The House of Representatives has just passed the Heroes Act – 1,815 pages of apparently emergency legislation. So, anyone think that anyone at all, let alone a part of Congress, is going to carefully consider 1,815 pages of anything in an emergency?
Quite, this is going to end up like that monster of Dodd Frank, isn’t it? My favourite example there being the provisions of blood minerals. This insisted that the solution to appalling mining conditions in places like DR Congo was that every American listed company spend – cumulatively, between them all – $4 billion in the first year alone sending letters to each other. You know, for $4 billion we could have sent in a Marine Division and actually owned the dang minerals.
But that’s what happened and that’s what’s happening now. A grab bad of everything anyone thinks is electorally attractive dressed up as a response to current events with little to no thought applied beyond that:
A massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, put forth by Democrats in the House of Representatives Tuesday, is headed into voting today. Dubbed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or the HEROES Act, the legislation spans 1,815 pages and lists a number of provisions for Americans struggling economically during the coronavirus crisis.
1,815 pages. We can always hope that Nancy Pelosi read it this time around so she knows what’s in it although that is doubtful.
The released version of the bill reduced the forgiveness, but still provided meaningful student loan student relief, including the following:
$10,000 in federal student loan forgiveness;
$10,000 in private student loan forgiveness;
Well, true enough, lots of millennials will vote for this. But there is no logical connection at all between this and anything to do with the pandemic. It’s simple vote buying, pure and simple.
Assistance to state and local governments
The bill provides $500 billion in direct assistance to state governments to counter the fiscal impacts of the pandemic, $375 billion to assist local governments, $20 billion to tribal governments and $20 billion to U.S. territories.
Very silly indeed. All of those states and territories have their own taxation powers, their own borrowing powers. They should use them rather than the Federal ones. Of course, it’s always possible that they’ve already exhausted them but that’s their problem. No real reasons why the more temperate with their money regions should have to subsidise the spendthrifts. There is just about a reason to suggest they should when there’s a regionally specific disaster but this is national of course.
And then there’s this which is rampant stupidity:
Extended unemployment benefits: The bill extends $600 weekly unemployment benefits until January 2021.
This means that for some goodly portion – possibly even a majority of those actually laid off – unemployment insurance is higher than their normal wages. Incentives do indeed matter and this is going to prolong unemployment. We do know this too, it is not just a supposition. The extension of benefits out to 99 weeks last time around did extend unemployment.
We’re about to try getting the economy out of the gutter. This is not really the time we want to be deliberately increasing the attractiveness of unemployment now, is it?
This is just a selection of course, no doubt there are some true horrors buried further down. The real point here being that 1,815 pages of anything done in a hurry is going to contain all sorts of mistakes. Heck, we’d not read a novel written at this speed but we’re supposed to accept laws?
It’s gonna be terrible, you mark my words.