Things have been pretty hectic in Trump’s “winning” America lately. When he’s not waging war on social media companies and the right to free speech, he’s exercising his dictator muscles with police-state threats against protesters and their right to assemble and to petition the government.
With an unfavorable election drawing closer, Trump and the GOP have embraced the chaos these attacks on the First Amendment have created in the hope that it will keep voters distracted enough to allow Republicans to slip a few coronavirus-related betrayals under voters’ radar.
Do you remember before the rioting when the House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act? Do you also remember how Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell objected to passing another bailout/stimulus bill even before the ink was dry on the record-breaking $2.2 trillion Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed only weeks prior?
Well, the $3 trillion HEROES Act is getting renewed attention, and despite claims by the GOP that the bill stands little likelihood of passing in the Senate, Republican party leaders are sounding like they’re ready to join Democrats to pass it, just as I predicted they would. Additionally, Trump is already on record in favor of more Coronavirus relief, and his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, admitted there was a “strong likelihood” of another bailout.
Allegedly, one area of contention between Republicans and Democrats concerning the HEROES Act deals with the nearly $1 trillion earmarked for state and public-school bailouts, with Republicans “opposing” it, and Democrats supporting it.
When governors and mayors shut down their economies in response to Coronavirus hysteria, they not only killed the incomes of small businesses, they killed their own income as well. And while this obviously impacted their day-to-day cashflow, it made a crisis that existed before coronavirus worse — unfunded and underfunded public employee pensions.
“Their shaky financial foundations were in fact set long ago—through unsustainable obligations like retirement benefits for public employees, excessive borrowing, and deferred maintenance of public buildings and infrastructure. The result has been a long-building budget imbalance now estimated in the trillions of dollars.”
~ John Locke Foundation President John Hood
Democrats claim that the state bailouts included in the HEROES Act won’t be used to address pension shortfalls, but there currently are no restrictions on how the money can be spent if it becomes law. And Republican promises to keep that from happening are worthless for two reasons: they’re spineless cowards who want the same things Democrats want, and Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood? What do they have to do with public employee pensions? Nothing, directly. But they are an example of what’s we’re likely to see with the HEROES Act even if Republicans succeed.
Under the HYDE Amendment, taxpayer funds can’t be spent to pay for abortions but they can used to pay for other services provided by the abortion industry. But money is fungible, which means abortion providers can move it around from one account to another. In the end, even though taxpayer funding of organizations like Planned Parenthood is used for non-abortion services, the baby butchers are free to reallocate money from those accounts to pay for abortions.
If When the HEROES Act becomes law, even if Republicans amend it to prevent funding to bailout public employee pensions, states can simply reallocate non-pension expenditures to fund them.
Taxpayers should not be on the hook for the mismanagement of state governments, and they absolutely should not be forced to secure the retirements of public employees. Especially, when you consider how these states destroyed the futures of millions of Americans by driving them out of business in response to Coronavirus.
Unfortunately, I don’t think any of this matters to the elitists in Washington. Not when there’s an election at stake.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.