Coronavirus

To Fight Coronavirus, Trump Wants a Trillion-Dollar Stimulus That Could Make the Crisis Worse

Trump wants a poorly targeted, budget-busting payroll tax that might encourage sick people to work.

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In last night's address to the nation about the government's response to coronavirus, President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass a payroll tax holiday that would last through the end of the year.

The proposal, as explained by the administration, would eliminate the collection of both individual and employer payroll taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare. The idea, administration officials say, is to stimulate the economy by giving workers bigger paychecks.

You might be wondering: Isn't this just a tax cut that allows people to keep more of their own money? Not exactly, at least if funding for Social Security and Medicare continues, as administration officials have suggested. From a budgeting perspective, cutting off a dedicated revenue stream while continuing to spend as if it still existed is the same as sending out checks. Like other forms of fiscal stimulus, Trump's proposed tax holiday would disburse money while vastly increasing the deficit.

The plan could result in $840 billion in lost revenue if it lasted through the end of 2020, and more than $1 trillion if it lasted a full year, according to an estimate by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget—more than the stimulus package passed in 2009 under President Barack Obama. Trump, in essence, is proposing a nearly $1 trillion fiscal stimulus plan designed to prop up an economy in crisis.

It's likely to fail on just about every level: Not only would it push the already high federal budget deficit to unprecedented levels, but it would also offer little help to those who need it most, wouldn't address the underlying economic or health issues, and might even exacerbate the crisis. Trump's proposal isn't a response to the current crisis so much as an anti-response—a policy that wouldn't solve anything and could make existing problems even worse.

Under Trump, annual budget deficits, which trended downward during President Obama's second term, have climbed faster than previously projected, thanks to a combination of increased spending and tax reductions. Budget deficits are now projected to come in at $1 trillion or more for the foreseeable future. With a payroll tax holiday in place, the annual deficit would close in on $2 trillion, according to The New York Times—far higher than the $1.4 trillion record set under Obama in the aftermath of the recession.

Debt and deficits are already a drag on economic growth. That's why the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) currently expects growth to slow in the coming years, in large part because of the drag of high debt and deficits. To fight an economic slowdown, in other words, Trump wants to implement a policy that would have a negative effect on growth.

High debt and deficits present other risks as well: In particular, they limit the tools that policy makers have to respond to a crisis, which is exactly what we are in now. For years, the CBO has been warning that running an economy on borrowed money carries systemic risks during moments of crisis. Trump's plan would exacerbate those risks.

Then there's the issue of targeting: Policy responses should be designed to help people who need it the most. In this case, that means low-income workers, especially those in the service, travel, and hospitality industries, many of whom rely on tips. The workers who face the brunt of the impact are, more than likely, going to be out of work or working reduced hours. The biggest effect of a payroll tax holiday would be to put cash in the pockets of people who still have jobs.

And that, in turn, could lead to a different problem: If anything, a payroll tax holiday, which boosts the reward to work, could encourage struggling workers to go to work, even when they should be staying home. The effect probably wouldn't be huge, but, in theory, it could increase the spread of coronavirus by creating an incentive for people to go to the office when they should be isolating themselves.

That Trump and his advisers have settled on a payroll tax holiday as their preferred response is both telling and worrying since it suggests they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the crisis. Although closures and cancellations brought on by the virus will undoubtedly result in substantial economic damage, the coronavirus is, at its root, a crisis of community health.

The nation's health system is at risk of being overwhelmed, with hospital beds and ventilator equipment becoming scarce, as is currently happening in Italy. The most effective tools for mitigating its impact are physical distance and rigorous personal hygiene, which can slow the spread of the disease and reduce the strain on the health system. A payroll tax holiday treats the coronavirus as if it is an ordinary economic downturn; it isn't.

Up until this week, Trump has viewed the coronavirus primarily as an economic (and thus political) threat. He has also been slow to grasp the severity of its impact. The insistence on the payroll tax, which would at best be ineffective and could well be counterproductive, is yet another sign that he still does not fully grasp the nature of the problem.

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  1. The insistence on the payroll tax, which would at best be ineffective and could well be counterproductive, is yet another sign that he still does not fully grasp the nature of the problem.

    Cheer up, Peter! He’s considering banning travel within the U.S.

  2. Considering all future liabilities are somewhere between $60 trillion and $200 trillion through this century, a payroll tax cut is the least of your problems. But I forget we’re on the all virus, all Trump, all the time network. You should hire Joy Behar.

    1. “Payroll tax cuts are stealing from the government, now it can’t afford its socially responsible budgets” – Neo-Reason

      Time to rename this mag Salon II.

      1. ‘Steamy from the government’……..

        God damn………

      2. I agree. Calling a tax cut a “stimulus” tars what Reason should be celebrating – less taxation. Suderman doesn’t consider that this might lead to spending cuts for obvious reasons.

        Instead of celebrating a temporary cut to the regressive payroll tax, it seems the Reason staff has a case of TDS. This isn’t a stimuls that involves government taxing and spending more, as under Obama. It’s a starve the beast tax cut.

        Apparently cutting spending is so far off the table that Suderman can’t mention it as an option.

        Right, Salon defends big government, and so is Suderman. I’ll have to reconsider my donation to Reason in my will.

  3. Coronavirus can trigger a new industrial revolution
    The disease could be the shock we need to harness new technology and new ways of working
    Ed Conway
    Thursday March 05 2020, 5.00pm GMT, The Times
    Don’t take this the wrong way but if you were a young, hardline environmentalist looking for the ultimate weapon against climate change, you could hardly design anything better than coronavirus.
    Unlike most other such diseases, it kills mostly the old who, let’s face it, are more likely to be climate sceptics. It spares the young. Most of all, it stymies the forces that have been generating greenhouse gases for decades. Deadly enough to terrify; containable enough that aggressive quarantine measures can prevent it from spreading. The rational response for any country determined to prevent loss of life is to follow China’s lead and lock down their economy to stem its spread.
    And so airlines are cancelling flights; companies are scrapping travel. Factories in China and, presumably soon in Europe, are being mothballed. The chimneys which once belched smog into the skies of Beijing and Shenzhen are smoking no more. Perhaps you saw the satellite map produced by Nasa showing that pollution across China, usually visible in dense patches blanketing the country, has almost entirely gone.
    Hardcore climate activists have long railed against economic growth and in the months ahead they may have their wish granted as GDP growth from China to Europe and the US is hammered by coronavirus.

    1. Italy’s overwhelmed coronavirus doctors are being forced to choose between who lives and who dies during the spiralling crisis.

      Older or sicker patients are being given inadequate care and left to die so doctors and nurses can focus on patients who are younger and more likely to survive.

      Compared to wartime guidance, the grim advice highlights the moral dilemmas for staff at hospitals which are unable to cope with so many patients and not enough workers, beds or equipment.

      Patients who have a limited number of “life years” left, even if they could survive, should be left to die, they have been told.

      1. Slave New World!

      2. So…Death Panels?

    2. These people are fucking sick.

    3. All hail the new subsistence farming economy!

      And communal, collective farms are out since we want to avoid clusters of people.

  4. But it’s popular. Panem et circenses.

  5. Has Paul Krugman weighed in on this?

    1. Yes! We need to mint some trillion-dollar coins! Maybe put Krugman’s face on the coins to honor his Brilliant Idea!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillion-dollar_coin

      1. Right but you eat shit

  6. payroll tax = “trillion dollar stimulus”?

    come the fuck on

    1. ugh, *payroll tax cut

    2. Yea, but by phrasing it that way they can advance the progressive, anti-Trump agenda and hide their staunch support of internal tariffs.
      Reason is a disgrace

      1. I was eager to see how a Libertarian magazine was going spin a tax cut into “Trump Sucks!”

        Glad to see Suderman wasn’t going to let me down.

        Dear Lord, they’ve gotten ridiculous.

        1. It is a Faustian bargain Reason journos make. They want to maintain access to cocktail parties, clique respectability.
          But, they make themselves look immature, small-minded, & worse, to the readers.

  7. It’s simply a case of everyone pushing their pet projects as a response to a “crisis.” Trump wanted a payroll tax cut before the virus. The Dems wanted paid medical leave before the virus.

    Never let a crisis go to waste.

    1. False equivalency. In this case, one of those responses would actual help, the other not.

      The US has always had a fucked up culture around illness. I’ve always been baffled to see people who have paid sick leave show up to work anyway. We need to stop viewing people who use their sick days as “weak” or “hmmm, maybe we didn’t need them anyway” and start viewing people who come to work sick as “stupid dangerous morons who are inconsiderate of their colleagues”.

      1. “We need to stop viewing people who use their sick days as “weak” or “hmmm, maybe we didn’t need them anyway” and start viewing people who come to work sick as “stupid dangerous morons who are inconsiderate of their colleagues”.”

        Lol. Both responses would be way overkill, and, no I don’t see a lot of the first response. Some people show up, some people don’t. People who show up are not doing that because they imagine it would be “weak” not to, and people who don’t show up aren’t staying home because the common cold is “dangerous.” Most people aren’t living caricatures like that.

        And btw if it is dangerous, their bosses should be asking them to stay home and you shouldn’t be blaming your colleagues, and instead blame your boss for not being more assertive about this.

        I’m guessing, though, if we were to take random Internet people and ask them their opinions about this, the same people freaking out and saying “this is the Bubonic plague and everyone is going to die!” already had the opinion that you do beforehand that all their colleagues who went to work with a cold were “dangerous morons”, and the same people saying this is a total hoax and nothing needs to be done already had the opinion that you’re describing beforehand that not showing up would be “weak”.

        And what we’re seeing play out really is a battle of the People With Important Opinions, lecturing each other about how stupid they are, because They Were Always Right, even before covid-19 was ever a story.

        1. Stop having combined vacation/illness time banks, and you’ll see fewer people coming to the office sick.

          Alternately, there are busy times of the year where even if you had the sick time, you’re putting your job at risk by using it. I don’t know how you change that one.

      2. Yes! And the beauty of paid sick leave is that it doesn’t cost anybody a dime! It’s totally free!

        1. You found that Jackson orchard, didn’t you?

  8. Reason: Actually, taxation is a good thing as long as it’s used to pay for all kinds of handouts.

    1. Of course the hypocrisy of it all doesn’t even faze them, in fact hypocrisy defines them.
      But maybe it’s not so much hypocrisy as it is a form of psychosis, an egotistical imbalance serious enough to require help, a superiority complex of substantial proportions that negates introspection but protects them from thought.

  9. Here is what is going to happen with this, everything will be back to normal by May 1. I say that not because I have any idea how well the spread of this virus will be controlled; I don’t. I say it because things will have to return to normal. People will not sit in their houses and refuse to leave or refuse to do what they normally do forever. Eventually they will just adjust to the new level of risk and go back to living their lives.

    Think of it this way, before the invention of antibiotics things like strep throat were untreatable. What is the mortality rate of untreated strep? I bet it is significantly higher than the mortality rate for the latest Kung Flu. And human beings somehow managed to build and run entire civilizations through ages where getting sick created a real possibility of death in a way unknown to us today. So, even if the virus runs wild, people will in a very short time adjust to the risk and return to their normal lives. They will have to. The risk of getting a flu that has a 5% mortality rate is not enough to justify losing your job and your way of life.

    At a micro level, Major League Baseball isn’t going to give up and go out of business, nor will the cruise lines or Broadway or anyone else. They will in a few weeks go back to normal business and their customers will follow.

    1. Disagree. There will be a new normal that involves a hell of a lot more streaming content.

      1. Nope. People will still want to get out of the house.

      2. So the exact trend known as “normal” now will continue.
        Great point.
        Really glad you spoke up.

      3. I, for one, can’t wait to see how the porn industry capitalizes on coronavirus.

        1. “ma’am my team is here to check you and your friends for coronavirus. this shouldn’t take less than four hours.”

          1. Going viral, heh heh.

        2. HuffPo put up an article about how the sex work industry is being hurt the most by covid-19, so I guess the porn industry will get the windfall.

          1. Reddit has a thread about the affect on cuckolding. Coronavirus 2020; whores and their cuckolds hardest hit.

            1. Well HuffPo is also reporting there’ll be an increase in domestic violence as people stay indoors. So I guess the cuckolds will beat up their wives.

              A lot of really serious journalism on this. Out of Civic Responsibility, of course, not out of the need for ratings or clicks.

              On the other hand, Breitbart is showing videos of monkeys fighting for food in Thailand as there are less tourists to steal food from.

              1. On the other hand, Breitbart is showing videos of monkeys fighting for food in Thailand as there are less tourists to steal food from.

                *This* is the kind of serious, intensive research that I come to the Reason comments for.

                Seriously. 🙂

                1. Enjoy the monkey video 😀 I think its a good break from all the serious, serious, serious reporting that’s not about ratings in any way at all.

    2. John….I think you are mistaken about this = everything will be back to normal by May 1. Please understand, I want you to be right. But I don’t see a May 1 date in the cards, unless you mean May 1, 2021 for normalcy.

      I think there will be a lot of funerals, mostly for the elderly.

      1. Maybe. But those who are not sick will return to living their normal lives. They have to.

        1. We have ‘recent’ epidemics to compare this too. Like polio and such. We didn’t shut down the World Series for polio, and polio sounds a hell of a lot nastier than this thing.

          People will adjust, old people will croak, the death rate will go to something like 10-11 per 1,000 vs last year’s 8.5 per 1,000, and life will go on.

          1. It’s just a shame that the virus doesn’t biologically target progressives. I’m not sure how that would work, but anything that thins their herd is good for America.

            1. Actually if you look at a map of its early spread that was precisely what it was doing. Targeting leftist progressives, communists and islamists.

    3. The problem I’m seeing is all the service sector jobs that rely on theses games and festivals and plays. In their absolute panic over a relatively benign virus, these “leaders” are completely screwing those people over.

      If I believed in conspiracy theories I’d wonder if democrats weren’t trying to intentionally rank the economy. I just don’t think they’re smart enough to do it without bragging.

      1. God damn you mfers. You’ll never wake up.

    4. This site needs a like button for posts like yours John.

  10. Last paragraph says it all.

  11. “Doesn’t understand the nature of the problem.” Leave off the last half of that sentence and you explain his entire administration.

    To expect anything coherent from him is laughable. I’d say grandpa is asleep at the wheel but I’m not sure he even knows where the wheel is.

    1. “I’d say grandpa is asleep at the wheel but I’m not sure he even knows where the wheel is.”

      But enough about Joe Biden.

      1. Biden plans to fight this virus by implementing a plan trump already implemented. Go joe!

        https://pjmedia.com/trending/joe-biden-blasts-trumps-coronavirus-response-then-plagiarizes-trumps-plan/

        1. Biden is a drooling idiot. And it’s obvious most of the progtard tools that write for Reason are gong to vote for him.

    2. So many high fives from your bubble mates on that one.

    3. He understands it’s his job to cure the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, raise the dead, and solve all the problems in the world. And if he turns out to be really shitty at the job, well, by God we’re just going to keep electing new politicians who can get the job done.

      But don’t you dare suggest for one second that looking to government to solve all the problems in the world is a really dumb idea, all these people who base their entire religious belief on the theory that with the right Top Men in charge we can achieve Paradise here on Earth tend to get testy when you criticize their chosen Lord and Savior.

      1. Yeah because everyone always does the right thing in Libertopia. No government is ever needed. Nothing Utopian or religious about that.

        Does your cognitive dissonance ever give you a headache?

        1. John,
          Libertarians =/= anarchists. You really should TRY to understand that.

          1. I would thrilled if we got rid of about 60% of the federal government. Namely the parts not authorized by the constitution. The remainder appears quite tolerable.

  12. >>since it suggests they fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the crisis

    reads more like a counter to the nonsense Pelosi is pushing

  13. How can Reason be upset? How many articles in the last three years has Reason published on Tarrifs being bad? Surely cutting domestic tarrifs on labor should have Reason contributors clicking their heels with joy.

    1. Tariffs are for the little people, as long as they’re Americans

    2. Over the course of the Trump Presidency, I’ve found out that many people who call themselves libertarians really aren’t libertarians, even some who call themselves anarchocapitalists really aren’t anarchocapitalists.

    1. Inslee is an idiot.

      1. Well, that’s true but… well, ok, I don’t have anything for that.

      2. He sure as fuck is. He’s also a giant communist piece of shit.

    2. I think he almost had to. The schools have a lot of teachers over 60 and they were already experiencing staffing shortages. Couple that with parents and media basically pressuring them to do it and holding out might make even the favored ‘D’ candidate unelectable.

  14. If you are depending on government or Big Pharma to save you, you might as well check out now and avoid more pain. The country is ending over the next decade and it will be because of the mass corruption sweeping the nation, not some silly virus..

    1. We’re All Gonna Die Unless Leftists Get Money & Power Part 346,801

  15. Holy shit are we really making the argument that payroll tax cuts are BAD? Where am I?

    1. ^^EXACTLY!! Add on top of that; from my understanding it’s just a delay (holiday) of the tax collection.. Could be wrong.

    2. thiiiiiiiiiis^

    3. Because Trump!

  16. Watching Suderman complain about President Trump’s “stimulus” busting the budget is rich–especially after Suderman opposed President Trump’s push to slash $772 billion from Medicaid, a socialist entitlement program.

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    Add three points to that:

    1) In all of political economy, there is no idea dumber than the belief that the government will someday become so flush with cash that it decides to cut spending. If we ever see them stop spending our paychecks like drunken sailors, it will only be because we stopped sending them so much of our paychecks to spend first.

    If Suderman wants us to offset the President’s tax cuts with spending cuts, then he should get behind the President’s efforts to slash Medicaid eligibility and turn Medicaid into block grants–or maybe he should get behind President Trump’s efforts to make peace with the Taliban and get us out of Afghanistan.

    2) Even Keynesian economics sees government spending as the antidote to the problem of people’s marginal propensity to save during recessions–because the government can be counted on to spend every penny it gets + whatever the markets will lend them.

    This is to say that the economists on the left don’t even believe this shit Suderman is peddling. They’d rather have stimulus of fiscal spending, which is why they oppose cutting taxes at times like this, but they don’t claim cutting taxes will lead to further spending!

    Or maybe Suderman thinks our problem is inflation?! The ten year treasury closed today yielding under 1% at .081%. Surely, not even Suderman would argue that we should be worried about inflation right now.

    3) People on the financial news channels, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business, are all screaming for more spending right now–and President Trump is pushing for tax cuts to go straight into working people’s pockets instead.

    That is amazing.

    The alternative to Trump’s cutting the payroll tax is not an innocuous nothing just like the alternative to Trump winning in November is not an innocuous nothing. The alternative to Trump’s proposal to cutting the payroll tax is TARP II, the sequel.

    Trump may need to give in to some of the demands for spending just to head off some god awful proposals to spend like crazy that are engulfing both parties now just like they did when Bush proposed TARP in October of 2008. Let’s hope there’s as much cutting on employment taxes as possible–which is not only fundamental to libertarian capitalism but also fundamentally superior to the alternatives being screamed for in Congress. If Trump weren’t the president right now, I shudder to think what Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden would do.

    1. You’re expecting an awful lot of consistency from Suderman, I’m not sure what he’s done to deserve that expectation.

      You are correct though, starving the beast is the only effective way to shrink government without resorting to violence. Cutting payroll taxes is an objectively good thing from a libertarian perspective, and I suspect if anyone other than Trump was proposing it we’d be seeing support for the idea from Reason contributors. TDS has rotted their brains out though, so we get articles like this one.

      1. To say that high deficits make tax cuts wrong is to say that the government can unilaterally create a greater moral claim to your money by spending money. No. Deficits create a need for spending cuts.

        1. The Democrats oppose cutting the payroll tax–because it will reduce their ability to spend, and they want more government spending to address the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

          I guess Suderman thinks they’re crazy?

          Meanwhile, yeah, the moral argument against payroll taxes is fundamental. The idea that you owe the government money because you earned it is rife with authoritarian and socialist morality.

          Hatred of Trump makes people say the silliest stuff. I haven’t seen people make fools of themselves like this over a politician since Reagan and Thatcher–so Trump must be doing something right.

          1. Ken, I guess if you wanted to stimulate the economy, you’d want more money immediately into more hands. A payroll tax holiday would do that. That pushes an immediate 7.65% per check into your hands. Couple that with a tax credit for employee retention, and I think it could be quite effective in holding off the worst economic effects.

            I prefer that approach (payroll tax holiday, tax credit) to the Team D alternative, which seems to be a smorgasbord of social spending, administered by an even larger administrative bureaucracy. No thanks.

            To me, the difference in approach really accentuates the ideological differences between Team R & Team D. I know this much: I absolutely don’t want a TARP 2!

            1. I suspect the primary reason the Democrats oppose suspending the payroll tax is because they’re hoping the economic impact of the coronavirus will hurt the economy and, thus, the chances that swing voting Democrats in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will vote for Trump in November–and they don’t want Trump’s cut in payroll taxes to get in the way of getting Biden elected in November.

              I suspect the primary reason Trump wants to suspend payroll taxes through December 31st of 2020 is because he thinks it will maximize his chances of being elected despite whatever is going on in the economy because of the coronavirus–and I have no problem with that. I want politicians to win elections because they do things like cut payroll taxes. That’s a perfectly legitimate reason to vote for one candidate over another–because in the aftermath of being economically blindsided, the incumbent slashed payroll taxes instead of bailing everyone out with huge stimulus spending.

              If the Democrats and Biden oppose cutting payroll taxes to boost consumer discretionary spending for the sake of the economy and help shore up the demand for unskilled labor by cutting the cost of employing them through the end of the year, then they should say so. They usually claim tax cuts only favor the rich. If they oppose cutting payroll taxes for average working American so they can bail out their favorite industries in a big way, then they should say so.

              1. Democrats definitely want the money in their hands for all their bullshit spending plans pursuant t their progressive agenda. They give fuck a about any health concerns.

            2. “I absolutely don’t want a TARP 2!”

              I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, . . . sometimes it takes an egotistical ass.

              When you just threw a pick six in the Superbowl, and you’ve got two minutes and no time outs left on the clock, and all your fans are booing you–and the half the country is watching and hoping that you’ll crack under the pressure? What you need in that situation is an egotistical ass.

              When you need World War II fighter pilots to risk their lives so that those Japanese Zeroes don’t sink your carrier group, you don’t want guys that never cause any trouble in the bar because they never tweet anything obnoxious about anybody. You want egotistical asses who look forward to putting their lives at risk to save America–because they think they’re the best fighter pilot in the world.

              I once worked in a hospital where they would do high risk surgeries on children. Those surgeons were the most egotistical asses I’ve ever met in my life, but the kind of guy who breaks open a child’s ribs and cuts into a child’s heart with total confidence? That isn’t necessarily the kind of guy that’s fun to have over to watch football. What you need in that situation is not someone with a good bedside manner. What you need is an egotistical ass.

              If we don’t want TARP2? It’s gonna take the kind of president who when everybody in both the Democratic and the Republican party is screaming for TARP2, when his own advisers are telling him that TARP2 is absolutely necessary, when the market is crashing and it looks like the economy is coming apart at the seems? If we don’t want TARP2, in that situation, what we need is an egotistical ass.

              I’m hoping President Trump is that kind of an egotistical ass.

              1. Egotism has nothing to do with it.

                You bring up two examples. Warriors and medicals. Both of those in the best of circumstances have an ethical code. They are not the same codes at all yet they coexist because each understands the other. They are guilds. There are rules. It takes dedication and sacrifice to get to pediatric thoracic surgeon or F-15 pilot.

                Donald Trump. What code does he have? Belief in yourself is not a code of ethics.

                1. It sure as fuck is.

                2. The quarterback needs to ignore the fact that half of America wants him to lose and his own fans are booing him after making a mistake.

                  The fighter pilot needs to believe that he can get himself out of any situation–no matter how many planes the Japanese sends against him and despite the fact that his life is on the line.

                  The surgeon needs to do what’s in the best interest of the child regardless of the pressure of knowing that a small mistake could kill a child, ruin him financially, and destroy his life.

                  In all cases, they’re supposed to do what they’re supposed to do despite all the pressure.

                  President Trump was elected by populists to as a reaction to elitism. That’s his morality. Not many people can hold their ground against both parties of Congress and his own advisers, even as the economy falls to pieces around him, but standing up for working Americans despite all the intense pressure from the media and his campaign advisers requires a certain something, and it seems to be the same thing that people are talking about when they describe an egotistical ass.

                  That’s what’s necessary when everyone else in the world except the president wants TARP II–and egotistical ass that won’t cower to the pressure to sell average people short just because 100% of the elitists out there are saying it’s what needs to be done.

              2. “Ya see, there’s 3 kinds of people in this world, chuck. Dicks, pussies and assholes……..”

                Haha

                1. Those are not kinds of people. Those are body parts. None of them frighten me.

  17. What an idiot –

    Stephen King decries comparisons between coronavirus and his pandemic novel The Stand

    “No, coronavirus is NOT like THE STAND. It’s not anywhere near as serious. It’s eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions,” he said.

    This is not how you sell books!

    1. He mentioned the book, didn’t he?

      Anyway, unless he’s made some really crappy investments, or blew everything on medical care after his accident, I surmise he has a lot of money from the Stand and all his other works.

      1. I’m sure he’s set for life, but think of how many more copies he’d sell if he called it a survival guide? A prophecy, even!

        Do you think Gene Simmons is just sitting back enjoying his millions? No. He’s figuring out the margins on KISS surgical masks as we speak.

        1. Or Station 11 or Lucifer’s Hammer.

      2. Stephen King makes more money writing ‘boo!’ On a cocktail napkin than most people make in a year. And the guy is one of the most prolific fiction writers, not counting stroke books, in modern story.

    2. “Just wait until the rushed vaccine results in ‘I Am Legend’!”

      1. Nah.. we’ll all be living underground like worms, and the earth will belong to animals. A future government will send time travellers back to collect samples of the original virus. With a last minute-twist that some in the government were complicit in the creation of the virus and are using time travel to ensure it.

    3. Captain. Trips. Bitches.

  18. Trump and Pence should resign. What a fucking disaster.

    1. Maybe they should just blame the whole pandemic on a YouTube video.

    2. You are boring, and an asshole.

      1. Is he a sock of the child rapist, or the Marxist that defaulted on is mortgage?

        1. Child rapist.

    3. “Trump and Pence should resign.”

      Turd should fuck off and die for the benefit of the world in general and kids in particular.

  19. Maybe Congress just wants to pass something quickly so they can go home and quarantine themselves.

    1. I support the full and permanent quarantine of members of Congress.

    1. You call that lightening the mood? Showing us some counterrevolutionary elements?

      /sarc

      1. Compared to discovering toilet paper is sold out everywhere?

        1. Good thing I’ve got a lawn covered in dried oak leaves that I didn’t bother to rake up last fall.

        2. Baby wipes aren’t sold out.

        3. Coronavirus is not disentary. So what the fuck is up with the run on toilet paper?

          1. The USA does not make some of the chemical and materials used in making toilet paper. You sold those jobs to China. The protectionist warned you!
            Now supplies are running out. Its worse in the pacific islands, some have already run out. Its pacific islanders in Australia and America panic buying toilet paper; with the intention to send the stuff, by container, home to the pacific.

            P.S. all of the USA’s penicillin runs out by the end of the month. You don’t make the precursor chemicals, China does and it takes 2 months to grow a batch in a new factory. That myth that you can do free trade with a lying dictator is about to kill people in the USA, etc.

    2. Speaking of angry lesbians, The Pack AD is coming to Boston! I already got two tickets. Anyone interested in joining me on an estrogen-fest?

      1. No.

      2. Jesus Christ how sad.

    3. At some point, all that rage at being discriminated against by the government will dissipate–and since the government isn’t discriminating against them in the form of marriage anymore, you’d think that peak rage may have already come and gone. Theoretically, it should have been dissipating since Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

      I see it as sort of like punk rock kids in 1982 as opposed to people who dress up as punk rock kids in 2020. In the 18th Century, pirates didn’t dress up as pirates. That was just the way pirates dressed. Nowadays, kids dress up as pirates for Halloween, or whatever, but they’re not pirates themselves. In 2010, there were still a lot of gay people who were being actively discriminated against by the government. Nowadays, in 2020, there are a lot of kids who dress up as people who were discriminated against. They wear t-shirts with bands from 1982, and they say “ARRRR!” But they aren’t really punk rock pirates. I’m not sure how angry they really are either, but they like to dress up and go to conventions.

  20. Historians take note: this was the week that the lowlife, scummy, left-wing vermin in the government/media complex decided to stop punishing Trump for getting elected and decided to start punishing the American people for electing Trump in the first place. We all know damn well there’s nothing natural and organic about this absurd hysteria that’s shutting all of America down over practically nothing; it’s all 100% manufactured for political purposes.

    “You never want to let a good crisis go to waste.” -Rahm Emannuel

    No indeed Rahmbo. You creeps haven’t changed one bit.

  21. All tax cuts are good.

    Now let us pray.

    Ronald Reagan, who art in Heaven, hallowed by Thy name…

    1. sarcasmic
      March.12.2020 at 6:17 pm
      “All tax cuts are good.”

      Yes they are. Fuck off, slaver.

    2. “All tax cuts are good”

      Yes. Yes they are.
      Oh wait, you’re trying to be sarcastic… Why are you even here?
      …Why is Suderman even here?

  22. Well, the school board just announced they’re canceling school for two weeks due to a rumor that there’s a student’s father who has the coronavirus. Have we lost our minds? Don’t we have flu epidemics just about every year? AIDS, MERS, SARS, Ebola, bird flu, swine flu, one flu over the cuckoo’s nest – we didn’t shut the whole damn country down for any of those. Hell, we didn’t even shut the whole country down when when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, did we? So why the panic now?

    The only difference now that I can see is Trump. The media is whipping up this fake frenzy simply because it’s Trump. They’re trying to induce a Clockwork Orange Man Bad sort of Pavlovian response where everybody feels violently ill if they even hear the name “Trump” or see somebody with a 2-dollar fake spray-on tan.

    Obviously
    , the simplest way to deal with this panic is a murder/suicide pact between Trump and Pence, Pelosi becomes President and I can guarantee you you won’t hear one more fucking word about coronavirus.

    1. Dude. Take a sedative.

      1. He has a point. I don’t remember this level of silly virtue-signalling by public officials during the bird flu. No one would have dared suggest the Obama Administration was doing anything in less than a perfectly altruistic fashion, or that we needed to Shut. Down. Everything.

        What’s the difference?

      2. “Dude. Take a sedative.”
        Dude, stuff it up your ass so your head has someone to talk to.
        Pathetic piece of shit…

    2. Yup. It’s all a big hoax to get Trump. Trump is the world’s biggest victim in all this.

      1. De Oppresso Liber
        March.12.2020 at 11:31 pm
        “Yup. It’s all a big hoax to get Trump. Trump is the world’s biggest victim in all this.”

        Strawman dragged here by the world’s biggest ignoramus.
        Fuck off; we’re tired of both your general idiocy and you TDS. Just fuck off.

    3. Your local school board is deep state, dude. Better home school ’em.

      1. You sound like you were homeschooled by syphilitic pedophiles. Can’t tell if your ass or brain took the harder pounding.

  23. If Police Officers Get the Coronavirus, Who Will Patrol the Streets?

    Libertarian militia?

    “Law enforcement officials say the public should be prepared for interruptions to two basic functions: quick responses to all 911 calls, and the right to a speedy trial.”

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH…..

    1. Those dogs aren’t going to shoot themselves, you know.

  24. at this point it might be less bad to just let the virus run amok, off who it offs, and then lets get back to business as usual.

    1. I’m thinking the same thing. What’s the harm in coronavirus? Oh, it’s going to totally fuck up our society. How are we going to deal with it? Well, first thing, we totally fuck up our society, see………..

      It’s like the Green New Deal – global warming is going to destroy civilization as we know it so we need to destroy civilization as we know it in order to keep that from happening. Or deciding to commit suicide so you don’t have to worry about getting cancer. At some point, you have to at least raise the question of whether the cure might not be worse than the disease.

      1. let the virus run its course. brief economic disruption, followed by a recovery unburdened by the now deceased old and infirm.
        or
        completely fuck up the economy, then have to dig yourself out with the still crushing weight of all those old and infirm you spared.

        aren’t the progs always crying about the ‘greater good’?

        1. The death of people largely out of the productive work force wont have that much of an impact.

          1. i think we’re saying the same thing?

            let the virus get em.

            1. dig yourself out with the still crushing weight of all those old and infirm you spared

              Hoping you won’t have to carry out those “press pillow onto face until inheritance is obtained” plans? Some people fucking drool at the thought of the spoils from their dead relatives apparently.

              1. it has nothing to do with that.

                I merely suggest that trying to stop the virus might end up being worse than just letting it do what it does. What good is saving a bunch of old and sick people if it plunges the economy into a depression? How many working age people might lose their lot in life and never recover? All so grandpa can die in 2 years anyway?

          2. Jesse AZ

            I gave you the benefit of the doubt until now.

            “The death of people largely out of the productive work force wont have that much of an impact.“

            Is that really where you want to stand?

          3. I mean cmon Jesse

            I’m just gettin warmed up here.

  25. Why does Suderman prefer that the private sector pay when the federal government easily could pay.

    The private sector (you and me) can, and often does, run short of dollars. The U.S. government, being Monetarily Sovereign cannot run short of dollars.

    Even if FICA collections fell to $0, the federal government could fund a no-deductible Medicare for all, plus long term care, plus Social Security for all. So why does Suderman want you and me to pay?

    It’s a puzzle that only has one solution: Suderman does not understand Monetary Sovereignty.

    Ignorance has its penalties, that the private sector is paying that penalty.

    1. “It’s a puzzle that only has one solution: Suderman does not understand Monetary Sovereignty.”

      No, it is a puzzle which has the proper solution that Suderman, me, and most commenters here understand that Monetary Sovereignty is a steaming pile of lefty shit, relying as it does, on finding vast new forests of Jackson trees.
      And fucking ignoramuses like you.

  26. These tax cuts should be called something else. Either

    -Tax postponements (we’ll tax your kids and grandkids later)

    or

    -paving the way to total or partial debt repudiation.

    1. No no, according to the trumpistas around here, all tax cuts are good and spending is someone else’s problem. The fact that tax cuts never lead to spending reductions but only more debt, and is the exact kind of thing we used to hate on when Obama was president and Keynesians were fair game doesn’t matter now that a nominal republican is in office.

      1. De Oppresso Liber
        March.12.2020 at 11:29 pm
        “No no, according to the trumpistas around here, all tax cuts are good and spending is someone else’s problem.”

        According to fucking lefty ignoramuses around here, the government owns your wealth, and hoping to keep some of it is a waste of time.
        Fuck off, slaver.

      2. You’re the fucking retard who said there’s no chance of a spending cut.

        Why the fuck would I give them my money, for your priorities? That’s moronic.

      3. Cry more, fucktard.

        And thanks for proving you don’t really care about reducing taxes to help normal Americans, it really puts to lie all your bleating about tariffs.

  27. “Trump wants a poorly targeted, budget-busting payroll tax that might encourage sick people to work.”

    Sick people will decide to work if they get to keep the money that currently goes to payroll taxes? What a load of crap. Find something else to hyperventilate over because that ain’t happening.

    1. Exactly, anyone who needs money so badly that the payroll tax makes that big of a difference is already going to be working while sick

  28. Hey Peter!
    Sit down and shut the fuck up. How the fuck are you still being published on an ostensibly libertarian website and complaining about tax postponement or cuts? It’s not their fucking money!

  29. Trump wants a poorly targeted, budget-busting payroll tax

    No, you lying liar! Tax CUT!!!

    Once was bad enough, but now I see you’re really trying to get readers to believe Trump wants to impose new taxes.

    that might encourage sick people to work.

    Now you’re ust getting ridiculous. Why don’t you complain that the money gives people paper cuts?

  30. Is this a libertarian site? Honestly, I’ve never heard a libertarian who thought the payroll tax was anything but stupid economic policy. Quickest way to take out the “entitlement” programs is to have to pay for them out of the general fund and I thought penalizing work through a payroll tax was considered theft of one’s liberty.

