Despite what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mouths, House Democrats’ new $3 trillion bill to help fight the aftereffects of coronavirus has little to do with fighting Covid-19 and everything to do as a campaign agenda for the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.
Progressive Governing Outline for 2021
Instead, explains the WSJ, the bill’s 90-page executive summary is deadly serious as a campaign agenda for this year, and a governing outline for 2021.
Crippling Private Recovery
Mrs. Pelosi’s new Heroes Act is the clearest evidence so far of what that would be. In its vast scope and cost, the bill essentially attempts to replace the private economy crushed by the shutdown with government programs—old, new and expanded.
It uses the economic damage caused by the government shutdowns as an opening for a huge expansion of the welfare state that would keep millions of Americans on the government payroll into 2021 and make the private recovery that much slower.
Included in the $3 Trillion Bill
- $175 billion for housing assistance.
- $160 billion for repealing the $10,000 cap on deductible state and local taxes. (The cost estimates are from Andy Laperriere at Cornerstone Macro.) This is the first step in repealing the 2017 tax reform. The individual and corporate tax increases come next year.
- $600 in unemployment insurance for another several months through Jan. 2021. This means that about half of the U.S. workforce will earn more by not working than returning to their jobs. It guarantees that the jobless rate, which may reach 20% in May, will stay high through the rest of the year. Democrats can then blame Donald Trump for the high unemployment their legislation sustains.
- $1,200 rebate checks to individuals, this time including a similar amount for up to three dependents. The cost: about $383 billion. This is best understood as the down payment on a guaranteed annual wage that will be part of the House Democratic agenda next year.
- $25 billion blank check for the U.S. Postal Service.
- Cheap financing for the marijuana industry gets, although it’s still a felony to sell pot in most of the country.
- $3.6 billion for elections coupled with a command to the states to allow 15 days of early voting. This is part of the House plan for federal control of state election law that the Senate killed.
Not Included in the $3 Trillion Bill
Nada to fund the Paycheck Protection Program for small business.
So don’t help private businesses keep workers on the payroll, but do keep people for longer on the government payroll. It also mandates paid family leave by businesses through the end of 2021 and removes the small-business exemption. Democrats will make this permanent in 2021.
What’s at Stake in November
If Republicans want to stop this, they’d better start educating voters that these are the election stakes if Democrats win in November.