Why would anyone think that if the government is giving out money that it would go anyplace other than to the best connected people and companies? From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:
SAN MARTIN, ARGENTINA – As we pointed out last week, the C-virus seems to have set off the feds’ tendency towards jackassery.
That is, they always want to boss people around… to find an enemy… make war… spend money… rally gullible voters behind a Great National Cause…
…and rip off the public.
“We’re going to need really big thoughtful policies to put together to make it so that people are optimistic again,” White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told reporters, warning that the U.S. jobless rate would likely hit 16% or higher this month.
“We hope to be talking to the president about it … to start to come up with the top five, six ideas that we want to take up with Congress,” he added.
Joe Biden in Politico:
The former vice president said that the next round of coronavirus stimulus needs to be “a hell of a lot bigger” than last month’s $2 trillion CARES Act, that it needs to include massive aid to states and cities to prevent them from “laying off a hell of a lot of teachers and cops and firefighters,” and that the administration is already “wasting a hell of a lot of money.”
“This is a war,” says U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, “and we need to win this war and we need to spend what it takes to win the war.”
We should be getting rid of the original Patriot Act, no propagating a new version for healthcare. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.com:
According to a story in Politico, the White House Coronavirus Task Force is considering creating a national surveillance system to track Americans’ health information. Supporters of this initiative claim it would enable the federal government to quickly identify areas in need of additional medical supplies and other assistance because the areas are coronavirus “hot spots.”
Of course, it is unlikely that this system would be limited to only tracking coronavirus patients. The government may eventually keep track of every hospital admission — or even all visits to doctors’ offices — in the United States. This system could, and likely would, be used to violate privacy and harass and intimidate those challenging existing government policies. Anyone who doubts this should ask themselves what J. Edgar Hoover or Lois Lerner would have done with access to every American’s medical history. No wonder some have described this as a healthcare PATRIOT Act.
Despite official denial that the White House is considering a new tracking program, the coronavirus panic may be used to justify giving the federal government access to our medical records.
You can be sure the steps being taken to obliterate what remains of your rights have been a long time in the making, just like the Patriot Act. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
The first draft of the civil rights-eroding USA PATRIOT Act was magically introduced one week after the 9/11 attacks. Legislators later admitted that they hadn’t even had time to read through the hundreds of pages of the history-shaping bill before passing it the next month, yet somehow its authors were able to gather all the necessary information and write the whole entire thing in a week.
“Months before the Oklahoma City bombing took place, [then-Senator Joe] Biden introduced another bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. It previewed the 2001 Patriot Act by allowing secret evidence to be used in prosecutions, expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and wiretap laws, creating a new federal crime of ‘terrorism’ that could be invoked based on political beliefs, permitting the U.S. military to be used in civilian law enforcement, and allowing permanent detention of non-U.S. citizens without judicial review. The Center for National Security Studies said the bill would erode ‘constitutional and statutory due process protections’ and would ‘authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations.’
Biden’s bill was never put to a vote, but after 9/11 then-Attorney General John Ashcroft reportedly credited his bill with the foundations of the USA PATRIOT Act.
It’s an amazing coincidence, but most of the businesses that have been declared essential are big and spend a lot of money on lobbying. The smaller businesses that can’t afford lobbyists and are shut down aren’t going to be helped all that much by the recently passed legislation. The best thing that could happen to small business would be to lift the lock downs, but for many that will come too late. From Bruce Wilds at Advancing Time, brucewilds.blogspot.com:
The massive 2,2 trillion dollar bill that was signed into law fails most small businesses but the devil is well hidden in the details. There is so much disinformation and bullshit floating around about this program that it is difficult to get the details. As a landlord and small business owner, I can tell you that as of Thursday morning the way the program is structured it will be of little help to most small businesses. While the government continues to slam expensive legislation through it seems they have no idea of the damage they are doing and how it is causing hundreds of thousands of businesses to close their doors forever. Washington has become so attuned to dealing with lobbyist from mega-companies it has lost sight of the fact small is small, and when this comes to business, this means usually under twenty employees, not hundreds.
It now looks like this bill will allow for a rapid maximum loan amount of two and a half times a company’s average monthly payroll expense over the past 12 months. This loan would turn into a grant and be forgiven if they keep their employees on. This fails to take into consideration that not all small businesses are labor or payroll intense. Some businesses with large or expensive showrooms are getting hammered by rent, others by inventory, or things like taxes, utilities, or even by having to toss products due to spoilage.
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