The Sound Of Crickets

By now anyone that is watching the news knows that there is a push on to equate mail-in voting with voter fraud…..we have heard the accusations by the president and the echoes from his sycophants….anyone not GOP will be a possible vote fraud……

But there is little acknowledgement of the wasted billions to stim money….money that went to the “evil dead”…..

The Trump administration has some lessons to learn before sending out any new coronavirus stimulus checks. More than 1 million checks for a combined $1.4 billion were distributed to dead people, according to a government watchdog report covering coronavirus relief spending approved by Congress as of April 30. In the rush to disburse $269 billion to 160.4 million people “as rapidly as possible,” as mandated by the Cares Act, Treasury officials followed procedures put in place for 2008 stimulus payments and “did not include using death records as a filter,” per NBC News. The Treasury doesn’t have access to the Social Security Administration’s full set of death records, as the IRS does, though it gained temporary access upon discovering that some payments were being made to dead people, reports the Washington Post.

IRS officials raised concerns about the issue before payments were distributed to eligible Americans who’d filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. But “counsel determined they did not have the legal authority to deny payments to people who had filed a return, even if they were deceased,” per the Post. On May 6, the IRS said payments to deceased or incarcerated individuals must be returned—but it doesn’t yet have a plan in place for recouping the money, according to the Government Accountability Office report released Thursday. The IRS has now agreed to “consider cost-effective options for notifying ineligible recipients how to return payments,” as recommended in the report. Meanwhile, Congress is directed to grant Treasury access to the full set of death records and “require that Treasury consistently use it, to help reduce similar types of improper payments.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/25/irs-stimulus-checks-dead-people-339530

I am waiting for the reports of the wasted cash…..from the media or Congress or anyone would be nice….but so far all there is is the sound of crickets.

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Taxpayer Bailout

This pandemic has seen the loss of revenue (profit) for many firms and the Congress has put together several stim plans to help business weather this viral storm……

The latest industry to get lots of taxpayer money is Military-Industrial Complex……

The Pentagon has begun to bail out U.S. companies that have seen large parts of their business dry up amid the coronavirus pandemic, in a bid to make sure they can still build weapons. 

On Wednesday, officials announced that five mid-tier defense companies had received a total of $135 million to “help sustain defense-critical workforce capabilities in body armor, aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding,” according to a Defense Department statement.“These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, a Defense Department spokesman, said in the statement

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-starts-bailing-out-companies-have-lost-business-due-coronavirus/166106/

How will this effect the industry and the DoD?

First of all we cannot afford the weapon systems that the DoD is drooling over…..will the Pentagon be capable of choosing what system to get over another?

The Pentagon cannot afford all of the new weapons it wants to buy and will be forced to choose winners and losers, absent an influx of cash, a new assessment from data and analytics firm Govini.

More cash is unlikely, experts say, regardless of whether President Trump wins a second term or is defeated by his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Moreover, they predict the Pentagon will face increased competition for dollars as the United States tries to dig itself out of a recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 30 million American without jobs.

“I don’t see a Biden administration making big, big cuts to defense,” said Robert Work, a deputy defense secretary during the Obama administration who is now chairman of Govini, an artificial intelligence-driven analysis firm. “But what I see a potential Biden administration doing is defining the priorities within defense in a different way.”

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-cant-afford-all-weapons-it-wants-new-report-says/166034/

I say if it does not protect the homeland from imminent attack then it should be scrapped until better days are here again.  After all that is what families have to do in these days of dwindling funds…if it is not essential then it can wait.

Image

“lego ergo scribo”

The Next Stim Package

It appears the economics will be the savior of the nation during this pandemic.

We have already had 4 or 5 stim packages to lift the morale and hopes of the American people while steadily increasing the profits of corporations.

And now I hear the Dems and others are talking about another round of stim to help cope with this virus….but what should be included in the final bill?

How about such deals as pay check guarantee or mortgage/rent assistance or maybe some economic stabilizers……

For the next stimulus package, some lawmakers want to go bigger. Much bigger.

While it could be weeks before members of Congress land on the next bipartisan bill to combat the economic fallout of the coronavirus, many have no shortage of ideas about what that could look like. House Democrats, after all, have already passed their $3 trillion opening bid, with a focus on getting more than $900 billion to states and cities.

