Re-Loading and Firing America’s Free Money Cannon

Since the $1.9-trillion “Covid-19 Relief Act,” now signed into law by Mr. Biden, reportedly consists of 90% funding that has nothing directly to do with covid-19, its priorities, vaccines, or treatments, it should probably be more appropriately titled “The PLOD-CC Relief Act” (Politicians, Liberal Organizations, and Donors- Cash Cow Relief Act), representing mega-federal (i.e., tax-payer) dollars redistributed to supportive friends of the Left-Wing Congressional Family. In their article, “The Progressive Steamroller,” Wall Street Journal editors reacted to this new fiscal piling-on law: “Democrats have passed their $1.9-trillion spending and welfare bill that would have been unimaginable even in the Obama years, and the big news is how easily they did it. The party is united behind the most left-wing agenda in decades.”  The “ease” of passage referred to, was, in no small part, made possible by the failure of Georgia voters (majority Republicans) to return for the run-off election, resulting in the loss of the 52-48 Senate conservative blocking advantage, which could have stopped, or at least tamed, this and other anti-America legislation now spewing forward seemingly incessantly from the House.

This additional Treasury-busting extravaganza pays-back so many outstretched (and often questionable) hands that it’s difficult to identify, outline and describe all of the anticipated expenditures in one article, as many columnists have discovered.

For starters, a big chunk, off the top, is the projected $350-billion in “aid” to states and municipalities, despite most of their respective revenues actually being down only somewhat in 2020 from the previous year (especially for those areas which came out of lock-down in a sane and timely fashion).  According to economist Mark Zandi, “the (combined) state and local funding gap will be roughly $60-billion through fiscal 2022,” yet “states and localities will (now) be showered with money, after more than $500-billion in aid to states and localities last year (i.e., Trump stimulus).”  Additionally, wrote Mathew Dickerson, describing the Act as a “disaster: “Nearly $90-billion is earmarked for a taxpayer-funded bailout of union pension plans that were massively underfunded long before Covid-19. This union bailout gets about twice as much funding as Covid-19 testing and contact tracing.”

Wrote columnist Rich Lowry regarding stimulus payments to individuals: “It’s doubtful that the checks of $1,400 to individuals (those with up to $75K annual income) are necessary; it is more supply – i.e., businesses being closed, or supply chains disrupted – than demand that is hampering the economy now.”

On the subject of individual payments, checks will apparently also go to federal and state prisoners, and, likely, to non-citizens with SS#’s, as well! And, as Lowry continues: “The (Act’s) continued elevated federal unemployment payments (extended to September) makes unemployment more lucrative than employment for many people, and will discourage a return to work at the margins.” A reminder of what many employers went through after the Trump stimulus, making it more profitable for many employees to sit at home, hampering smaller businesses from regaining fuller staffing because of it.  Columnist John Carney did some, as he described it “back-of-the-envelope math,” and concluded that with the child tax credits included in this Act, the added unemployment benefits, and the $1,400 stimulus payments “a family with two parents who are not working, and three minor children, could make the equivalent income of more than $92,000.”  Talk about removing any and all incentive to work!

It’s also been sparingly reported, and not surprisingly, talked about little, that over $30-billion was quietly included within the Act to expand Obama Care, a long-standing desire of the Democrats.

Wrote Wall Street Journal columnist, Jason L. Riley: “The Covid relief package is the largest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ’s signature program.” In addition to the obvious disincentive to work (state unemployment, by contrast, requires work or looking for such; this federal largess appears to have no such requirement!), the increased child tax credit program has raised some very serious future concerns among non-Progressive observers.  The annual child tax credit is now raised to $3,000 per child (age 6-17); $3,600 per child under age 6.; paid in monthly installments.  “Now, all taxpayers earning under $200,000 with children aged 17 or under living with them at least half the year can claim the full credit.”

If put into place permanently (and you well know the chances of that under Progressives), some are calling it “the second-largest expansion of means-tested welfare entitlements in U.S. history.” Continued the Heritage Foundation report: “In constant dollars, its annual cost would dwarf the initial costs of the Medicaid, food stamp, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children programs.” Said Robert Rector at Heritage: “It’s $80-billion on top of a half-a-trillion dollars that the United States currently spends on cash, food, housing, and medical care for low-income Americans.” Rector continued: “They’re presenting this as if it’s a one-year change in response to the Covid crisis.  But it’s clearly intended to be a permanent expansion.”

And therein lies the real concern among non-Progressive observers.  It’s not the child tax credit, or its increase, per se.  It’s that the ground work is being established for an expansion into something common sense driven, devoted Americans should hope never happens: Universal Basic Income (UBI)!  Commented political science professor Nicholas Giordano: “Assuming that we don’t levy an increased tax burden, this program would cost nearly $1-trillion, and that’s if the program is only offered to those in poverty.”  And that, of course, presents a thorny additional problem: how will we define ‘poverty,’ which tends to be a moving target, depending on who’s in power and what their real political welfare goals are. Giordano continued: “It’s a huge cultural trap that we’re (setting-up), by creating this artificial environment where the poorest people are kind of set aside and told, ‘You’re not expected to work or do anything.”  Commenting on this outcome, Robert Doar & Matt Weidinger wrote: “Monthly welfare benefits with no expectation of work would reduce employment and earnings, establish life-long government dependence for millions of Americans, and increase unwed childbearing.” On that last note, with the government payment increasing with the number of children a single mother has, it could indeed become the ultimate, incentivized, home-based “employment”!

