With $600 weekly unemployment benefits expiring in the U.S. Monday, and with cities embracing for a spate of evictions, the Republicans have now finalized their next stimulus package and the White House says it will include another $1,200 check for qualifying Americans, small business tax breaks, reemployment benefits and an extension of the eviction moratorium, among other things.
Senate Republicans are unveiling the law, dubbed ‘CARES Act 2’, today, and then bipartisan negotiations will ensue. The deadline for signing a new stimulus bill into law is August 7th. If it goes past that it will be waylaid by a month-long recess, which Democrats are not likely to risk at this point.
One of the hottest points of debate is the extension of the $600 weekly unemployment benefits that expire this week. Republicans are keen on replacing that with incentives for companies to rehire workers, arguing that many are not returning to work because they are being paid to stay home and that will result in slower economic growth.
Democrats have been pushing for an extension, arguing that the economy is still too weak and that the benefits are still necessary.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to Republican “disarray” over the package, but stopped short of commenting on the Republican plan for unemployment benefits.
The Democrats’ ‘Heroes Act’ sought to install a $600/week unemployment benefit until January 2021, but the Republicans look likely to propose a flat unemployment benefit of $100-$200 per week through the end of the year, according to Forbes.
The Republicans are keen on what they call “return to work” bonuses, with White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on Sunday referring to “retention bonuses” and “tax credits” for small businesses and restaurants, though we have no details on what those would look like yet. But the main idea is to redirect money from unemployed workers to businesses rehiring those workers.
Amid all the talk of the next round of stimulus and another issuance of $1,200 checks for Americans, Elon Musk is chiming in with his criticism of the process, alleging that the next stimulus package will be hijacked by special interests.
Musk made $2 billion last week, so many Americans will naturally feel he is not walking in their shoes, but his point isn’t that the government shouldn’t hand out money; rather, it should hand out money differently.
Nonetheless, he has 37 million followers who tend to heed what he says, regardless.
After reminding his 37 million followers that he is a proponent of a universal basic income, Musk said that another government stimulus package would not be in the best interests of Americans. Instead, Musk says all stimulus money should be handed directly to the consumer because the “goal of government should be to maximize the happiness of the people. Giving each person money allows them to decide what meets their needs, rather than the blunt tool of legislation, which creates self-serving special interests.”
In other words, this is America and consumers should be dictating things.
By Josh Owens for Safehaven.com
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