Make no mistake, focusing on an influx of funding to local governments is hugely important and could do a lot to stave off the long-term economic effects of the crisis. But other ideas that have been proposed — like a federal paycheck guarantee or rent cancellation — would also be more ambitious ways to address the problem than what lawmakers have done so far.

A focus on implementing such expansive stimulus could well be warranted given the scale of the problem: Economists say that Congress’s economic support needs to match the devastating nature of the issue at hand. As of mid-May, the country’s unemployment rate is still growing, with more than 36 million people applying for unemployment insurance within the first eight weeks of the crisis.

https://www.vox.com/2020/5/18/21246421/congress-stimulus-ideas

But then I ask…who will these “guarantees” actually benefit…the average American or the people that control their lives?

Plus I do NOT see Trump approving of this stim package….this would not benefit many of his buddies….or enrich himself.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Economic Relief But At What Cost?

It seems that Donald the Orange has a problem with the latest economic relief package…..he will screw seniors over cuts in Social Security that he and those spineless pricks in the GOP desire.

“Trump’s actions are a war on seniors. He is insisting on threatening Social Security on which most seniors rely for their food, medicine, and other basic necessities.”

Grassroots advocacy groups representing millions of retirees and seniors across the United States are speaking out against and urging Congress to oppose President Donald Trump’s threat to block desperately needed Covid-19 relief legislation if it does not slash the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and Medicare.

“It is outrageous, callous, and cruel for President Trump to hold the American people, and seniors in particular, hostage if Congress doesn’t go along with his plan to gut Social Security for current and future retirees,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, an organization with over four million members nationwide.

“The president’s plan is also bad economics. Social Security puts more than $800 billion into the economy each year. Destabilizing the system when we are in the middle of an economic downtown is exactly the opposite of what we need to do,” Fiesta added. “The 4.4 million members of the Alliance for Retired Americans call on all members of Congress to refuse to make such a deal. We will fight this attempt to gut Social Security and in November we will remember who was willing to defend and protect our earned benefits.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/05/outrageous-callous-and-cruel-seniors-rip-trump-holding-covid-19-relief-hostage-push

Once again the GOP is screwing the very people that are most loyal to the party…..and these same old farts will allow them to get away with these attacks every election…..the same old farts that cares nothing for poor people or homeless…..the same old farts that care only about abortions and some religious iconography at Christmas…..

Image

You would think that age would make them (us) more cynical but instead it seems to make them (us) more ignorant.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Dems And Stims

Then Congressional Dems have offered up economic stim plan #5….a 3 trillion virus relief plan….

US Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus response package, the largest yet, to fund efforts to fight the pandemic and provide emergency payments to millions of American households.

The Heroes Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and could be voted on in the Democratic-led chamber as early as this week.

But the 1,815-page measure faced immediate opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where leaders have said a new round of emergency funding is not yet needed.

President Donald Trump has also said recently that he is against rushing through new coronavirus legislation.

Trump has signed four pandemic relief measures into law in recent months.

They including a massive, $2.2 trillion rescue package in March known as the Cares Act, and a $483 billion measure to pump funds into a popular loan program for small businesses devastated by lockdowns.

The new bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dubs Cares 2, includes a second round of payments of up to $6,000 per household, in an effort to ease the burden for tens of millions of Americans who have lost jobs in the pandemic.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-democrats-unveil-3-trillion-virus-relief-package-205046095.html

But is this plan as good for us mere mortals as it sounds?

The answer is…..”Democratic leadership has had plenty of input from progressive thinkers over the past couple of months. They just care more about the input from corporate lobbyists.”

There is your answer……

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a sprawling 1,815-page, $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that spurns many of the key demands of progressive activists and lawmakers while including proposals that immediately provoked backlash, such as a tax cut for the wealthy and a provision that would allow corporate lobbying organizations to take part in federal small business loan program.

Formally titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill (pdf) would provide $1 trillion in additional funding for state and local governments, extend beefed-up unemployment benefits through January of next year, authorize an additional round of one-time $1,200 stimulus payments for adults earning up to $75,000 per year, expand federal nutrition benefits, provide $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, establish a hazard pay fund for frontline workers, and increase spending on Covid-19 testing.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/12/no-excuse-house-dems-unveil-1815-page-bill-would-bail-out-corporate-lobbyists-omits

More info on the Dems big plan……

The Heroes Act proposes fully subsidizing COBRA, an existing health insurance program that allows laid-off or furloughed workers to remain on their employer-provided insurance plans. Under normal circumstances, COBRA is extremely expensive for individuals—recipients have to cover both their own and their employer’s premium payments—but the Democratic plan would cover 100% of the premium costs through next January.

