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Stimulus Bill’s “Pathetic” $600 Checks and Pork Giveaways Are Savaged on Social Media; Trump, Belatedly, Demands Bigger Checks

Courtesy of Pam Martens

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

President Donald Trump has finally emerged from his consultations on the possibility of retaining the White House by declaring martial law to weigh in on the pandemic relief and appropriations bill that was passed by both houses of Congress and awaiting his signature to become law. Instead of speaking out before 510 members of Congress voted on the sprawling 5,593 page document, Trump waited until last night to post a video on his Twitter page in which he demands that the $600 stimulus checks in the bill be increased and pork removed.

In the video, Trump cited some of the very same foreign loans and pork items that have been savaged on social media over the past two days. (See Tweets below.) Trump finished up the video with this:

“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault, it was China’s fault. Not their fault. I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000 or $4000 for a couple. I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package – and maybe that administration will be me. And we will get it done.”

During his first campaign for the Presidency, Trump sold himself as the great deal maker. Trump is now attempting to renegotiate a 5,593 page deal after 412 members of the House and 98 members of the Senate have already negotiated and voted on its terms. We’ll see how that works out.

While the $600 checks could be easily increased to $2,000 through a standalone measure, exorcising all of the intricate pork would be a far bigger hurdle. For example, thoroughbred racehorse owners who reside in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky might be unhappy with the removal of a special tax break for them that is buried in the bill. The tax provision permits racehorse owners to depreciate the value of qualifying racehorses. The C-suite might also be nonplussed with the removal of what is being called the 3-martini lunch tax provision. It increases from 50 percent to 100 percent the deduction of business-related meals.

Millions of Americans will remember this Christmas as the bleakest moment in their lives. They lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic; they can’t pay their rent or adequately feed their families. They are stressing out over the possibility of getting sick from the virus because their health insurance was attached to their job – both of which are now gone. The $600 weekly unemployment insurance supplement that was part of the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, lasted only four months and ended on July 31. Likewise, the one-time payment of $1200 under the CARES Act has long been exhausted by struggling families living in high-cost America.


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