When Trump and nearly every Republican in Congress joined Democrats to create the largest redistribute-the-wealth stimulus bill in history with the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act a few weeks ago, socialists in both parties assured America that it was only the beginning of their big government spend-a-palooza in response to coronavirus hysteria.
Immediately after signing the CARES Act into law, Trump joined Nancy Pelosi in a push for a fourth coronavirus stimulus to finance so-called infrastructure improvements — which as we now know, will likely be used to launch the Green New Deal — to the tune of another $2 trillion.
With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2020
Speaking of money being earmarked for one purpose and then going someplace else, it was recently announced that the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) has already burned through the $350 billion included in the CARES Act to help small businesses keep their workforce employed during the coronavirus crisis.
The money wasn’t depleted because there were too many small businesses applying for aid, it was because chain stores, chain restaurants, and other big businesses used loopholes deliberately put in the stimulus bill to “qualify” for the program while allowing them to pocket millions of taxpayer dollars.
In the recent edition of his Popular Information newsletter, Judd Legum documents how small businesses have been forced to permanently close after being shut out of the PPP even as multi-million dollar companies such as Ruth’s Hospitality Group (parent company of Ruth’s Chris Steak House) received tens of millions of dollars from the plan.
.@RuthsChris had $42.2 million in profits last year, spent $5.2M buying its own stock, and pays its CEO $6.1M
It has $86M in cash reserves
It just received $20M in taxpayer money from a fund meant to keep "small businesses" afloat
But it gets worsehttps://t.co/nDAhzjAnvq
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 20, 2020
Despite desperate attempts by some Republicans in the Senate to act like they had no idea this could happen — the vote to pass the CARES Act was unanimous in the U.S. Senate — they have been using the situation to blame Democrats for the problem while they push to spend even more money we don’t have. As is always the case with the Unibrow Party, Republicans are simply putting on a show to distract from the fact that they want the same things Democrats want.
Unfortunately, their efforts seem to be working.
In what is being referred to as a “Phase 3.5” coronavirus spending package — it’s designed to be a “bridge” between the CARES Act and the “Phase Four” infrastructure package — the House, Senate, and White House have agreed on a near $500 billion deal that will finance the PPP with approximately $310 billion.
By the way, that’s not a typo. As is ALWAYS the case when big government spends big money, there’s a lot of cash going to special interest groups and political donors.
For some reason, this Phase 3.5 coronavirus spending package reminds me of Einstein’s definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
Do you remember when the Republican Party was the party of smaller government and fiscal responsibility?
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable and promotes conservative principles over political parties.