COBRA expansion has the backing of a bizarre alliance of interests, including big business and some labor unions, but critics say the proposal is wildly inefficient and does not come close to matching the scale of the nation’s current healthcare crisis.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/massive-giveaway-health-insurance-ceos-democratic-cobra-plan-denounced-costly

“The historic crisis Americans are facing will not end on its own. To end it, these three things—getting people paychecks, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting businesses and their workers—are critical. But this legislation does not yet address them at the scale necessary.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/jayapal-rips-democratic-covid-19-bill-doesnt-end-mass-unemployment-or-ensure

Sounds more like a major bail-out for the profit health industry…..when an expansion of Medicare would have benefited more people…..it is all fraudulent relief……

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday released a $3 trillion coronavirus “relief” bill and scheduled a vote for Friday. The Democratic leadership has acknowledged that the measure has no chance of gaining passage in the Republican-controlled Senate, let alone being signed into law by President Trump.

The release of the bill initiates a process of political theater in which the two parties posture to rally their respective bases and generate sound-bites for campaign ads ahead of the November elections. It is expected that the measure will pass on a party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled House, setting off weeks of negotiations between the Democrats and the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/14/dems-m14.html

Image

This show just how non-progressive the Dem leadership truly has become…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A New Economic Solution

During this time of the pandemic and the loss of jobs the American people are suffering and the economic solutions of Donald the Orange have helped NO one but the already rich…..

Has anyone asked why this pandemic is harder on the economy than the 1918 pandemic which was far deadlier?

“Congress [has] a responsibility to make sure that people aren’t left behind,” a release from Harris says. “Every US resident” would receive a payment, even if they don’t have a Social Security number or didn’t file taxes last year. Debt collectors would also be forbidden from taking the payments. Forbes notes that it’s tough to see the billing passing as is, given that it would give a family of four $8,000 a month. That translates to $96,000 a year, above the median income of $62,000 in 2018. The bill is also competing for funds with similar ones in the works; the magazine notes that “while it is possible an additional stimulus bill may be passed, we will likely see major revisions that would reduce [the] total expenditure of this or other proposals.”

This catastrophe naturally hurt the economy. The Spanish Flu, unlike Covid-19, tended to kill people in their 20s and 30s — their peak productive years. Additionally, many cities responded to the threat the same way states are now with social distancing. These included closing schools and churches, banning mass gatherings, mandated mask-wearing and other restrictions.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-05-06/why-coronavirus-is-punishing-the-economy-more-than-spanish-flu

A little historical perspective and now for the plan…..

A few senators have offered a new economic solution to help us mere mortals through this crisis…..

Americans who received a $1,200 stimulus check from the government to help mitigate financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic could now be coming to a sobering realization: It may not be enough. Three senators are saying the same, and they’ve just put forth a “big idea” to deal with the issue, per Politico. On Friday, Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey unveiled the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would give a monthly $2,000 check to each American who makes less than $120,000 a year. Married couples filing jointly would get a total of $4,000, while each child (up to three of them per family) would bring in $2,000. The payments would be retroactive to March and would continue until three months after the virus emergency is officially declared over by Health and Human Services.

“Congress [has] a responsibility to make sure that people aren’t left behind,” a release from Harris says. “Every US resident” would receive a payment, even if they don’t have a Social Security number or didn’t file taxes last year. Debt collectors would also be forbidden from taking the payments. Forbes notes that it’s tough to see the billing passing as is, given that it would give a family of four $8,000 a month. That translates to $96,000 a year, above the median income of $62,000 in 2018. The bill is also competing for funds with similar ones in the works; the magazine notes that “while it is possible an additional stimulus bill may be passed, we will likely see major revisions that would reduce [the] total expenditure of this or other proposals.”

Does this sound like a plan that you would support?

Of course this will go NOWHERE….but it looks good on an resume for the next election….personally, I support the idea….

Spain has rolled out the idea of “universal income”…..

Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as possible” to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

Minister for economic affairs Nadia Calvino told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Sunday night that the move was intended to help families during the pandemic.

But Ms Calvino, who is also deputy prime minister, said the government’s ambition was that UBI could become something that “stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-spain-universal-basic-income-europe-a9449336.html

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–11May20

Some bastards are making out like bandits thanks for the pandemic….and many of them are Trump supporters…..

Fracking billionaire and Trump donor Harold Hamm was among an elite group of oil and gas executives who met with the president in early April to press for federal help, including access to big loans for businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. It prompted Trump afterwards to promise to “make funds available to these very important companies”.

Major Trump ally Tommy Fisher, who last year landed a $400m Army Corps of Engineers contract to build 31 miles of Trump’s border wall in Arizona, in April received another $7m from the army – despite an active investigation by a Pentagon watchdog into allegations of favoritism after Trump reportedly pushed for Fisher.

Another big Trump donor, Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow and the chair of Trump’s campaign in Minnesota, got red-carpet treatment from Trump at a press briefing in late March. Lindell then praised Trump, hailing him as “chosen by God” as the president touted the firm’s efforts to make thousands of face masks.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/trump-coronavirus-wealthy-friends-donors-backers

These people are dealing in death…..it is that simple……

In defiance of overwhelming popular opposition, the Trump administration, a majority of state governments, multi-billion-dollar corporations and Wall Street financial interests are driving ahead with plans for a rapid reopening of the US economy.

The auto industry is leading the charge for a premature and deadly return to work. Succumbing to massive political and economic pressure, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has sanctioned today’s resumption of production by auto parts suppliers and tool and die shops. Major auto companies intend to resume production in the state next week.

Honda is resuming production today throughout the United States and Canada. This includes plants in Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Indiana, Georgia and Alabama.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/11/pers-m11.html

These people should be set out and boycotted for their part as purveyors of BS and ass kissers from the Trump squad.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid-19 And Unemployment

We all know that this country is in the grips of a devastating disease and it is causing all sorts of problems…..but the biggest is that people are losing their jobs and having to try for that embarrassing unemployment check.

So far about 30 million Americans are out of work and that does not include those that gave up looking for work…..30 million looking for that weekly check to help them try and make ends meet…..and yet it is not easy to get the help one needs….

Appears that the elected officials are making life miserable for the very people that put them in office…..is this how it is suppose to work?

26 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as of April 23 as a result of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. And many of them are discovering what plenty of people already knew: our system is dysfunctional.

Although unemployment programs are run by the states, which means the quality varies from place to place, across the country, the broader social welfare system in this country is generally hard to access: riddled with red tape, and plagued by pointless burdens.

In Florida, for example, the previous Republican governor, Rick Scott, created a congested unemployment system that was nearly impossible to use so that the unemployment numbers would remain artificially low. Other states try to run an efficient system but simply lack the capacity to do so.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/4/24/21225254/coronavirus-unemployment-benefits-pamela-herd

It just does not need to be this difficult…..maybe now the voters will start to pay attention to the spineless fools they elect to represent them…..I did say “maybe”……

The post pandemic economy will look different than it did…..

We have a lot of economist type people telling us how awful the economy will be once we get through our near-term shutdown period. At the risk of being accused of unwarranted optimism, I am not sure I buy the pessimists’ story.

Before saying anything about the economy, we have to outline where we think our containment efforts are headed. I will throw out my story, which people here who know what they are talking about can correct.

Let’s assume that after two months we have the coronavirus reasonably well-contained. People are still getting sick, but the numbers are much more manageable so that our hospitals are no longer overflowing and health care personal are no longer being worked to exhaustion and beyond.

The Post-Pandemic Economy

The indicators are there…..the change that so many have been looking for for so long is within grasp….all we Americans need to do is reach out and embrace the change that is needed…..not some spineless reform but actual change.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

One More Stim Bill

That title would make a great blues tune…..but that is just wishful thinking on my part.

Yep we have yet another stim bill that will help the economy to try and live through this pandemic….

Congress and the White House reached a deal on a new $484 billion coronavirus relief package in late-night talks and it sailed through the Senate on Tuesday. The package includes around $310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of money last week after approving at least 1.7 million loans. It also includes $25 billion for coronavirus testing and $75 billion for hospitals, along with $60 billion for emergency disaster loans, the Hill reports. Leaders from both parties hammered out the deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials. “The Senate is continuing to stand by the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the measure passed unanimously.

