Friday night owls: ‘We’re going to need a bigger bailout’

Friday night owls: ‘We’re going to need a bigger bailout’

Night Owls is a themed open thread at Daily Kos.

Robert Borosage at The Nation writes—We’re Going to Need a Bigger Bailout:

As US deaths from the coronavirus soared past 2,000, and skyrocketing unemployment claims crashed state websites, Congress passed the largest economic emergency package in history. Though absolutely necessary, the legislation is also, as Republican Senator Ben Sasse, inspired by his Vermont colleague Bernie Sanders, put it, “a big crap sandwich.” Billed as a $2 trillion package, it will actually shovel some $6 trillion toward countering the economic collapse—and that still won’t be enough.

It could have been worse. Senate Democrats strengthened unemployment insurance for laid-off workers, covering more of them for longer and adding $600 a week to current state levels. They also targeted funds for hospitals and medical supplies—bizarrely absent from the Republican draft—and increased aid to schools, states, and localities.

But don’t be fooled. Beyond these appetizers lies a banquet for corporate predators. The bill provides $500 billion as a backstop for the Federal Reserve to pump trillions of dollars into banks and corporations. With that, the latter will pocket over 80 percent of the total package, while workers and families will get about 8 percent. States, localities, hospitals, and schools will be left with even less.

Democrats revolted against giving Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin total discretion over the package, creating a special inspector general and an oversight committee (which President Trump later said he’d ignore). Progressives had hoped to use this crisis to impose sensible conditions on corporations. Some weak restrictions on executive pay and layoffs survived, along with token forgiveness of interest on student loans and some mortgage protections. But the provisions for a public equity stake in bailed-out companies came with Mnuchin’s authority to waive them. […]

The public should get equity in return for aid so taxpayers can benefit from the upside of any rescue. Medicare should cover all coronavirus testing and treatment costs—an obvious step toward Medicare for All. Forgiveness of student loans, provisions for work sharing, and more must be on the table.

Crisis legislation reflects the balance of power. As the crisis deepens, the response must get bolder, making the debate, and the alternatives, clearer.

If you’re looking for something else to read about how we got where we’re at with the coronavirus, I strongly recommend my colleague Mark Sumner’s A catalog of capital incompetence: The short list of things Donald Trump did to kill AmericaTake your blood pressure medicine first.
If you want something to smile at, although he cheated a little on the headline, check out malapert’s Now it’s safe to feed the chickens their breakfast—a Covid 19 story. 

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QUOTATION

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
           ~~Antonio GramsciPrison Notebooks, 1929-1934

TWEET OF THE DAY

ðÂ�Â�¨SENATE RATINGS CHANGESðÂ�Â�¨ @InsideElections has shifted the following Senate races, all in Democrats’ favor: Colorado (Gardner, R) – Moves from Toss-up to TILT D Maine (Collins, R) – Moves from Tilt R to TOSS-UP New Hampshire (Shaheen, D) – Moves from Likely D to SOLID D pic.twitter.com/fIGdOINKvX

— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) April 3, 2020

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At this at Daily Kos in 2009Republicans Hate Democracy, Episode 532:

We had an election. There were no irregularities with the election. Mark Begich won.

Nobody disputes any of this.

The entire investigation into Ted Stevens’ lawbreaking was conducted by a Republican Justice Department. And naturally enough, the Bush DOJ managed to screw up the investigation. Given that virtually everything the Bushies touched turned to suck, this is no surprise to anyone.

Yet somehow, this is all grounds for overturning a perfectly legitimate election. Because the Republican lost, ya see! And that’s no fair!

After all, Republicans should be rewarded for Republican screwups!

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