The Senate Slush Fund: Let them Eat Cake!

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Food Riots, US Great Depression

Why are Democrats opposed to the Republican Senate Bill? Well, it’s a 500 billion slush fund, to bail out the extremely wealthy. It will have zero accountability, and it leaves the American people behind.

Yes, it includes a one time credit on next years’ tax bill. The poorest among us can expect nothing as well. This is hardly sufficient. This is, in fact, irresponsible. What they are doing is finding ways to bail out people like Sheldon Aldenson, instead of the tens of thousands of workers that right now sit at home…wondering where their next meal comes from. This is also disaster capitalism on steroids and profiteering.

What happens if the GOP gets away with this? Let’s be clear, some Democrats are almost as bad, but right now it is Republicans who are trying hard to benefit the donor class. We will have millions of hungry desperate people. Goldman Sachs said we could see as high as a thirty percent unemployment rate. They are still underestimating it in my opinion. Add a few percentage points. What happens when we have millions without work? They also have no food. We have plenty of warnings from even American history. Food riots should not be difficult to conceive off. Or worst, since the very rich and well connected are getting tested ahead of family members; resentment is building across the nation. Let’s not even go into the apparent insider trading by members of both parties in the United States Congress.

We all lost our shirts. Well, it turns out these people should not have used that information to avoid that. It’s called the STOK Act. Investigations and referrals to the Justice Department should come, don’t count on it. So back to the stimulus. First two trillion is a down payment. No serious. If you believe the economy will rebound with only this, or mainly bailing out large businesses, I have an economic collapse to sell you.

So what fixes are needed?

For starters, any spending bill has to have utter clarity and transparency. We know pork is part of life, but in a disaster transparency is essential. We cannot have one cent not accounted for. This is exactly what that five hundred billion package does not have.

Every American has to receive a universal basic income for the duration. Two thousand per adult, one thousand for minor will allow people to weather the storm. It has to be universal even if Bill Gates does not need it. It’s the only way programs like this work. If you don’t need it, bless your heart, donate it to the food bank. And it will do something else. Once the economy sputters back to life, people will have money in their pockets to prime it.

We are in wartime conditions. Taxation rates have to go up for the wealthiest among us. Not only will this help flatten the resentment, which is growing, but claw back some of the money needed. What rates do you ask? During World War Two the very wealthy saw rates of 92 percent. That actually helped to tamp down a revolution. Yes, the GOP will fight this on ideology, it’s not the time for ideology, but pragmatism. Donald Trump snd his cohorts are not unlike Herbert Hoover and those Republicans. It’s all about them, not the country.

The president, so far, loves these hunger games like competition for medical resources. He is making sure citizens and states resent him even more. Americans will unnecessarily die because of his greed and what is starting to look like hate for the people. One does not need to wonder if his family is looking for a way to benefit.

I think even some in his base are starting to realize this. It is time to centralize all distribution of scant medical supplies. The Defense Production Act needs activation, not just signing. It will guarantee a market to the factories and will keep those people working. Oh, and helping North Korea is delusional, even if trump believes Chairman Kim is his pen pal

This has to stop. If need be Congress needs to reinvent the wheel and pass legislation akin to this act and overcome a presidential veto. It has to happen as soon as possible. This will cost money as well. This is no time to try to save money. The only thing at risk is actual human lives.

The consequences of what Republicans want to do will lead to panic, fear, deaths, untold human suffering…and perhaps revolution. This crisis is proof that we need government and not bathtubs. unfortunately, we have people who do not believe in any of it in power. This let them eat cake attitude did not end well for the French elite either.

Our life and society after COVID will be different than before. That is already baked into the cake. The neoliberal ideology that took over in the 1990s is over. This is a fact. It’s time our political class wakes up to this new reality.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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