“First you take people’s money away quietly. Then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.” – Thomas Sowell
Well, it’s here. After months of infringing on the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness outlined in our Constitution, our benevolent dictators in DC have reached a deal to toss crumbs to the peasants. While both parties are to blame for the situation in which we find ourselves, be it through malevolence, cowardice or complicity, it is worth noting that Democrats win the coveted “Who can be more sociopathic?” award for this particular go-round.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke from both sides of her mouth from the beginning, and not just due to horrible Botox disfigurement. While proclaiming her concern for the everyday American for television cameras, behind closed doors she used the situation as leverage to get giant bailouts for poorly-run Democrat cities and states. And of course there was the ghastly prospect of giving the Trump administration good headlines in the lead-up to the election, which simply wasn’t an option, regardless of how many had to suffer in the process. And suffer they did, all while Nancy snuck into fancy beauty salons.
That brings us to now. With Joe Biden preparing to assume the presidency on the back of an insultingly fraudulent election, the uni-party on the Hill can’t risk allowing one of their own to inherit an economic dumpster fire. Thus, relief is finally on the way, inadequate as it may be. Let’s examine the details.
Show Me The Money
The new checks will be $600 per adult and $600 per child.
You’ll notice a stark contrast between this round of stimuli and the last, as the first stimulus checks were $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple filing jointly, plus $500 per child under 17. Now that the situation has worsened, naturally the direct relief given to Americans would be lessened. I meant…wait, what?
As with the first payments, the size of one’s check will be contingent upon income. Individuals with up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income, for example, will receive full payments, as will heads of household earning up to $112,500 and married couples making up to $150,000.
The payments will phase out gradually for those making above that arbitrary threshold. CNBC described the situation thusly:
Because the CARES Act stipulated a rate at which payments were reduced, tied to increasing levels of income — rather than specific payment amounts tied to specific incomes — it remains to be seen if the phase out amounts will be lower, said Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.
If the legislation’s language is unchanged from the CARES Act, for example, single taxpayers would see their payments phase out at $87,000, rather than $99,000, he said.
Adult dependents could be excluded again this time around, according to the latest reports.
When Do I Get My Money?
As soon as President Trump signs the bill into law, the process for sending out checks will begin. Yesterday, though barely audible through the high school locker he’d been stuffed in, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the first payments should start to arrive at the beginning of next week.
People who have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS should expect to receive their money first. People who have not shared that information with the government or who will receive paper checks will likely have to wait a bit longer, in some cases considerably longer.
The bottom line is that Americans should expect about the same timetable as the first round of stimulus. However, that doesn’t provide much reassurance. When the first checks went out, Congress estimated it would take up to 5 months to complete distribution. However, millions of eligible people have yet to see that initial $1200 check. Democrats in Congress made quite a fuss about it when it could be blamed on the orange boogeyman. I have a feeling those demands for action will now be replaced with calls for patience.
Just a hunch.
Why Are Checks Smaller Than Last Time?
The latest round of stimulus negotiations spawned a very unlikely alliance as two senators — Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Bernie Sanders, (Moonbat – VT) — took to the chamber floor to request an up-or-down vote for $1,200 second stimulus checks per individual and $2,400 per married couple, plus $500 for children.
Their proposals were rejected by Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-WI), who cited concerns that direct payments would go to a large number of Americans who still have jobs. About 115 million households received the first stimulus checks, Johnson said, while an estimated 9 million to 11 million people are currently unemployed. It’s important to note that unemployment numbers undercount the actual number of the unemployed for various reasons. For example, people who have simply given up looking for work and gone off the radar don’t count in the official statistics. Those details aside, the concern about money going to undeserving Americans served to lessen the amount of direct relief given.
The fact is any one-size-fits-all policy will underserve some while over-serving others. That’s the inefficiency of big government and no amendments or continued negotiations will change it. The only question is whether to err on the side of overpayment or underpayment.
Will There Be Another Round Of Stimulus?
In a word: Probably.
“We need to get this done now,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who once fake-cried on the steps of the capital because President Trump banned travel from failed states crawling with terrorists. He then added, “And then we need to do even more under President Biden.”
The more telling statements have come from our faux incoming leader Joe Biden, who outlined a series of steps he plans to take to address the pandemic once he takes office.
“Immediately, starting in the new year, Congress will need to get to work on support for our Covid-19 plan, for support to struggling families, and investments in jobs and economic recovery,” Biden said. “There will be no time to waste.”
Even if Republicans manage to retain their slim majority in the Senate, there is little chance they would stand in the way of a relief package. Fiscal conservatism may be the medicine our country needs, but it’s not a medicine any of our leaders have the courage to administer anytime soon.
The amount of future covid relief will likely depend on several factors, such as the success of the vaccine, the pace of economic revival/worsening, etc. Covid numbers are expected to be the single most determinative factor, however.
This entire episode has been a travesty from the beginning, continues to be at the time of this writing and will be until the last business is razed to the ground. No amount of artificial stimulus will compensate for the thousands of businesses and millions of jobs that have been and will be lost forever due to our insistence on hiding from this virus.
The fact is there is no data to suggest that lockdowns are even effective at lowering either transmission or death rates. In fact, some of the countries with the most stringent lockdown policies have suffered the highest number of deaths. We’re nearly 10 months into “15 days to slow the spread” and guess what, it’s still spreading.
Of course, that doesn’t matter to the powers that be. They have assumed power that they would have never attained otherwise and history teaches us that once government gets power, it rarely gives it back. We were never going to be able to hide from this virus. The best we could hope to do is protect our most vulnerable groups to the best of our ability. The worst part is we haven’t even begun to feel the effects of the other side of this analysis; the side that few leaders even bothered to consider. By that, I mean the myriad longterm effects of lockdown, such as mental health decline, joblessness, drug abuse and the general deficit of dignity that results from reliance upon whatever our government overlords are willing to throw out from the luxury of their well-guarded compounds.
Historically, when America has faced daunting challenges, we have found the courage to stiffen our spines and do what had to be done. Those times, while hard, brought out the best in us. In 2020, we traded our courage for media-driven fear; our determination for a false sense of security. We allowed the privileged to have their lives delivered as the working man’s life was destroyed, all in the name of a well-meaning tyranny.
Winston Churchill famously told Neville Chamberlain: “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You have chosen dishonor, and you will have war.”
In our case, we will have $600, and the memory of a once great country.
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