All things political. Coronavirus Edition. (5 Viewers)

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Maxp

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I fear we are really going to be in a bad place due to the obvious cuts to the federal agencies that deal with infectious disease, but also the negative effect the Affordable Care act has had on non urban hospitals. Our front line defenses are ineffectual and our ability to treat the populous is probably at an all time low. Factor in the cost of healthcare and I can see our system crashing. What do you think about the politics of this virus?
 

J-DONK

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So in addition to this, there is also a little thing McConnell slipped in about creating a commission to investigate all the voter fraud Trump has been ranting about.
It is pretty diabolical really. He can pivot the Democrats refusal to want to vote on this as they don't want people getting the extra $$ etc. We all know most people won't know what else ol' turtle shoehorned in there
He wants Trump to start attacking Democrats instead of him.
 

Taurus

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I believe that you can be pro-family and against the $2000 checks. They are not issues tied at the hip. While everyone would love to get the windfall that the checks would provide, they are not necessarily the best idea for relief. Not everyone who would get a check has been directly affected economically, so some would argue that the best plan would target larger checks to those who have lost jobs, had their incomes reduced, etc. Just as an example, my wife and I will probably file our taxes on around $6000 less than in 2019, but we still have the same jobs. For me, that was entirely thanks to the PPP program, since I would 100% lost my job had the program not provided funds to my employer. So targeting most of the stimulus funds to the PPP program, extended (and increased) unemployment benefits, eviction prevention and similar programs designed to assist those that have a true need are likely to have the most impact and ease the suffering of those most affected.

It is not necessarily heartless to think that an alternative to printing more money is the wiser choice. I'd love to have $4000 dropped into my bank account, but the truth is that I don't need that money as much as others. I would have uses for it, as anyone would, but there are more effective ways to stimulate the economy and ease suffering than to crank up the presses and spit out $8000 checks to a family of four who never lost a dime of income during the pandemic.
Except we don't have time for that.
As soon as you start means testing you A: delay sending checks to people who are about to be on the street. In January. and B: You know damn well the rich will find a way to game it, garnering more for themselves, leaving less for the truly needy.
 

UncleTrvlingJim

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I believe that you can be pro-family and against the $2000 checks. They are not issues tied at the hip. While everyone would love to get the windfall that the checks would provide, they are not necessarily the best idea for relief. Not everyone who would get a check has been directly affected economically, so some would argue that the best plan would target larger checks to those who have lost jobs, had their incomes reduced, etc. Just as an example, my wife and I will probably file our taxes on around $6000 less than in 2019, but we still have the same jobs. For me, that was entirely thanks to the PPP program, since I would 100% lost my job had the program not provided funds to my employer. So targeting most of the stimulus funds to the PPP program, extended (and increased) unemployment benefits, eviction prevention and similar programs designed to assist those that have a true need are likely to have the most impact and ease the suffering of those most affected.

It is not necessarily heartless to think that an alternative to printing more money is the wiser choice. I'd love to have $4000 dropped into my bank account, but the truth is that I don't need that money as much as others. I would have uses for it, as anyone would, but there are more effective ways to stimulate the economy and ease suffering than to crank up the presses and spit out $8000 checks to a family of four who never lost a dime of income during the pandemic.
Some minor corrections - it's only up to $2000 per eligible adult. And an eligible adult is anyone who makes less than $75,000 per year or $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly. So at most a family could get $4000 as long as they make less than $150,000.

Now, I think your point about sending that much money to a family that might not be hurt at all by COVID is valid. Ideally, we'd have a system to replace income/revenue for businesses most directly impacted by COVID restrictions. Basically, if you have a business or you work for a business that is directly effected by lockdowns and restrictions, you get enough money to keep you from losing your business or home. You shouldn't necessarily profit from it, but you should not be forced to close shop because of COVID restrictions - nor should you face eviction, or food insecurity, or foreclosure.

The devil is always in the details. What is the most efficient way to distribute money to keep that from happening? We saw that PPP was abused. I'd be curious to see the amount/percentage of abuse though, because I like it in concept, and I can tolerate a bit of fraud and abuse as long as it's minor and overall it's the most efficient way to help people and the economy.

I'm also curious/concerned about the long term incentives with simultaneously cutting corporate taxes and still bailing them out when the economy is bad. I think there needs to be some sort of understanding that if we're going to keep corporate taxes are low, then it is up to corporations to plan for major economic shocks. In that scenario, I'd rather make direct payments to people to keep them afloat and provide a base of economic demand to allow new companies to arise to take the place of companies who did not adequately prepare for economic risk.

This is more speculation on my part because I haven't really done the math, nor have I read many papers on the more efficient stimulus model in this scenario.
 

