Feeding into mass hysteria isn’t exactly my ministry, but I think it’s safe to say that at this point, the coronavirus has ruined almost all of our lives to some extent.
But as I sit here in my dark apartment, devoid of groceries, NBA highlights and social interaction, I take solace in knowing that our fearless leader, Donald Trump—the same imbecile who eliminated our U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 that was best equipped to handle this outbreak—is working hard to save us all from the hordes of despicable individuals who outright refuse to wash their hands.
Politico reports that in the government’s efforts to avoid an ugly economic collapse—the coronavirus is far too kind—a trillion-dollar miracle cure is in the works that would qualify as the largest stimulus rescue in modern American history:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet with Senate Republicans behind closed doors on Tuesday to present lawmakers with options for aid for airlines, hotels, casinos and small-to-medium-sized businesses. The White House was pushing for a package of more than $800 billion, POLITICO reported Monday, and on Tuesday the Treasury Department was preparing to unveil a package of $850 billion including more than $50 billion for the airline industry, $250 billion for small-business support and $500 billion for a payroll tax holiday. A senior administration official acknowledged the proposal could climb above that Tuesday by the time it’s unveiled.
Unwilling to allow Republicans to have all the fun, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and other Democrats are also pushing their own $750 billion package of provisions that includes expanded unemployment insurance, funds for small businesses, food assistance for seniors, help with child care, and emergency aid for hospitals. And with mass layoffs looming throughout the country if the government doesn’t hurry the hell up and intervene, senators are primed to leap into action this week while the House remains on recess.
As for the Trump administration, Politico lays out its agenda during this crisis as such:
The Trump administration’s goal is to provide sectors and companies with enough cash through emergency loans, tax deferrals or temporary tax cuts to help them survive the sudden downturn. The presentation is also expected to include an idea President Donald Trump has latched onto — a temporary cut or suspension of the payroll tax cut through the end of the year which would benefit both companies and workers. One version of the payroll tax holiday would cost $950 billion alone through the end of the year.
In his efforts to get back on America’s good side, Trump also wants the government to cash out American citizens within the next two weeks, with Sen. Mitt Romney suggesting that every adult over the age of 18 should receive a $1,000 check to help resuscitate the economy—a proposal the White House stands behind, though the exact amount is still being worked out.
“The president has instructed me we have to do this now,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday. “We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly.”
In 2009, Congress approved an economic stimulus program worth nearly $800 billion that included a tax cut and other provisions, but a trillion-dollar package of this scope and magnitude is unprecedented.
“Everyone will need assistance and that is the bottom line. This is the demand issue because consumers have stopped spending,” Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, said. “Every industry will need some level of assistance.”
As someone who’s lost thousands of dollars as a direct result of this outbreak, I will happily wait for my check, collect my coins, and call it a day. But there are plenty of other businesses and individuals facing irreparable harm to their financial stability and it’s up to the government to correct course.
We’ll all be keeping an eye on this as the proposed package requires Congressional approval.