Let’s begin with the obvious.
The faster the U.S. can recover from the COVID-19 virus, the greater are Donald Trump’s chances for re-election, and the worse are the Democrats’ chances of taking the Senate and holding the House.
One can almost hear Trump’s boasting about how quickly his “tremendous” (a favorite word) actions resulted in America leading the world.
Therefore, one would assume the Republicans would do everything possible to stimulate the economy while finding vaccinations and cures.
Similarly, one would expect a Democratic leadership to drag its feet, so there would be plenty of fodder for criticism of an incompetent Trump.
Yet, exactly the opposite seems to be happening.
Here are excerpts from two articles that appeared in today’s (5/5/20) Chicago Tribune:
WASHINGTON — The Senate reopened Monday in a Capitol largely shuttered by the coronavirus, but prospects for quick action on a new aid package are uncertain with a deepening debate over how best to confront the deadly pandemic and its economic devastation.
Senate Republicans are trying to set the debate, frustrated that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was able to fill earlier aid bills with Democratic priorities.
They’re reluctant to unleash federal funds beyond the nearly $3 trillion Congress already approved in virus relief and hope Trump’s push to kick-start the economy will reduce the need for more aid.
But Pelosi, D-Calif., is working to assemble a new aid package that Democrats expect to unveil soon.
Clearly, the additional money is needed, to mitigate the massive and growing unemployment problem. When unemployment was low, Trump loved to crow about how his “wonderful” (another favorite word) policies were the reason, especially for blacks.
For example, from the Washington Post:
“Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!”
— President Trump, in a tweet, Jan. 28, 2018
“African American unemployment has reached its lowest rate ever recorded — ever! Ever! Remember ‘What do you have to lose?’ What do you have to lose, right? ‘What do you have to lose?’ I said.”
— Trump, at a campaign rally in Southaven, Miss., Oct. 2, 2018
“You look at our economy. You look at jobs. You look at African American — the lowest in the history of our country, unemployment numbers — the best numbers they’ve ever had.”
— Trump, in a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo, March 22, 2019
Now that unemployment is high, trillions of dollars are needed to help consumers consumer (which helps businesses) and directly to businesses, to help them survive while closed or semi-closed.
So, am I missing something, here? Pelosi wants additional stimulants, especially those that would help consumers, and thus businesses, avoid a total shutdown.
And McConnell is unwilling to spend more!
Is this a case of “I’m-against-anything-they-are-for,” or is it pure ignorance?
I can understand Pelosi’s position if she truly is concerned about America’s economy and people.
But what the heck is McConnell doing?
What motive could he have for not spending the money?
Does he really hate Pelosi, the lower-income groups, and small businesses so much?
Is this a Br’er Rabbit story: “Please, Br’er Fox, don’t fling me in dat brier-patch,” while Br’er rabbit wants him to do exactly that?
Or, does McConnell truly believe that the most important political issue in November will be the size of the federal “debt” and not the economy?
Or, does he have some secret Machiavellian plan, too complex for me to understand?
Or, is the man just plain stupid?
Is the following, what bothers him?:
Treasury needs to borrow record $2.99T amid pandemic
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department said Monday it will need to borrow a record $2.99 trillion during the current April-June quarter to cover the cost of the government’s various pandemic rescue efforts.
This quarter’s borrowing will surpass the previous record of $569 billion in October-December 2008 when the government was dealing with the shock waves from the financial crisis.
Treasury said the borrowing is needed to fund nearly $3 trillion the government approved for supporting workers and businesses with direct economic payments, the Paycheck Protection Program and other efforts.
In addition, the government needs to borrow to cover the shortfall in revenue from the Trump administration delaying the deadline for tax payments this year from April to July 15.
Not only is the above article completely wrong — The Treasury Department does not borrow. It accepts deposits into Treasury Security accounts — but one has difficulty imagining that the voting public puts Treasury “borrowing” ahead of having enough money to pay for food, rent, clothing, and education.
So I must admit to being baffled by what these two leaders of Congress are doing. Pelosi is trying to stimulate the economy and McConnell is trying to crush it.
Ignorance? Madness? Spitefulness?
You tell me.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
5. Salary for attending school
6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
9. Federal ownership of all banks
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
3 thoughts on “The irony of ignorance: How the Dems and GOP strangely work against themselves.”
I’ve been really busy the last 4 years and had no time to bother you and your cohort for a while. Good to see that you have kept the blog super active.
Flash is back….
I think Pelosi has been pressured to come up with something for the people since Congress has given so much to business and the wealthy so far. Perhaps someone convinced her that aggregate demand actually matters.
McConnell is not so much a mystery. He’s passed the huge tax cut, made huge strides remaking the federal judiciary for decades to come, and he’s made a couple of trillions available to businesses as well as $4 trillion or so for the Fed to boost asset prices, so he feels no need to do anymore. Yes, he hates Pelosi, the lower-income groups, and small businesses.
No, he does not believe that the debt will be important in November. The debt is just an excuse to justify his refusal to help consumers just as soon as business and the rich got what they want.
In addition to his hatreds and refusal to help people and small businesses is his agenda to starve the states and municipalities of the money they need to operate in the hope that they will be forced to terminate or radically reduce the public pension plans for teachers and state and municipal employees.
This has been one of his wet dreams for decades, and now he has a chance to force the issue.
He also has Trump on his side, even if Trump doesn’t realize it, since Trump is already using his power over the distribution of needed supplies and monetary support to blackmail the “blue states” into “being nice” to him and “doing me a favor”.
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Excellent article, once again debunking the austerity nuts: