Big Government COVID-19 Economy

Porktacular – The COVID “Relief Bill” That Enriches Big Business And Other Countries

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A deal was made last night on a $900 billion dollar spending bill ostensibly to provide relief from the economic devastation lockdowns have caused. The headline for most Americans is that it will provide direct payments of $600 to every adult who makes less than $99,000 a year and offers some small business assistance in the form of retention funding and another round of the much-maligned PPP (and forgiveness on the first one as well).

In short, what you are being told is that since the government forced you out of work, closed your employer, and put many out of business forever, they will now give you $600 to shut up and appreciate what they are doing for you. But that is not the full story. A ridiculous spending bill of 5,593 pages in length is what is being passed and it doesn’t take a lot of flipping through to see that, while some consideration of domestic relief was considered, it also contains a disgustingly large amount of “pork” spending. 

A few highlights:

  • $300,000,000 to support “migrants and refugees”
  • $20,000,000,000 to the USPS
  • $300,000,000 to the Endowment for the Arts
  • $300,000,000 to the Endowment for the Humanities
  • $300,000,000 to PBS/NPR
  • $520,000,000 to fund administration costs at the Social Security administration 
  • $25,000,000 FOR CLEANING SUPPLIES at the capitol
  • $20,000,000 to create a “National Museum of the American Latino”
  • $20,000,000 to the Smithsonian Institution 
  • $700,000,000 for Sudan
  • $40,000,000 for the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts
  • $453,000,000 for Ukraine
  • $3,300,000,000 for Israel
  • $10,000,000 for “gender programs”
  • $15,000,000 for Pakistan (actually mentioned in the same paragraph as the gender programs and no one knows why…)
  • $505,925,000 for Beliz, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama
  • $1,482,000,000 for something called the Indo-Pacific strategy and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018
  • $130,000,000 for Nepal
  • $85,000,000 for Cambodia 
  • $134,000,000 for Burma (didn’t this become Myanmar in 1989?)
  • $200,000,000 so federal HIV workers overseas can buy new cars
  • $1,300,000,000 to Egypt
  • $8,000,000,000 to the military in spite of coming just days after the defense reauthorization act was approved
  • $208,000,000 to update the Census Bureau’s computer systems
  • $82,000,000,000 for schools that aren’t even open
  • $7,000,000,000 for “broadband”

As well as miscellaneous funding for:

  • Discouraging youths from “at-risk behaviors like drinking, sex, and drug use
  • The education of consumers about the dangers associated with using or storing portable fuel containers near an open flame

If they had passed a clean bill it would have been in the neighborhood of $611 billion, which is still a lot of money. The thing is if you asked most Americans, “would you rather steal your children’s future earnings (as we outlined in detail here), or simply get back to work”, most of us would choose the latter. If you are outraged by this article, you should be. Congress forgot a long time ago that it wasn’t their money. People suffered terribly and for no reason, while they collected their salaries and pretended to negotiate. And people are still suffering while those in government are still getting paid. I would encourage all of you who read this when you see an incumbent’s name on a ballot, ANY incumbent, remember this article.

Look up your representatives here, then give them a call and let you know how you feel. Let us know how you feel, too, in the comments section below.