Lapaz

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So in addition to this, there is also a little thing McConnell slipped in about creating a commission to investigate all the voter fraud Trump has been ranting about.
It is pretty diabolical really. He can pivot the Democrats refusal to want to vote on this as they don't want people getting the extra $$ etc. We all know most people won't know what else ol' turtle shoehorned in there
I wouldn't care if a commission was formed to investigate voter fraud, but it mustn't be limited to just Trump's claims. It must be broad-based, but it'll probably fail like the other voter fraud investigations which didn't uncover anything systemic. Nevertheless, voting against investigations makes it seem as though you have something to hide, so Democrats should vote for it. That portion of the bill is fine, but the portion that removes liability protections from social media companies is a much bigger problem. I would think even this website would be subject to liability without that protection.
 

efil4

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Some minor corrections - it's only up to $2000 per eligible adult. And an eligible adult is anyone who makes less than $75,000 per year or $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly. So at most a family could get $4000 as long as they make less than $150,000.

Now, I think your point about sending that much money to a family that might not be hurt at all by COVID is valid. Ideally, we'd have a system to replace income/revenue for businesses most directly impacted by COVID restrictions. Basically, if you have a business or you work for a business that is directly effected by lockdowns and restrictions, you get enough money to keep you from losing your business or home. You shouldn't necessarily profit from it, but you should not be forced to close shop because of COVID restrictions - nor should you face eviction, or food insecurity, or foreclosure.

The devil is always in the details. What is the most efficient way to distribute money to keep that from happening? We saw that PPP was abused. I'd be curious to see the amount/percentage of abuse though, because I like it in concept, and I can tolerate a bit of fraud and abuse as long as it's minor and overall it's the most efficient way to help people and the economy.

I'm also curious/concerned about the long term incentives with simultaneously cutting corporate taxes and still bailing them out when the economy is bad. I think there needs to be some sort of understanding that if we're going to keep corporate taxes are low, then it is up to corporations to plan for major economic shocks. In that scenario, I'd rather make direct payments to people to keep them afloat and provide a base of economic demand to allow new companies to arise to take the place of companies who did not adequately prepare for economic risk.

This is more speculation on my part because I haven't really done the math, nor have I read many papers on the more efficient stimulus model in this scenario.
BRAVO.

IF we are expected to "save for rainy days" ( like i have done since starting my career ) how in the world are corps not expected to do the same? Corps that post 1-2B in QUARTERLY revenue that shell out $10s of millions in BONUSES to Executives ALREADY getting 10s of millions in salary.

its insanity.
 

Lapaz

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Did he contract it her

Feel bad for his family. Masks helps though. T&P

Only 1 person in that gathering can be seen wearing a mask. What we don't see is how many hands he shook during that gathering. Were people washing their hands? Also, even though people are largely spaced out, I think the evidence shows that that isn't enough when indoors, particularly if people are walking around, which undoubtedly they were during the gathering to greet each other.
 

Taurus

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Correct. Trump, per usual, has no idea what he’s actually talking about.
I still think the Dems should call the turtle's bluff.
"Sure, Mitch. Let's create an election fraud commission. It'll be run by Joe Biden, you know. Remove protections for social media sites? Why not? You'll be begging to have them restored once those fat donations dry up."

All of the 'poison pills' I'm aware of are only relevant to Trump and only matter while Trump is politically relevant. Which is for another month.
 

JRad

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Remove protections for social media sites? Why not? You'll be begging to have them restored once those fat donations dry up."
On the surface, I’d be totally fine with that too. The problems being the social media sites being throw into disarray at a time when so much disinformation is flying around probably ends up being a net negative (though I wouldn’t lose any sleep if Facebook shut down). Then you have to actually put protections back in place from zero, as opposed to tweaking the current law.
 

Richard

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My boss got over half a million in free federal PPP money to cover payroll for three months for a business that never actually shut down. I think people who actually work getting $2,000 will be okay.
I can’t speak to the circumstances of your business, but the one I work for, the PPP money covered salaries for three months allowing 1/3 of our employees to remain employed. We never missed a paycheck, even while the business was absorbing massive losses of revenue and profits. The monthly bills still had to be paid with little to no income from March through August. Had business not substantially improved from August through the end of the year, the 1/3 of us might still have lost our jobs. And if COVID-19 caused another shutdown or if schools close for an extended period here or if a new round of PPP isn’t available to my employer, we could still lose our jobs.

But for now, we haven’t lost a substantial amount of income in the past year and there are those who have. It would make more sense to me to target relief to those people and to protect the jobs of those working for companies that want them, but can’t afford them without help. From what you revealed, your company received payroll assistance; they didn’t just add that amount of money to their bottom line. The only ones who made money through the PPP are the ones who committed fraud by not retaining workers or not paying them. I hope that those companies pay a stiff penalty for their wrongdoing.
 

