The Senate Passed The Relief Bill, It’s Available To Review, And Yikes.

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

They finally did it. 

By unanimous vote (96-0), the Senate passed a stimulus package with a price tag of well over $2 trillion, which means it’ll now move to the House where Nancy is indicating she is supportive of it, but it may still require debate on the floor before it’s passed.

Which means, of course, that we’re still not done. Trump wants it on his desk yesterday.

And you guys, while I am ALL ABOUT helping people who are struggling and businesses who are struggling through this virus shutdown, I’m also furious at some of the crap contained in this bill.

I get that this is just the way it works in order to get any legislation passed, but DAYUM.

If you wanna read the whole bill, it’s available here. 

But I’m just warning you – it’s almost 900 pages.  Here’s the gist.

Every American making up to 75k will get a one time payment of $1200 (or $2400 to couples making up to 150k.)  You’ll also get an additional $500 per kid.  If you make more than those thresholds, the payment is reduced gradually by $5 for every $100 you make.

But the problem is that they’re going to base that on 2019 tax returns, or 2018 if 2019 returns aren’t available.  So if you lost your job as a RESULT OF THIS SHUTDOWN, and you were making above the threshold, you get nothing, even though your current situation might be dire.

Conversely, if you were unemployed last year, but THIS year you got a job making 200k or you won the lottery, you are still going to get the money.

Unemployment insurance has been extended from 26 weeks to 39 weeks, and an additional $600 PER WEEK has been added for four months.  That’s a huge problem, since some people might end up making more being UNEMPLOYED than they did being EMPLOYED, but there weren’t enough votes to prevent that.  So once again, government is incentivizing the suckling of the government teat.

To be fair, that does expire in the summer, and you do need to be fired or laid off to receive those benefits, but STILL.  And you know what some folks are saying to justify this nonsense? This:

“The weird thing about this hypothetical ‘generous unemployment pay will discourage people from entering critical industries’ is… they could just raise wages?” Alex Godofsky wrote on Twitter. “Amazon has already raised wages. Like, it’s okay if wages – and prices – go up for a while. It’s fine.”

Yeah.  Everyone just raise wages, you guys!  PIECE OF CAKE.

Unbelievable.

But there’s more.

This package gives $349 billion in loans to small businesses, and if they use the money to cover rent, payroll or utilities, they don’t have to pay it back. 

Airlines are getting $25 billion to cover salaries and benefits plus another $25 billion in loans and loan guarantees.  Boeing is getting $17 billion.  And there’s an additional $200 billion in tax assistance for small businesses.

Now here’s where you’re gonna get mad.

$25 million has been allocated to the House to cover their own “salary and expenses” – presumably on top of the massive amount of money they ALREADY GET PAID from us.  I have absolutely no idea why that’s a thing, but it’s infuriating.

$25 million is going to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Also utterly inexplicable.

But there is SOME good news, if you can call it that.  For example, all the bullsh*t that Pelosi had in her version about climate change and diversity?  It’s gone.  So is the crap about early voting and ballot harvesting.

But there are already rumors that folks like AOC are going to push back on the unanimously passed Senate bill because idiots like AOC WANT emissions nonsense and diversity nonsense in the bill.

So who knows what will happen once this reaches the House floor.

All I know is that I hate politicians, I hate that this bill’s price tag is HALF THE SIZE OF OUR ENTIRE ANNUAL BUDGET, and I hate coronavirus.

Discuss.

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