    And you have to love the ding on deficits getting bigger due to tax cuts? Really..it isn’t spending? Has spending decreased under any president in 70 years?

    Besides it’s all MMT by now…heck just get rid of all income taxes at the federal level and fund via the printing press..when inflation hits just raise rates…no I would rather have a sound money no public debt based economy but that is not occurring.

    On the plus side…there is NO way anyone even big govt spenders and Reason “cosmo” writers will continue to support sole sourcing most of our goods and services from China anymore. American Manufacturing might well be very hot in the next few years…about time…

  31. This may be dumb, but Trump must try something.

    Running on ‘hey, I have the market up 11 percent in three years . . . have you noticed I’m not the black guy?’ isn’t much of a campaign slogan.

    1. “This may be dumb, but Trump must try something.”

      If you posted it, it is guaranteed to be dumb. Asshole bigots can not do otherwise.

    2. ???No clingers, replacements, betters, open wider?

      1. Prolly beginning to dawn on the asshole bigot he’s gonna hafta open wide and swallow 4 more years of his better, Trump.
        When you’ve never held a job or produced anything of value, sooner or later it dawns on you that your betters have done so, and that you SUCK; perhaps that’s beginning to sink in.
        And that’s when you begin to understand that you are an asshole bigot.

    3. What black guy?

  32. From the “libertarians for higher taxes” department.

    1. Libertarians for huge budget deficits. Why not just get rid of ALL taxes, according to your logic? The point of taxes is to fund government.

      1. It’s so nice when the bigots show how little they think of people and their hard work.

        Oh, and tariffs are a tax too, but somehow I’m willing to bet you don’t like those.

      2. Nonsense. We’ve all heard the bellowing about how “tax cuts for the rich” are indeed “giveaways”. By that logic, government funds the people. And we’re damn lucky they give us anything at all.

        Haha.

  33. A virus most lethal to the old, how convenient.

    1. We can hope it’s lethal to bigot scumbags; please have your family post of our demise so we can all laugh.

      1. Of *your* demise, scumbag.

      2. That’s what is called a Freudian slip.

        HAHAHA

  34. Public/Media: DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, MR. PRESIDENT!
    President: Ok. Imma ban travel.
    Public/Media: Not that something, anything! We said ‘SOMETHING, ANYTHING!’

  35. As usual we see pure theory smashing its face against reality until it dies a bloody mess. What is the pure free market solution to a pandemic which can kill millions? How do we get from here to the perfect market anarchist nirvana without killing granny? This has always been the question unanswered. Yes there are libertarian solutions but Trump already called for industry and innovation to step up. Some will; most can’t afford to. Things take time in the real world. We do not have ANY time.
    Trump does not give a damn about the budget, financial crowding out, or deficits; that all long term and irrelevant. Its all factored into the inverted yield curves which mean the smart money is on the whole dollar & deficit system being scrapped and replaced at some point with a gold and refinanced debt system.
    If the gold certificate system was not so busted the money would have gone into gold not long term bonds.
    How do you move from fiat dollars to gold with out replacing ALL the banks and refinancing all debt? What does end the Fed mean? Trump has already got most of the legislation though congress and signed it. It awaits only a triggering crisis that breaks the existing system. And look its here!
    When you’re about to declare a bad company bankrupt you do not stop spending.

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  38. Experts predict one million Americans will die from Corona virus, thanks in part to delayed response from Trump administration in getting test kits available. Couple that with the economy, and Trump is done. This is way way more serious than impeachment. One million is catastrophic.

    1. It’s delusional, is what it is.

    2. Experts predict

      Tom Perez is an expert?

    3. Hahahahahaha

    4. I would think Tom Perez is more of a “partisan Democrat with an agenda” than an “expert”…….

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  40. I see all the lolbertarians here a grumbling because Reason is not hewing close enough to their childish ideology. If you lunatics had your way the CDC would not even exist.

  41. He is also implementing paid sick leave. How does a payroll tax holiday encourage people who are sick to go to work when they will still get paid if they don’t???? The payroll tax holiday will not only put additional money in the pockets of workers but will also help small businesses keep their doors open when sales tank because of the virus.

  42. Anytime we cut taxes, we get less money for spending plans. The only difference with payroll taxes is that they go specifically to entitlement plans.

    Trump could give temp basic income to people instead, which would encourage people NOT to work.

    There should be a corresponding cuts to spending to any tax cuts – ideally. But we don’t live in a libertarian world.

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  44. i and reife Frauen talked about it. what can i say – we hope everything will be fine! Take care of yourselves!

  45. I don’t care about all the hell going on around. I just sit locked into my summer house already for two weeks. The only thing that bothers me… I seem to run out of toilet paper..lol..

  46. This is just Trump and Senate Republicans trying to bribe themselves into reelection. Unfortunately, their incompetence has done nothing but undermine the health, safety and future of this country. Their tax legislation, which made them richer and has cost me many thousands of dollars, was just the start of the decline of what was once a just, compassionate and viable government and country.
    The COVID-19 situation will not be rectified by giving people $1200. However, our already outrageous deficit will just be made worse, further endangering our country’s survival. The Trump minions owe me much more than $1200. Maybe they can finance this by repealing the 2017 tax legislation.

  47. In such a terrible situation, they still think only of themselves.
    I think we can only rely on ourselves and our strengths. Take care of yourself.

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