Saint by the Bay

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I personally think we have to have a Senate run bi-partisan election fraud commission to put the lies to rest. They aren't going to find any widespread fraud, but it needs to happen regardless. I mean, most of the people who believed it happened will just claim they are all owned by China as they have done with the likes of Barr and McConnell, but I think someone has to make some official clearing of the election for the history books.

Section 230 really confuses me. I don't understand why Republicans are pushing so hard to force social media platforms to be even more aggressive in censoring the lies and conspiracy theories when 80% of the nonsense comes from their side. Revoking Section 230 would turn Parlar and MeWe into ghost towns or those platforms will be sued out of existence. I'm sure I'm missing something about it.
 

DJ1BigTymer

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There's a new strain of the virus that is spreading rapidly across the UK which, according to early reports, is 70% more infectious.




Meanwhile in the US, trump has his head up his arse crying about the election he has lost over fifty times now and he has not even addressed this latest threat. It time for the rest of the world to come to our aid by calling out his incompetence, because it clear to me that there are at least 70+million of us that just refuse to see it.
TOO LATE, AGAIN!!!


(CNN)Health officials in a Colorado county believe they've found a second local case of a coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom -- one that experts have said may be especially contagious.
That news Wednesday came a day after the first known case of the variant in the US was announced in Elbert County.
Both the confirmed case and the suspected instance involve National Guard members who had been working at the Good Samaritan Society assisted living facility in Simla, about 45 miles northeast of Colorado Springs, health officials said.
Neither are residents of Elbert County, and they are isolating outside the county, health director Dwayne Smith said. There is "no indication at this point" that this event has gone beyond the facility and into the larger community, he said.


The men were part of a team of six Guard members deployed to the Good Samaritan Society--Simla after a recent outbreak of Covid-19 caused a staff shortage.
And then, there's this:


The federal government's Operation Warp Speed had promised that 20 million doses would be administered before January 1, with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar saying on CNN's "New Day" on December 9 that "20 million people should get vaccinated in just the next several weeks."
However, the numbers aren't anywhere near that yet. More than 2.6 million people have received their first dose, according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, at a news briefing Wednesday, and just over 14 million doses have been distributed, according to Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer Gustave Perna, also at a Wednesday briefing.
Pure incompetence.
 

DaveXA

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The time between the first round and now should have been spent figuring this out. I understand the shotgun approach the first time around, but they had plenty of time to figure out a more targeted approach.
The thing is, it already is a somewhat targeted approach. It targets individuals making $75k or less, which where I live is actually less than average. No one is gonna get rich off of $2k, at the same time, it's enough that can tide people over until they can figure out how to pay the bills in January. $600 is something, sure, but it really doesn't go far. A lot of people have lost income and that lost income won't be replaced. And I know individuals who are self employed who don't qualify for PPP, and don't qualify for unemployment, and have less income now than they did a year ago. These people have gotten literally zero assistance outside covid stimulus. If $2k helps people making $50k, then fine. We should be doing UBI or something to help people and businesses survive during a lockdown, but we as a country can't make up our minds as to how we beat covid, and the result is the current mess we're in.
 

MT15

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I can’t speak to the circumstances of your business, but the one I work for, the PPP money covered salaries for three months allowing 1/3 of our employees to remain employed. We never missed a paycheck, even while the business was absorbing massive losses of revenue and profits. The monthly bills still had to be paid with little to no income from March through August. Had business not substantially improved from August through the end of the year, the 1/3 of us might still have lost our jobs. And if COVID-19 caused another shutdown or if schools close for an extended period here or if a new round of PPP isn’t available to my employer, we could still lose our jobs.
Great post, Richard. A business didn’t have to close to be affected. My husband’s business never shut down either, but without our small PPP loan we would have been pretty stressed, money wise. One of his larger customers is in the travel industry and another large one manufactures feed for hogs. So two of our biggest accounts have been affected, one severely (as in dropped to nothing) and one less so (tariffs hurting pork exports). Luckily we did have enough cash to keep up with our basic expenses and the PPP loan paid his salary for eight weeks. We have been limping along since July, doing okay, but another small loan would help out. (Once we finished with the PPP money I have basically reduced his salary so that the business can keep up with other expenses.)
 

J-DONK

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Great post, Richard. A business didn’t have to close to be affected. My husband’s business never shut down either, but without our small PPP loan we would have been pretty stressed, money wise. One of his larger customers is in the travel industry and another large one manufactures feed for hogs. So two of our biggest accounts have been affected, one severely (as in dropped to nothing) and one less so (tariffs hurting pork exports). Luckily we did have enough cash to keep up with our basic expenses and the PPP loan paid his salary for eight weeks. We have been limping along since July, doing okay, but another small loan would help out. (Once we finished with the PPP money I have basically reduced his salary so that the business can keep up with other expenses.)
PPP could have been handled much better with some transparency. That was on purpose though. I really didn't like seeing tax exempt organizations , and foreign companies getting PPP payouts.
 

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