Thursday, March 26, 2020

The High Price of Coronavirus Relief

Congress rarely does anything that isn't messy, so let's stipulate that a $2 trillion bill written on the fly in a week will be loaded with waste and a lifetime supply of unintended consequences.

The bill includes $250 billion for $1,200 payments to Americans whether or not they're affected by the virus.

The bill spends $150 billion to pad the mismanaged budgets of state and local governments in Albany, Sacramento and elsewhere-no strings or oversight attached.

Congress did what it always does and used a crisis to pack the bill with spending the Members couldn't get through a normal budget.

The good news is the bill provides urgent money for emergency medical supplies to hospitals, to make ventilators for virus patients and protection equipment for doctors and nurses, and to support researchers looking for new therapies and perhaps a vaccine.

As important, the bill provides crucial liquidity to businesses that have had their revenue reduced or eliminated by the national lockdown.

The Senate bill does include some of Chuck Schumer's last-minute demands for "Oversight" and "Transparency," as if Congress doesn't already have the power to guarantee both.

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