Coronavirus

Trump Wants $2 Trillion, Pelosi Wants $1 Trillion, for Next Coronavirus Spending Bill

President Donald Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi all agree that a fourth spending bill will happen in April but are haggling over the cost.

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Less than two weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. It's the single-largest spending bill passed in United States history and even though its funds haven't been disbursed, elected officials are already calling for yet more tax dollars to be spent to prop up the economy during an extended lockdown.

Last week, Trump said he wants another $2 trillion in spending, to be devoted to infrastructure, as phase four of the federal response to the pandemic. "It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country!" announced the president via Twitter. For those keeping score, the president has been promising "infrastrcture week" since at least 2017 and Trump's ritualized invocation of shoveling massive amounts of money at roads, bridges, airports, and the like even has its own entry at Urban Dictionary.

Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) announced plans to push for at least another $1 trillion in new spending. From the Associated Press:

On an afternoon conference call with House Democrats, Pelosi told lawmakers at least another $1 trillion would be needed, according to a person unauthorized to discuss the call and granted anonymity.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) has told A.P. "that there will be another package and health care must be at the 'top of the list.'"

Early indicators about the efficacy of the CARES Act and federal efforts to prop up the economy are not promising. On Friday, the Small Business Administration (SBA) botched the online rollout of a loan program and early responses to various bailouts are not heartening. In order to maximize payouts from the government, airlines are flying empty planes and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., notoriously fired 100 musicians "just hours after President Trump signed a $25 million taxpayer bailout for the cultural center."

With Congress adjourned for most of April, it's not clear exactly when the next coronavirus spending bill will be passed, though A.P. says Pelosi has pledged to vote on a new package before the end of the month.

A week ago, I spoke with Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.), a critic of the CARES Act who warned that Congress would soon be voting to spend trillions of dollars more. Watch here:

NEXT: Lincoln Chafee Quits Race for Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination

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  1. The sooner the federal government proceeds to insolvency the sooner libertarians can annex a state and bring about the real great society.

    1. I like your style.

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    3. At most we’ll get a gulch in Colorado or a town in New Hampshire.

    4. Libertarians could render the entire thing a charade by letting go of the dollar and all (or most) of its intermediaries

      Unfortunately, the libertarians who seem to understand that, all seem to believe that if only everyone picks the ‘money’ (bitcoin) currently owned by libertarians/ancaps that everything will be solved. Which is basically just a different Top Man fantasy.

  2. For the NEXT one?!?!?

    Sorry, just spit my coffee all over my screen. Do they mean to say we’ve already spent the first trillion? What did we get out of it? Anything? Anything?

    1. We get assurances that well-connected corporations can use free money to pay their employees to do nothing.

    2. What did we get out of it?

      A giant dick in our asses?

      1. “Thank you, Sir! May I have another?”

    3. I can tell you that the $300 odd billion in SBA programs for small businesses is pretty much guaranteed to run out before all applications are even looked at. Right now it is first come first serve for your trump bux. I’ve applied everywhere I can, but cannot get a response from lenders still. https://qz.com/1833472/paycheck-protection-program-could-run-out-of-money/

      And the stock market is melting up daily on low trade volume and suspicious buy orders placed well over ask price. I guess when the Fed has committed to buying almost $600B in assets per week, asset prices simply cannot fall. Had to go long on BRK-B week before last, but not before learning my lesson with a nice haircut on my puts’ profits.

      This stimulus is unlike anything in history. I don’t know and can’t see what the end game is for the fed and the US dollar here. I guess everything works as long as everyone keeps pretending it does.

      1. Currency reset? Global currency incoming?

  3. I’m against both o them, but I’m not about to say they’re both as bad as each other or that one is worse than the other because it costs more–until I see what they do. The package that helps states like California, Illinois, and New York replenish their out of control pension systems the most, that’s the one I oppose the most. The coronavirus should not be used as an excuse for states to continue to make outrageous pension commitments.

    If an economic collapse isn’t enough to entice to Albany, Sacramento, and Springfield to address the man made catastrophe that is their state employee pension systems, then what will? There will never be a time when those states are so flush with taxpayer revenue that they make cuts to their pension system. The only solution is to leave them to twist in the wind, and that is what we should do.

    1. In the comments over the previous bill you assured us that it was preferable because it wasn’t Keynesian.

      Now Trump is allegedly pitching more traditional Keynesian “stimulus” by spending on infrastructure.

    2. How about we leave red state takers to twist in the wind? Cali is a net donor and that’s even with their high taxes. Imagine if they kept more of their money and could spend it on their pensions or whatever other thing they wanted.

      The real catch is to finally tell red state morons that THEY are the moochers, not the “welfare queens” in cities in blue states.

      1. Libertarians believe in less taking, whether by red or blue states.

      2. People should get to keep more of their money, and there should be less government spending in every state, especially California.

  4. Is Nancy Pelosi fiscally conservative and socially liberal enough to get called “libertarian-leaning” in Reason-speak now?

    1. Longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn would undoubtedly welcome her in our coalition.

      #LibertariansForPelosi

  5. Chances are they’ll compromise and the bill will be for 4 trillion.

    1. Don’t be silly, I’d be willing to bet it’s no more than $3.6T.

  6. do I get another $1200 lol?

    1. I could see them passing another bill with no direct payments to taxpayers. Why bother? The last one had a mere 1/16th earmarked for direct payments, and that sailed through Congress. I suspect people will be getting their checks just as Congress prepares to vote on the next one. It’s the perfect time to be cronyist in the extreme. Then each side can accuse the other of blocking relief to people and get to work on a third stimulus.

      1. shocked they deigned us worthy of our own money back the first time

        1. It wasn’t our money back. It was a new, unfunded liability.

          1. If you consider taxes theft, than any sort of payment from the government is a restitution up to the amount they seized.

            1. I consider taxes as theft.

              However, all spending is a tax. Government can’t create wealth by passing a bill. It’s either paid through revenue now (current taxes), revenue in the future (future taxes), or inflation (taxes on our savings).

              1. Yes yes yes — all government spending is theft, not just the taxation.

              2. The government counts on inflation. It makes it easier to pay off debt with cheaper dollars based on higher income. It is a two pronged hit to the earner, he/she is less able to pay for items and pays higher taxes.

                1. As I like to say, inflation favors those in debt, and nobody is in more in debt than the USG.

          2. If the government is just going to invent money out of thin air I don’t see why I should only get $1200. If $1200 was good, $12,000 would be 10x as good.

            1. soon we’ll be back to $500 ounces dammit.

        2. It’s an anti-revolution check, plain and simple. Here’s $1200 to sit down shut up.

    2. At the cost of this they could have given me back all my 2019 taxes. We’re looking at 3.3 Trillion dollars from these bills.

      Fiscal Year| Revenue
      FY 2017 | $3.32 trillion

      1. i like your idea.

  7. Seeing that pic I now know Trump has caught Democrat cooties. Their is no cure.

    1. Caught it? He always had it.

      1. To be honest, we’re VERY lucky that the Democrats didn’t realize sooner they could get everything they wanted by just kissing his ass.

  8. haggling over the cost.

    Sounds like the punchline of a joke.

  9. What the hell? Go for three. It ain’t real money.
    Just demand Trump explain where all these skilled infrastructure workers are going to come from. Maybe retrain the laid off waitresses, and hope the roads stay flat?

    1. We could pay them below minimum wage and then they could stop every car that passes by for tips?

  10. As long as everyone can agree that the top priority needs to be infrastructure, small business, big business, hospitals, everyone in lockdown, banks, homeowners, renters, and that guy sitting on the bench over there, I’m pretty sure we can keep the next spending bill under $10 trillion or so.

    1. It’s tough to say for sure. This is an election year.

      1. ^^this 100%

    2. You forgot about the children, the college students, those with children or college students, the elderly, the unemployed, the under-employed, and the heroes who still have jobs.

      1. *** meekly raises hand ***

        What about bonuses for the medical and economic leaders?

        1. You’ve got my vote, patriot!

  11. The usual Trump-humpers are a little more quiet today.

    1. Well, it’s pretty difficult, even for total hypocrites, to defend Trump busying himself with massive bail outs and removing oversight from said bailouts.

    2. Give it time. We’ll get the “All spending starts in the HOUSE!” excuse soon enough.

  12. Based on very bad computer models – which the government has doubled down on while knowing their very inaccurate – our economy is trashed. After killing the economy government tax revenues plummet. Then, In response to a government contrived emergency, the feds proceed to accelerate the speed at which the government approaches insolvency. Ultimately this out of control reckless spending falls back on the blank check the government was given with the passage of the 16th Amendment combined with central bank stealing value from the US dollars. Our founders warned us against direct taxation and central banks for precisely these reasons.

    1. The $100,000 question is this: was it standard government incompetence, or a deliberate attempt to “reset” the currency and effectively wipe away all the bad debt, while turning over the rest to the bankers via funny money loans to people forcibly kept from working?

      The net economic result of this is a HUGE transfer of wealth upward, as small businesses go under and huge corporations step in with bailout cash to buy the wreckage. Socialism in action.

  13. OMG!!!! Trump is making Obama look conservative…. This is RIDICULOUS!!!

  14. A trillion here, a trillion there. Soon we’ll be talking about real money.

    1. August 2019 shows 130-million Americans work full-time.
      $4T is $30,770/EACH working person.

  15. This is why I don’t care if Trump loses to Biden. He wants to spend MORE than Pelosi. Most libertarian president indeed. And what the hell is his Keynesian obsession with infrastructure? He’s like an FDR style Democrat.

  16. Any and all infrastructure spending should be paid for by USER FEES aka gas taxes or tolls.

  17. #CancelTheClownShow.

  18. See! They don’t need Bernie to get all of the goodies the progressives want, we only needed to have a good, juicy pandemic to get all of the socialist options on the table, from BOTH parties

    :-/

  19. But how are they gonna pay for it? Where is all this money coming from? How much more is there? Golly.

  20. Suspicion confirmed.

    Trump is even a worse big(ger) government prog and autocrat, than is San Fran Nan.

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