What’s the Good, Bad, and Ugly in the Proposed $900B Stimulus Bill?
The latest coronavirus stimulus bill has left many Americans disappointed by the meager $600 stimulus checks, however, the bill does a lot of good and will help the United States’ economy avoid a possible downturn after the new year assuming President Donald Trump lets the bill go through.
Let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly for the recent $900 billion coronavirus relief package.
$284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses
The Paycheck Protection Program is one of the stimulus measures that has worked successfully so far, unlike the Main Street Lending Program
The program expands aid to nonprofits, local newspapers, and TV/radio stations in addition to reserving $15 billion for live venues, movie theaters, and cultural institutions that were forced to shut down because of the pandemic
$300 a week additional unemployment benefits/payments through the middle of March
$82 billion for schools and colleges to assist reopening
$69 billion for vaccine development and testing
$20 billion of it is used to buy the vaccine so every American can get vaccinated for free
$25 billion in rental assistance for families
The rent moratorium was also extended to Jan. 31
$15 billion in aid for airlines
On the good side, aid helps airlines keep workers employed. In August, 75,000 airline employees were warned that their jobs could be at risk. Without aid, those jobs would very much be in jeopardy.
On the bad side, Airlines saddled themselves up with debt and are being bailed out for risky business decisions
$14 billion for public transportation
$13 billion for food-stamp benefits
$13 billion for farmers, ranchers
$10 billion for childcare centers to reopen safely
$7 billion for broadband internet
$3.2 billion to help poor households pay for broadband which has become even more necessary as remote work has become the norm during the pandemic
$1.9 billion to boost security by removing equipment from the China company Huawei Technologies Co.
No liability protection for corporations (good for now)
Republican Mitch McConnell is once again on the side of corporations and wants big business to have liability protections so workers can’t sue their employer for anything related to coronavirus
It was not put into the stimulus bill, however, McConnell made himself clear that he will want any bill that gets passed in 2021 to have the liability protections. While there aren’t any protections yet (that is good), it is to be seen whether or not that holds in 2021 (bad).
No aid for cash-strapped states and cities
Cities and states have had to spend a lot of money (that they don’t have) to help fight the war against the coronavirus and are facing large deficits
If the deficits aren’t softened with aid, there will be many permanent layoffs in 2021 for city and state workers
But this can be addressed assuming there is a third relief package coming after Biden is sworn into office
Cost of meals can be a deductible business expense
Trump wanted this in the bill and legislators put it in
Congress must pass the old, and very strongly proven, deductibility by businesses on restaurants and entertainment. This will bring restaurants, and everything related, back – and stronger than ever. Move quickly, they will all be saved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2020
While it is a good idea to provide relief to the restaurant industry that has been killed by the shutdowns, experts don’t believe it will provide much support to the struggling industry
“The effectiveness of the provision will be greater once restrictions are lifted. That said, it is still a very small provision, so its overall impact will be small,” said economist and tax expert Kyle Pomerleau of the American Enterprise Institute via CNN.
$600 individual stimulus payments
The Cares Act was passed in March. Americans have gone close to nine months between stimulus bills and are only seeing an additional $600. So far, in those nine months, Americans have received $1,800, or $200 per month. Nowhere near enough.
No time to vote on the bill
AOC said legislators were given about two hours to read the bill before being expected to vote on it
It is a bill over 5,000 pages and impossible to read in one day. Congress is making a decision that will impact the future of the entire country and hundreds of millions of lives. It is absurd that elected officials don’t have time to scrutinize a bill of this size
The public also doesn’t have time to have its concerns heard
Congress is expected to vote on the second largest bill in US history *today* – $2.5 trillion – and as of about 1pm, members don’t even have the legislative text of it yet.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 21, 2020
$1.4 billion for the border wall
No one wants to come in anyway, it’s a pandemic…
Includes Hyde/Helms Amendment
The amendments bar federal funds for most abortions and foreign assistance funds for abortions
Joe Biden has promised to remove the Hyde amendment in 2022 when he can
7.8 million Americans fell into poverty while Mitch McConnell did nothing
After the Democrats in the House passed the Heroes Act to try and get more aid to Americans after the first bill, McConnell sat idle and did nothing letting millions of people slip into poverty.
According to an analysis by economists at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame, 7.8 million Americans fell into poverty since June as the benefits from the first coronavirus relief package dried up and McConnell had the Heroes Act sitting on his desk.
About Ryan Lipton
Ryan is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Business Journalism. He has written in the past for SB Nation’s Silver and Black Pride, USA Today Sports Media Group, North Carolina Business News Wire, the Daily Tar Heel, and has worked with Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league. Ryan is also a regular contributor to MeidasTouch.com