By Michael St. Michael
2 minute read
If we do some quick math, a $600 stimulus check sent to every American adult should cost $126 billion. We know that millions, due to their income or other factors, did not qualify. Yet the final cost of this round of money printing was $900 billion. No, I do not believe that the rest of the money was spent on extending unemployment benefits or kicking the can down the road on evictions as is generally claimed.
Neither the $600 direct payment, rent deferral, nor unemployment benefit extensions can shed light on where the other seven hundred plus billion went. Sixteen billion included for Covid vaccine assistance? Please – it should have been ten times that amount. Isn’t the virus the primary reason we are in this mess to begin with? Drain the swamp, indeed.
The DC crowd handles money like the frat boys and sorority sisters on martinis and speedballs that they are. I make no exceptions or distinction here, Democrat-, Republican-, Shamu-, Wombat Party – whatever the affiliation, the handling of our current crisis would be shameful, were there any shame left. It used to be charming that American politicians were amateurs, but that was when many of them, anyway, were adults. Now the dilettantes and empty-heads stumble around, lining their pockets and buying votes with our money when we need help. Real help. Even something within the same solar system of competence would help at this point. Instead we have Ted Cruz reportedly handing $35 million to Texas fracking concerns, and the death of many pigs to provide a cool $453 million to Ukraine. Considering Ukraine is among the most corrupt countries in the world, I expect these funds to be well-spent, if your idea of fiscal responsibility involves politicians topping-up their personal Swiss accounts. Additionally, $135 million goes to ‘Burma’, a country which no longer exists, and $10 million for gender programs in Pakistan.
That $900 billion? Well, it could have put $4,280 or so in the wallet of every adult, something which I am not advocating. But splitting the difference among direct payouts to consumers and people in real need, continuing unemployment and rent safeguards, and offering lifelines to small business should have been championed in this stimulus round.
The fact that there is no mention in the press about relief for small business, the real engine of the economy and the segment most hard hit by Covid, is distressing. Washington simply threw the hair salons, restaurants, bars, shops, and small manufacturers under the bus. Americans ought to be on the edge of revolt at this point, or at least ready to throw their remotes at the tv from their couches, given how poorly served they are by their Washington boners. Why aren’t we? I guess the credit cards are not yet maxed out.
Speaking of maxed credit cards – the bill must come due at some point, because *surprise* banks are businesses and businesses, unlike governments, have real bills that they cannot forever defer as well as real people they must pay. Businesses thus tend not to run their balance sheets like The Feds will not continue the ‘free money’ gravy train (i.e. deferred taxes) that is you receiving your own hard-earned tax dollars, chucked back at you like a poorly thrown boomerang. Unfortunately, these handouts cannot continue indefinitely, due not only to the $27 trillion federal deficit, but for Federal ‘shadow’ commitments like loan guarantees, social security and the like which are rarely discussed and not terribly transparent. Recently these commitments were estimated to dwarf the national deficit, ringing up to something like $70 trillion. To quote Kate McKinnon’s brilliant Elizabeth Warren on SNL, “when the numbers are this big, they’re just pretend.” I guess we will just keep pretending. We will keep pretending that Washington can handle a crisis, that somehow there will be solutions, and that somehow our kid’s future is not being despoiled to support dubious goals in corrupt states and gender studies in corrupt military regimes.