This is the fourth coronavirus relief bill, and the second-largest. Around $60 billion of the money for small businesses will be earmarked for “under-banked” neighborhoods and rural areas. President Trump said he would sign the measure. “I urge the Senate and House to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act with additional funding for PPP, Hospitals, and Testing,” he tweeted, adding that after he signed the bill, discussions would begin on fiscal relief for state and local governments. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, said the House would vote on the measure Thursday, the AP reports. He said the House would also vote on a measure to allow proxy voting while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a measure that some GOP lawmakers oppose.

The big selling point was that this plan would help rescue small business…..some will get a little assistance but there are some multi-million dollar corporations that will siphon off these funds as well……

Companies with thousands of employees, past penalties from government investigations and risks of financial failure even before the coronavirus walloped the economy were among those receiving millions of dollars from a relief fund that Congress created to help small businesses through the crisis, an Associated Press investigation found.

The Paycheck Protection Program was supposed to infuse small businesses, which typically have less access to quick cash and credit, with $349 billion in emergency loans that could help keep workers on the job and bills paid on time.

But at least 94 companies that disclosed receiving aid since the program opened April 3 were publicly traded, the AP found, some with market values well over $100 million. And about 25% of the companies had warned investors months ago — while the economy was humming along — that their ability to remain viable was in question.

By combing through thousands of regulatory filings submitted through Monday, the AP identified the 94 companies, or their subsidiaries, as recipients of a combined $365 million in low-interest, taxpayer-backed loans.

https://apnews.com/6c5942eec36cc43b25ad5df5afebcfbd

The term small business is used to make this bill more confusing….the funds are not so much for the Mom and Pop operations but rather those multi-million dollar corporations that have NO contingency plans for times of chaos.

My opinion is “tough nuggies” let them suffer…..they put the future in jeopardy to make stock trades to make them look better than they are.  Let them die!

A true small business needs to be helped….corporate maggots do not.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–17Apr20

One of the sad things around the Covid-19 is the loss of small businesses….here I am talking about the Mom and Pop operations that are being hit the hardest by the pandemic.

But not to worry the government is here to help…..with some stim money and interest free loans and I am sure something other or else…..

But sadly all is not going well for the help these businesses need…..

Millions of small businesses are barely staying afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the feds are offering help—but getting that help is another thing, the New York Times reports. Two federal efforts, the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, are both low on funds and swamped with requests. The Paycheck program is embroiled in a partisan political battle on Capitol Hill over how to add another $250 billion, per the Washington Post, while applicants to both programs are fighting red tape or waiting for their funds. It’s a huge topic, but here’s a primer and a few tips for applicants:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program has $349 billion to incentivize banks to grant small-business loans. The loans need to be repaid at an interest rate of 1% over two years unless certain metrics are met for retaining employees—at which point a loan is forgiven by the feds, per the Times.
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is designed to offer loans up to $2 million, but recent applicants say the cap is now $15,000 as requests flood the program. According to a fact sheet, the interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without available credit elsewhere, and 2.75% for non-profits.
  • The Times advises Paycheck applicants to apply in off hours and remember two things: It might be better for companies with workers who are higher-paid or can work at home; and worse for businesses that don’t know when they can re-open, like restaurants and bars.
  • Forbes gives hard-hitting advice “to avoid going to prison” over a Paycheck program loan. Stung by fraud related to Katrina, TARP, and other programs, the feds will prosecute scammers.
  • At BizJournals, expert James Lozano suggests asking a bank or credit union for advice before proceeding with either program—and says “larger small businesses” might want to apply to both.
  • My biggest advice is take away the fear,” Tennessee realtor Matt Golley tells WAAY TV. “Let someone else walk you through the process and tell you what you need and make sure it’s submitted correctly. I don’t know how to submit documents like that to the government and the bank took care of that for me.” Golley says he’s been approved with the Paycheck program but hasn’t seen the money.
  • Whatever path is taken, expect frustrating delays. “Essentially, there’s a massive bottleneck in trying to get this money, incredible demand and not the ability to get it out,” says a reporter on PBS Newshour.

Another clusterf*c k this pandemic has created and the government has little solution……

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”