Paycheck Protection Program

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EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

Post by EAllusion »

Schumer is confirming the general terms of the deal I outlined above today, which I'll take as a strong indication of what Democratic leadership is going to attempt to pass. The only interesting quirk not captured in prior reporting is that the Trump admin is getting 125 billion of the funds to administer directly rather than through the banks on the theory that it will help capture businesses unable to access bank loans and that you can trust the admin to administer funding without favor.

All of the above listed items are not being addressed and the half-trillion dollars in leverage Democrats had will be gone.

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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Since it is widely reported that the PPP program ended up shoveling out billions and billions of dollars to large, wealthy, solvent businesses while many small businesses were left out cold, I am curious if even on these limited terms the cash infusion does anything to rectify that.

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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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I'll have to support my long list piecemeal honor as I wrote a long post with a ton of links that ended up going to nowhere.

1) Trump fires IG overseeing stimulus fund administration:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04 ... funds.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... f-spending

The tapped replacement is a Whitehouse attorney, incidentally.

This is part of a broader attempt to remove and replace seven inspector generals, though that's not relevant to the claim I was making.

2) Trump's signing statement for the stimulus (CARES act) announces its intent to disregard the provisions Democrats negotiated at the 11th hour that were intended to provide oversight.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-st ... sident-38/

I was going to screencap the relevant passages, but I think that might be what got my previous post ethered.

Here's this instead:

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/2 ... ght-152560

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... ont-comply

The Democrats' "concession" of basic oversight to the Republicans, which is actually quite tepid even if followed to the letter, is directly implicated there. I'm not sure if you need a link showing that this is what Democrats held up passage of the bill and bargained for, but it is.

Democrats were all like, "Can we get a just a little oversight of trillion+ of dollars being administered by Donald Trump?," Republicans were like, "you drive a hard bargain Democrats *suppresses snicker*. Ok." And Trump then immediately went, "Nah." Suckers!" And not a couple weeks later, Democrats are back at the table treating them as good-faith negotiating partners handing over billions in exchange for allowing people who have COVID symptoms to get tested for COVID.

EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Trump now promising to bail out the petrochemical industry, because it's definitely important to give billions of dollars to an industry that pays virtually no taxes, is subsidized to the tune of trillions by a foreign policy that routinely goes to war for it, is becoming technologically antiquated, and is actively destroying ecosystems on which humans depend. Trump has no statutory authority to do this though, so he might have to come for some money. I don't know. Maybe Democrats will give a few hundred billion to big oil in exchange for allowing people to get their mail once a week. Pelosi can then shutter Congress again and make "cute" videos about her ice cream stores in the middle of a devastating crisis that definitely won't be used in brutal political advertisements against Democrats.

EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Oh my. It already exists:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1252369647338319878

Half of the message is wildly misleading and the other half gets at an essentially true criticism. In any case, seems about as devastatingly effective as ads of Trump downplaying coronavirus are contrasting with what actually happened.

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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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[quote=Icarus post_id=1222287 time=1587414658 user_id=19355]
EAllusion what do you think of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on this?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alexandr ... 5b5872da94
[/quote]

I have a different set of priorities, though I agree that the US breaking with *the rest of the developed world*, and using a quixotic bailout businesses and social insurance stopgaps instead of a ongoing UI as the core program is bad policy, but I agree with the general tenor of this. Democrats keep getting rolled for next-to-nothing because the rank in file are being kept in line while the leadership seems to think their job is to cave to Republicans in just the right way that it looks good for messaging even though that part is probably a failure on its own terms.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is laudable for standing up when it is politically difficult for others to do so. Intentional or not, Pelosi is placing a lot of pressure on parts of her caucus to fall in line simply by keeping Congress out of session.

On an aside, since she was initially branded as a ditz and continues to retain that reputation in right-wing media, it's worth noting that no matter how much you might disagree with her, she actually is pretty sharp and treats the job seriously enough to have competent people around her to keep her on top of issues and public communications in a way that is well above replacement. The contrast between the portrayal of her as an airhead and her obviously being way more on the ball than many of her colleagues is something. This also came out during periods of high-profile Congressional hearings where her questioning was always a cut above. It comes out in this situation as well.

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Icarus
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Word is she may be challenging Chuck Shumer for his seat.

