task! Some things were obvious from the start.

- The Senate bill addresses the coronavirus crisis
- The House bill contains every dream of the political campaign

The bill that passed the Senate expanded from 247 pages to 880 pages. Read the final bill here.

CARES Act (Senate reality)

I won’t repeat all 247 pages of the Senate bill. Much of the text referenced other laws and what parts would be suspended or replaced. You would need to have copies of those laws to see every detail.

I was surprised by the areas covered by the bill — many that never occurred to me. Then, how do they justify sending $1,200 to individuals? Here are some of the details:

The $1,200 to individuals is a tax rebate
Funds to small businesses are loans based on payroll and other expenses
Loans are forgiven for amounts spent to cover payroll and expenses during the crisis
Forgiveness amounts are reduced by salaries of people laid off
Salaries covered by the loans have a limit
Tax deadline for 2019 extended to July
IRA withdrawals w/o penalty; may be repaid within 3 years instead of 60 days as with a standard IRA transfer
Tax payments for corporations delayed until October
Loss carryforward and carryback for taxes relaxed
Limit on CEO and executive salaries, bonuses and stock options for 2 years
If a corporation gains due to the crisis, the government shares that gain via stock, warrants, etc.
Aviation excise taxes suspended
Many health provisions, like not requiring face-to-face physician visits

The Senate Democrats may have seen some legitimate problems that I didn’t see. Those should be worked out shortly between the parties. At least, the entire bill is about the coronavirus crisis.

Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act (House fantasy)

The House bill is much different. I was going to read the text of the House stimulus bill until I noticed it was 1,119 pages long. That bill can not and should not pass quickly since it is so large. Don’t expect anything soon.

From skimming the bill, it appears to be the entire budget, with modifications and additions. For example, the $1,000,000 for the Sargent of Arms of the House shall remain the same. Other items are changed.

Real changes start about half-way through, like a section that suspends all negative consumer reporting during the crisis. Other sections prevent companies from using crisis funds to repurchase stocks (buybacks) and limit executive compensation based on the median salary of all employees.

My brother did read the entire bill and here are his findings, with their section number:

Increase to $15 the minimum wage: Sec 208
→ NEW. A retirement plan for community newspaper employees: Sec 404
Aircraft greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 30%: Sec 700
Sustainable aviation fuel: Sec 700
Expansion of the Minority Bank Deposit Program: Sec 1204
→ NEW. Diversity: Any corporation receiving coronavirus aid must maintain officials and budget dedicated to diversity and inclusion initiatives: Sec 413
→ NEW. Corporations receiving coronavirus aid are required to have at least 1/3 of the directors chosen by employees: Sec 407
Much more. It would take days to find everything

Anybody who has ever run a project or even fixed dinner knows that you must stay focused on your goal to succeed. You don’t do your taxes on the kitchen counter and shine your shoes while fixing dinner. None will come out well.

It even has a section about voting rights on Indian lands. I wondered if they tried to insert HR1 into the bill, but I couldn’t find it.

That doesn’t mean that it isn’t hidden there somewhere. With a document that size, nobody will find everything in the day or so available during this crisis.

The House has added many new programs, expanded others, and barely makes a token mention of the coronavirus. They are using the crisis to push through agendas that wouldn’t pass under ordinary circumstances.

Insanity is wasting time on something that will never pass the Senate. Especially in the middle of a crisis.

Let’s just pass the Senate bill

Solve the immediate problem first and fix everything else in the world later.

CARES Act

Link.

The official Congress.gov link, updated near real-time as official actions occur.

Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act

Link

Denmark is almost duplicating the Senate bill.

William “Bill” Myers, Analyzes all, Programmer, retired. If you learn anything new, find enjoyment, have a new thought, then I’m successful. Photo: 1st article

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