In their editorial, “The Covid Welfare State,” the Wall Street Journal editors concluded: “All of this (funding) arrives when the Covid vaccine rollout is accelerating, the economy is recovering at a rapid pace, and the national jobless rate is already down to 6.2%.  The goal of this Democrat program isn’t covid relief.  The point is to expand and solidify the role of government as the guarantor of every American’s income unlinked to any obligation to work.”  Personal funding with no work expectation. Taken to its extreme, then, no doubt the Progressive’s goal, the federal government would thus become the default “employer” for all those on the national dole!  Those graves you now hear spinning are occupied by our nation’s Founders.

In his article, “Was Covid-19 Our Neutron Bomb,” noted historian, Victor David Hanson, made note of our current economic situation: “Joe Biden has only begun to interrupt the deregulation and tax policies that sparked the historic Trump economic boom of 2017-2019 prompting unemployment to reach near-record peacetime lows. The country is currently awash in trillions of dollars in stimulus ‘funny money,’ both allocated and unspent.  After nearly a year of a large population spent in confinement, the public’s pent-up demand will be unleased.  The birthing of a recovery boom was already in progress when Donald Trump left office.”

In his article, “Time To Start Talking About America’s Coming Bankruptcy,” commentator Neil Patel noted with regard to our current national debt that “we owe more than $26-trillion.  Those numbers are so big nobody understands them.  To put it into perspective, our entire economic output for 2020 was $21-trillion.  If America could magically not spend a dime – nobody bought anything, including food or other staples – and we put it all toward paying off our federal debt for an entire year, we still wouldn’t pay it off.”  Patel concludes: “This period will be looked upon by historians as the saddest time in our history: a once great country behaving so selfishly and with such short-term interests that they sold their children’s futures away with barely any debate.”

Referring to this Covid “Relief” Act, one author questioned whether this could be “the very worst piece of legislation ever?”  Given the additional damaging Progressive bills currently in progress, and heaven help us those we know nothing about yet, while we all may hope this Covid Relief fiscal time-bomb is the worst, sadly, it may not be!

Perhaps the best way to wrap up this particular legislative obituary for our nation, is to turn to the always candid comments of that great current legislator, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), who referred to the Covid bill, in progress, as one “chock-full of spending porn,” having little or nothing to do with the virus epidemic. “This isn’t a coronavirus bill,” he said. “This is a left-of-Lenin, neo-socialist wish list.” Another fallacy observed by others, it should be noted, is that much of the funding prescribed supposedly for Covid relief, is out-weighed by a huge hodge-podge of other friend-of-the-family projects and give-aways, funding that won’t actually be spent until 2022 and beyond!  So much for an immediate public financial band-aid supposedly targeting health!  Concluding with Senator Kennedy’s great always on-target observations, with reference again to the Covid bill, said the Senator: “In putting this bill together, President Biden said he wanted to meet us, the Republicans, halfway. If that’s the case, he’s a damn poor judge of distance. He has rejected everything we’ve proposed.  This bill is dreadful.  It’s an orgy of pork. The only way I know how to improve it is with a shredder.”  The incompatible thoughts and vision of Louisiana’s outstanding (and outspoken!) Senator John Kennedy.  And with that, we’ll all continue to hope and pray that somehow this high-speed House assembly line of damaging-to-traditional-America legislation can at least be slowed, if not outright stopped.


(“Progressive Steamroller” quote via The Wall Street Journal, Editors, 3-11-21; Zandi financial & Lowry quotes via, Rich Lowry, 3-11-21; Dickerson quote via, Mathew Dickerson, 3-11-21; Carney household income projection via, John Carney, 3-11-21; Riley quote via The Wall Street Journal, Jason L. Riley, 3-10-21; Tax credit quotes via, Bowen Xiao, 3-9-21; Heritage Foundation/Rector quotes via, Bowen Xiao, 3-9-21; Giordano quotes via, Bowen Xiao, 3-9-21; Doar/Weidinger quote via The Wall Street Journal, Robert Doar & Matt Weidinger, 3-3-21; “Covid Welfare State” quote via The Wall Street Journal, Editors, 3-8-21; Hanson quote via, Victor David Hanson, 2-28-21; “America’s Coming Bankruptcy” quotes via, Neil Patel, 3-5-21; “Worst Piece of Legislation Ever” quote via, Francis Menton, 3-8-21; Senator John Kennedy “spending porn” quote via, Nikolas Lanum, 2-24-21; Senator John Kennedy “shredder” quote via, Jeff Poor, 3-4-21).