Despite early signs of hope, it now appears certain that there will be no second stimulus check coming for us in 2020. I am here to tell you that the government owes us all another check, and more. You may not realize it, but you have been subsidizing bad economic policy for years. Here are some of the hidden subsidies that have been quietly eating away at your wallet, preventing you from retiring early, and enjoying your life. It is time for the government to make us whole and stopping using the taxpayer as their meal ticket.
Reason 1) Misguided trade wars orchestrated by the President are adding hidden taxes to the things you buy, depressing American wages, and causing job losses. I have written about this disastrous trade policy in detail here. But the long and short of it is: US consumers are paying hidden sales taxes on goods, while the total US trade deficit has continued to climb, and US exports to China (the world’s largest market) have plunged 18%. The Tax Foundation agrees, estimating that Trump’s trade war has cost as many as 400 thousand full-time American jobs and pushed down wages. While economically destructive for most, the trade tariffs are often aimed at currying favor (read votes) with certain groups in swing states. In short, we are paying to help secure votes for Trump.
Reason 2) Your tax money is being siphoned off by farmers. There is no less blunt way of putting this. Farmers are a significant voting block for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Since farm exports to China are falling as a result of Trump’s trade war, the Trump administration has been funneling taxpayer dollars toward affected farmers in the form of handouts to keep them loyal. $5 billion of our taxpayer money was paid to farmers in compensation in 2018, with an additional $14 billion in 2019, and another $16 billion so far this year. That $16 billion is on top of normal government subsidies, bringing the total to $33 billion so far this year. But even that eye popping bribe isn’t enough for some lawmakers hungry for rural votes, as they are prepping another $50 billion in taxpayer-funded pork, I mean, bailouts. Again, you and I are paying for people to vote for Donald Trump again. Call me crazy, but if you voted against your own interest, as about 75% of farmers did, should you not bear the brunt of the cost yourself?
Reason 3) Mismanagement of the pandemic. There are no denying at this point the United States has handled this pandemic about as well as Epstein handled prison. Unlike virtually all other developed nations, we have been unable to climb out of the first wave of infections, with over 200,000 deaths and trillions of dollars of economic damage. What is often lost in the lockdown debate is that fact that if the US government had taken leadership a few weeks earlier, imposed a national lock-down/mask mandate (instead of calling it a hoax) the economic damage would have been far less severe. Even a simple national mask mandate could save up to $1 trillion. This is such a no-brainer, even Qanon followers might understand it.
My Message to Congress and the President
First, it is imperative that we immediately halt illogical policies that hurt American jobs and livelihoods. Second, take the pandemic seriously and put forth a national mask mandate before flu season starts. Finally, pay reparations to Americans for your inept response and mishandling of the economy for four years. I find it no surprise that Congress was able to easily pass no less than FIVE Covid-19 relief bills from March through June, but as soon as the stock market recovered to record highs, suddenly has no money to deliver more relief for Americans. This crony capitalism must end.
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