Cooper: If you thought the COVID relief bill was largely about COVID relief, think again
That congressional Democrats can look anyone in the eye today after passing a $ 1.9 trillion bill and call it the relief from COVID is amazing.
Oh, there’s a bit of that in there, sure – about 9% if you listen to Republicans. Their enemies in Congress, in their widest reaches, say about a quarter of the measure will go to the coronavirus response. Both say less than 1% goes to vaccines.
Another quarter is funding those $ 1,400 checks, which will go to some people whose businesses have had to close or who are left out of work. But millions and millions of them will go to people who never lost their jobs, never missed a meal, never got sick, never saw their wages go down, and who lived their life. life – with the downside of masks and social distancing – the same way. they did it before the pandemic.
No one wants to refuse “free” money, but the truth, of course, is that the bill will be paid later by our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Another quarter of spending goes to state and local governments, many of which survived the pandemic without a significant slowdown.
Even Democrats will admit that at least 15% of The law project – about $ 300 billion in spending – bears no relation to the misery we have experienced over the past year.
But here are a few things on the invoice that you might have missed:
– National media trumpet phrases like “COVID relief bill will halve child poverty”. Oh good? How do you get rid of poverty in one year, that is, the length of time during which new tax credits will be granted? You can’t, of course.
Low-income Americans would get stimulus checks of $ 1,400, but also $ 3,000 to $ 3,600 in refundable tax credits for each child under 18. Existing income tax credits would also be expanded, as would existing tax credits for caring for children and dependents.
But should we add that Democrats want to make many of these expansions permanent?
Less than 30 years ago, under the Clinton Democratic administration, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 finally began to wean Americans off welfare and put them back to work. If tax credits become permanent, analysts say it will become the biggest welfare expansion in over 50 years.
– Union pension plans will be bailed out in the bill with $ 86 billion. Multi-employer pensions, some 124 of which are in “critical and declining” condition, may seek federal grant funding, which would then help pay their retirees over the next 30 years.
Yes, the workers are not at fault, but the unions are for promising benefits so generous that they ultimately could not pay. It shouldn’t be up to the government to support such unions, as they certainly aren’t lining up to bail out any private pensions that might need it.
– The bill includes three tax increases, added late in the legislative process. One removes deductions for publicly traded companies that pay their best employees over $ 1 million. We are changing the way multinational corporations do their taxes. And the third is changing the way unincorporated business owners record their losses.
Most of us won’t be affected by them, but taxes on large businesses during a pandemic can mean those businesses are producing less, employing less, and not growing, which doesn’t help the economy.
– The bill will increase what the government is putting in place to sign up for Obamacare. In fact, Americans earning 100% to 150% of the poverty line will not have to pay premiums for some plans. Those earning more than 400% of the federal poverty level – more than $ 51,000 a year – will also see increased grants.
Each permanent addition to the budget – mandatory spending, which should be passed by Congress – means less discretionary or optional spending for the government. In 1962, discretionary spending represented over 65% of federal spending. Today, it is around 30% and is decreasing.
– The bill does not wipe out anyone’s student loan at this time. But he says any student loan cancellation bill passed between December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2026 will be tax-free.
It turns out that the canceled debt is considered taxable income. So paying off a debt of $ 50,000 would add $ 50,000 to your income. But Bill does any future forgiveness during the period – Biden wants to forgive at least $ 10,000 in the near future, perhaps through executive action – tax-free.
Whatever the amount of the rebate, it will be a massive shortage of money for the US Treasury, which increasingly needs every penny it can get.
We could go on. Democrats hid expensive giveaways throughout the bill. Not necessarily for COVID, but in the hope that voters won’t remember that all is taxpayer money and the bill will someday be due.