May 4, 2020
The Republicans and Democrats in Congress claim that the big spending bills that they have passed over the last two months are aimed at rescuing the economy and saving jobs in the midst of a pandemic and economic shutdown.
Don’t believe it.
The politicians made a big deal about their new 660 billion dollar Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which they advertised as a way to rescue small businesses and protect the jobs of their employees. Of course, Congress turned the program over to the big banks to run. This allowed the banks to grab tens of billions in fees and commissions, while they doled out much of the federal tax money to their richest customers, including huge restaurant groups, hotels managed by large chains, pharmaceutical companies, rich private universities and professional sports teams.
Almost no small businesses saw any of that money, nor were any jobs saved.
The politicians advertised how they prohibited rich people from receiving the $1,200 stimulus checks. Of course, what they didn’t advertise was that Congress also passed over 200 billion dollars in new tax breaks for the richest individuals and largest corporations. Just one of these tax breaks is worth on average about two million dollars to each of the very wealthiest families in 2020, according to Congress’s Joint Tax Committee.
So, no stimulus checks for Donald Trump, Jared Kushner and about 40,000 of the wealthiest families this year. But they WILL each get millions more in tax breaks!
And, as financial markets spun into a free fall in late February and early March, Congress also appropriated $454 billion aimed at Wall Street. This money is supposed to absorb possible losses by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which will provide trillions of dollars to buy up debt of all kinds, by businesses, as well as municipalities. In other words, the politicians are funding a record high bailout of corporate speculators and banks.
News of this bailout did stop the collapse of the financial markets, and even ignited new fits of speculation, big increases in the stock and other debt markets.
But none of this rescued the economy, which has plunged into the worst recession in almost a century. Nor did it stop the collapse of the job market, in which tens of millions of people have lost their jobs in a matter of weeks.
On the contrary, the politicians are making the working population shoulder the capitalists’ gigantic losses, while the capitalists grow ever richer.