Thursday, March 11, 2021

How Bad is the $1.9 Trillion "Covid Relief" Bill?

Honestly, I've just gotten started reading it, so I don't know.  But word is starting to come in on just how bad it is.  Since I send messages to my Representative in DC, I'm on his email mailing list.  He mailed out a short summary of some things he knows of that give some examples.  It's on his website, so I'll copy some of it here.  
  • Pays off 92% of San Francisco’s budget deficit by providing $600 million for San Francisco – debt that was accumulated by wasteful spending including such things as "free alcohol, marijuana and tobacco to homeless people",
  • $1,400 stimulus checks are included for prisoners,
  • Obamacare subsidies including for illegal immigrants
  • $800 million for foreign aid
  • $350 billion to bailout states poorly run by Democrat leaders, with a biased formula that penalizes open states like Florida (loses $1.2 billion) while closed states benefit (California gains $5.4 billion and New York gains $2.1 billion),
  • $470 million for the humanities, arts, and museums,
  • $20 million for “language preservation,”
  • $86 billion for a pension bailout that pre-dates COVID-19,
  • $127 billion for K-12 schools, but no requirement that they open and only $6 billion will be spent in 2021 with the other 95% spent over the next nine years when the pandemic will be history,
  • Total spending may increase by up to $4.1 trillion in new debt according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget,
  • $1.7 billion for Amtrak, including nearly $1 billion for train travel in the Northeast alone and $166 million for a scenic western railway route,
  • $100 million for the EPA to “address health outcome disparities from pollution,”
  • An expansion of Obamacare that subsidizes health care for wealthier families,
  • Less than 10%  to directly combat COVID-19, and
  • Just 1% for vaccines.
  • As you might expect, I added up the line items that he showed costs for and it "only" added up to $567 billion.  That's a little over 1/4 of the total, so it seems there must be some things hiding in the text of the bill.  To be complete (and honest) I didn't assign a price to the third (Obamacare subsidies...) the third to last (An expansion of Obamacare...) or the one that says "Total spending may increase by up to $4.1 trillion..." because that appears to not be in this particular bill.  I know of no way to determine how many prisoners will get the $1,400 checks, so I left that out.  If we just multiply the $1,400 by 200 million people (with no way to verify that number) that's $280 billion and adding the $567 to that, we're still far short of the $1.9 trillion. 

    Fox Business reports that they find (so far, I'm sure) another $60 billion in "surprise tax hikes" in the new law.  One of those new hikes is a return of the excess taxes on millionaire CEOs. 
    One provision in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill limits deductions for publicly traded companies that pay their top employees more than $1 million for tax years beginning after 2026.
    I recall them doing this some years ago (I thought it might even still be in place) and rather than reducing CEO benefits, it prompted an emphasis on stock options and other "non-paycheck" pay for CEOs.  That caused CEOs to be more short term oriented so as to maximize their share price which damaged many companies' long-term survival chances. 

    The total package was above their self-imposed $1.9 trillion ceiling without those new taxes, even with the last-minute addition of a section that waives taxes on the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits.

    I see tons of things that raise questions in my mind just going through the Table of Contents.  Things like "why do these guys get that money?"  For example, why does the Committee on Environment and Public Works get $3 billion?  Why does Bill Gates'  “Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria” get $3.75 billion?  How many cities and states are getting bailouts in that $350 billion allocated in the bill for state and local governments?  Gee; adding that $350 to the other figures above, we're up to $1.2 trillion.  Another 700 billion to find.   

    If you want to read the text of the bill yourself, the pdf is here (628 pages, which is pretty small as these things go).


    1. An ENORMOUS percentage of the money goes to OTHER countries..... To line the pockets of corrupt politicians there. And those corrupt politicians will send much of that money on to the Swiss bank accounts of politicians and powerful people here. It's a uniquely American form of money laundering and bribery. How else does someone like Mitch The Bitch increase his net worth from a couple million to some twenty million in a decade while earning less than $200 K a year. (And he's a rank amateur compared to many do congress critters). Most of the cash in this bill will NEVER be properly accounted for. Just like most of the cash from the last stimulus magically disappeared without helping the average person here.

      1. Yeah, like the Gender Studies in Pakistan con job in the first Covid bill. Nice little office in the State department gets set up to administer it, staffed by a political crony. Another crony in Pakistan gets money and he kicks back more to Washington.

        There was lots of talk about Trump as billionaire and he was going to use the office to make more. Pot, meet kettle.

        I'm a lot less suspicious about a billionaire moving into politics than I am about people go into office middle class and come out multimillionaires.

    2. Time to pay back for all of the "votes" that President * got.

    3. Some, but not all of the foreign aid, comes back to influential US politicians in the form of kickbacks. That won't be in the legislation, but the funds won't be disbursed until the route to the Cayman Islands is set in concrete.

      The Republic is long gone. President Trump stood in the way of the ongoing theft and they hated him for it.

    4. One other thing I saw yesterday with this. States that recieve federal monies will not be allowed to lower their taxes or they risk losing their funds. I'm pretty sure that one is unconstitutional, but I think they've pulled that before with no fight back