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Icarus
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Just received an email to e-sign a document for funds to be transferred. Apparently we got approved for the Paycheck Protection program but I didn't realize they already passed the bill?

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honorentheos
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Thanks, EAllusion. I was expecting more about the current negotiations. But it raises the concern that a crisis minus an entire branch of government is outrageous. So point made.

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honorentheos
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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https://newrepublic.com/article/157305/ ... oronavirus

An interesting article on the subject.

Congress’s absence from the stage is a monumental failure of leadership by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, McConnell, and other top lawmakers. By not urging their caucuses to stay in the District of Columbia last month, leaders from both parties have effectively shut down the legislative branch in the middle of a national crisis. It was obvious when legislators began to leave town last month that it would be difficult to reconvene them when they were needed. Now that lawmakers from both parties are openly resisting a return any time soon, the legislature’s dysfunctions are laid bare.

Congress still retains the technical ability to pass legislation through unanimous-consent resolutions. In practical terms, this allows congressional leaders to pass measures while freezing rank-and-file lawmakers out of the process. Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie’s treatment last month shows how it can instead function as a coercive tool to bully dissenting lawmakers into submission on major legislation. After Massie indicated that he would call for a recorded vote on the phase three bill, Trump castigated the conservative legislator on Twitter as a “do nothing Kentucky politician” and said voters should “throw Massie out of the Republican Party.” The roll-call bid failed when no other member seconded his motion.

Massie may have had a point. Leaders from both parties hailed the garguantuan “phase three” bill as a $2 trillion stimulus package for American workers and companies affected by the nationwide economic freeze. Since then, rarely has a day gone by without more flaws in the legislation coming to light. While the law blocks banks and insurance companies from taking advantage of the small-business relief program, for example, hedge funds have already started claiming their own bailout payouts. Other low-key provisions have given lucrative tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and real-estate investors. Meanwhile, most Americans still haven’t seen a cent of the widely-touted direct payments, and they will likely need even more financial relief in the weeks and months ahead.

What’s more, there are other legislative matters beyond immediate relief that cry out for action as well. Neither chamber has passed a universal vote-by-mail bill to protect the November elections from the impact of the pandemic. The United States Postal Service has warned lawmakers that it will run out of money this summer unless Congress intervenes, imperiling an institution first run by Benjamin Franklin. And the Trump administration says it will need to extend the window to carry out the constitutionally required 2020 census because of the pandemic—a task that only Congress can fulfill through legislation.

Lawmakers’ inability to cast votes remotely has only compounded the problem. More than 60 House lawmakers asked the chamber’s Rules Committee in March to consider temporary changes that would remedy the situation. “There may be a definition of ‘present’ that reflects new technology where we can be sure that it is an accurate vote by a member of the Congress and is being done in remote fashion,” Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said last month on the Senate floor. “It’s time for the Senate to wake up to the 21st century and make sure we’re using technology that allows us to communicate with each other without any danger or risk to public health.”

Leadership from both parties has categorically resisted the change. “The leader doesn’t want it to happen,” Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, told reporters last month. “It’s not going to happen. We are going to continue to vote in person.” Pelosi, who also categorically ruled it out, later suggested that she feared that the Supreme Court would strike down any legislation passed by remote voting, a point also made by the House Rules Committee in a recent report. While Congress probably couldn’t get away with never gathering in person again, it’s also hard to imagine the high court not granting them some leeway to adopt remote voting in the middle of a pandemic, especially when the justices themselves are conducting all of their business from their own homes.

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honorentheos
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the arguments are to be taken up when Congress returns in May, and then the "gloves will come off".

Don't get the reasons. It seems like the arguments are shallow concerns about the ability of Congress to enact law when remote voting that isn't consent vote approved, so once they can get back in the room, THEN the House will make sure to take care of these priority issues.

I don't know.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/lawmakers- ... 1587655822

Paywall bypass - https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.co ... 1587655822

EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Congress has announced that they will not reconvene next week either. That's another delay on top of their delay from an already nearly month-long recess. This is occurring in the middle of one of the most serious emergencies in a century. It very well might be a power-grab by the Democratic leadership. This is a major scandal in a world filled with scandal fatigue.

