Justin Haskins: $3T coronavirus relief bill passed by House Dems funds most radical programs in US history

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The House passed Democrats’ budget-busting $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill on a 208-199 vote Friday night – but thankfully, the radical legislation is expected to be dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate. Only one Republican voted for the measure. -- Rep. Pete King of New York.

On top of that, the White House has said President Trump would veto the bill in the highly unlikely event it wins Senate passage.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has acknowledged that the HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act will not become law, but said it can be the basis for negotiations with Senate Republicans and the Trump administration.

HOUSE PASSES $3T CORONAVIRUS RELIEF -- THE MOST EXPENSIVE BILL IN HISTORY

Democrats seem to take the position in the legislation that money is no object when it comes to spending trillions upon trillions of dollars under the cover of helping the American people deal with the coronavirus pandemic. In reality, Democrats are using the pandemic to justify their wish list of far-left Big Government schemes more extreme than anything ever enacted in American history.

The $3 trillion relief bill would be the costliest in our history as well, and would come on top of the $2.2 trillion CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in March.

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Perhaps if members of Congress spent as much time thinking about the impact of these free-spending bills as they did coming up with clever acronyms some of the most absurd provisions of both pieces of legislation could have been avoided.

Unbelievably, some House Democrats on the far-left fringe of the party actually complained that the House bill was too modest. They’d like to spend even more than $3 trillion.

"Do I think it should be bolder? Yes," socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told reporters. “Do I think there should be more, especially as a starting offer? Absolutely.”

Among the craziest provisions of the 1,800-page HEROES Act are a temporary elimination of the cap on state and local tax deductions on federal income taxes. This is a move that would mostly benefit wealthy taxpayers in blue states – people like Nancy Pelosi, among other Democratic lawmakers.

The bill would also give an eye-popping $1 trillion bailout to state and local governments to deal with their budget shortfalls caused by the shutdown of businesses and stay-at-home orders designed to halt the spread of the pandemic.

Democrats clearly don’t believe in belt-tightening by state and local governments to eliminate wasteful programs during hard times. Instead, the Democrats just want to run up the national debt to stratospheric levels. Want to know who will ultimately have to pay higher taxes to pay off that debt? Look in the mirror.

Other parts of the Democratic legislation passed by the House call for up to $10,000 of college debt forgiveness and a whopping $25 billion for the Postal Service.

Perhaps worst of all, the legislation would provide yet another round of $1,200 economic stimulus checks for most Americans, as well as an extension of the $600 weekly unemployment insurance bonus to jobless adults until the end of January 2021 – with an option to extend the bonus payments through March 2021.

The unemployment bonus – which is paid on top of other unemployment benefits – would provide jobless workers with as much as an additional $31,200 over the course of a year for doing absolutely nothing.

After adding the first and second rounds of stimulus checks and state unemployment benefits to the unemployment bonuses proposed by Democrats, it’s clear that tens of millions of unemployed people in low-wage jobs could end up receiving significantly more money in government benefits than they earned while working.

One analysis by Ernie Tedeschi, an economist who previously worked for the Treasury Department, estimates that unemployed workers in all but a dozen states now receive about as much or more in government benefits than they did in wages prior to the economic shutdown – and his analysis didn’t factor in two rounds of $1,200 stimulus checks.

Already, employers reopening their businesses have reported that they are having a hard time hiring employees for low-paying jobs because working would give so many people less money than they could collect in unemployment payments.

Discouraging people from working all the way through January 2021 or even longer is the last thing politicians should be doing in the midst of the most significant economic crash since the Great Depression, but that’s exactly what House Democrats are clamoring to do. The biggest reason for the proposal is likely driven by politics, not economic considerations.

The proof is in Democrats’ timeline. With so many unknowns, why would Democrats choose to call for extending bonus unemployment benefits through January 2021? Why not extend the bonus for a month or two and then reassess how state economies are performing?

After all, many states are just now starting to reopen parts of their economies, and it’s still unclear how successful those moves will be.

The most obvious reason for extending unemployment bonus payments is that January 2021 marks the beginning of the start of the next presidential term. If former Vice President Joe Biden ends up defeating President Trump in November, what better way to begin Biden’s time in office than to have millions of workers forced back into the job market?

It’s no wonder then that Pelosi said at a press conference discussing the HEROES Act that it is “really quite an exciting time for us because we have a monumental need for our country at this sad time.”

This sums up Democrats’ view of the crisis: Sure, the coronavirus pandemic is a tragedy, but what an “exciting” tragedy for those of us looking to expand government at every turn!

It’s perfectly reasonable to target government aid to those who have been hit hardest by government decisions to shut down the economy.

As the old saying goes, “if you break it, you bought it,” and in this case, the government unquestionably “broke” the economy and forced millions of people out of their jobs.

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But government relief programs should always be as limited and targeted as possible, and in this case, congressional Democrats and even many Republicans have chosen to do the opposite. They want to hook as many people on government aid programs as possible, instead of focusing on finding effective ways to get the country back to work as safely and quickly as they can.

The absurdity of sending $1,200 payments to millions of people who haven’t lost their jobs and calling it “stimulus relief” proves just how outrageous this entire gargantuan cash giveaway has become.

Why would you send “relief” to people who haven’t lost their jobs and thus aren’t in any need of relief? And why would government try to “stimulate” the economy by infusing it with cash while at the same time keeping most of it closed?

You know what would actually stimulate the economy? Opening it!

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From the beginning of this crisis to the present time, Congress and many state governments have failed the American people – and they’ve done so spectacularly.

Americans shouldn’t forget that fact the next time politicians ask for our votes.

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