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subgenius
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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EAllusion wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:16 am
.... This is occurring in the middle of one of the most serious emergencies in a century. ...
Your persistence with hyperbole is admirable. You truly are trying to equate COVID19 with Pearl Harbor, Great Depression, 9/11, Cuban missile crisis, Love Canal, 3 mile island, etc..

geez, you be self-inflated.

#tds

EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Sure. A deadly pandemic killing thousands of people a day while 10's of millions suddenly are unemployed, aggregate demand has collapsed with real GDP growth at Great Depression levels, and large swathes of the country existing in quasi-lock down is definitely not a real national emergency like, uh, 3 mile Island's small release of radioactive gas.

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Icarus
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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If Subgenius were a dinosaur:

"Pffft, you're really going to say an asteroid is something to worry about? Don't you realize its just a clump of matter?"

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honorentheos
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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EAllusion wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:16 am
Congress has announced that they will not reconvene next week either. That's another delay on top of their delay from an already nearly month-long recess. This is occurring in the middle of one of the most serious emergencies in a century. It very well might be a power-grab by the Democratic leadership. This is a major scandal in a world filled with scandal fatigue.
I don't see a reason to assume it's a power grab of the leadership to undermine their progressive members. That would be pretty stupid considering the need to circle the wagons around a candidate in November that isn't exactly a progressive darling.

I don't know the reason or even seen an analysis of the situation that seemed founded rather than speculative and voicing a particular bias against the Democratic establishment.

It's worth watching for sure, though, for the reasons you state, EAllusion. Having the executive branch demonstrating blatant incompetence, the Supreme Court working from home but taking on meaningful cases, all further highlights that the US is going through this minus a branch of government who has reduced itself to backing checks for Trump to sign with minimal clear demonstrated strategy for using massive spending to accomplish a long range economic goal other than all parties being able to assert they did something...whatever that turns out to really be once the dust settles being anyone's guess.

2020...what a year.

EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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[quote=honorentheos post_id=1223037 time=1588105884 user_id=7137]

I don't see a reason to assume it's a power grab of the leadership to undermine their progressive members. That would be pretty stupid considering the need to circle the wagons around a candidate in November that isn't exactly a progressive darling. [/quote]

Democrats aren't known for their brilliant political strategy.

"Democrats wouldn't do something dumb that would upset progressives in an election year when they need their support" seems false on the face of it, and seems obviously false when you consider that Democrats have spent 4 consecutive stimulus bills rankling and ignoring progressive legislative priorities in a way that has visibly upset progressive leaders. Perhaps Pelosi Democrats have calculated that Trump-fear will keep them at the polls regardless of what they do, perhaps they have a tin-ear for their concerns. Either way, this argument seems like a non-starter.

Progressive discontent has produced some comments from Pelosi's side that they'll start backing some of those concerns the next time out, but that's only after they've rushed to give away trillions of dollars of their leverage. The progressive left isn't necessarily gonna buy the inevitable excuse for quasi-failure that they tried, but were rebuffed.

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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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"How do we run against comical, concentrated evil?"

*strokes chin*

Lay low, then pivot to health care?

EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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If Biden doesn't pick a progressive as his VP, of which Elizabeth Warren is probably the only choice left that isn't either really obscure or from a vulnerable seat Democrats need to keep, intellectual progressive leadership is going to lose its mind. Of the names commonly bandied about, she's the last one standing. There's already some serious clenched teeth in progressive-ville over Biden/Pelosi/Schumer as it is. Maybe he will pick Warren, but there's also a big maybe that he won't. Heck, maybe he'll pick Tami Baldwin because Democrats have a recent history of being abject morons when it comes to putting their hands on the levers of power, which is a big part of why a radical minority party controls almost everything of importance. Either way, there's not a lot of palatable options on the table.

It'll be fun to revisit this thread once that decision happens to see how much dedication there is to appeasing the progressive flank.

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Icarus
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Stacy Abrams?

EAllusion
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Re: Paycheck Protection Program

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Stacy Abrams isn't progressive. She's quite conservative for a Democrat. She's in the Biden zone. Picking her would be a play for Georgia. It also might signal an attempt to energize the black vote, but that'd be odd given that Biden himself was the preferred candidate among blacks. It's like anti-balancing the ticket.

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