Backwards

The transportation departments of a number of States are backing away from transportation projects, infrastructure projects that they have been claiming are desperately needed. Their excuse? They “need” more Federal aid. The already allocated $15 billion isn’t enough, they’re bleating.

The States have this backward. They don’t need Federal aid—the dollars of taxpayers in other States—they need to let their own citizens get back to work, including, perhaps beginning with, infrastructure projects like these road projects.

House Relief Bill

Here’s what’s in the House “relief” bill, written in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA) kitchen where she could have ready access to her special ice cream. The bill was written with zero Republican input, zero Republican amendments, carefully limited debate on the House floor, and passed almost entirely along party lines; although the bill did make 14 Progressive-Democrats choke to the point of voting against it, and one Republican was too timid to oppose it.

  • $1 trillion in funding for state and local governments

Economic Recovery Post-Wuhan Virus

Paul Hannon and Saabira Chaudhuri wonder, in their Wall Street Journal piece, whether we’ll have the V-shaped recovery that President Donald Trump confidently predicts, or whether we’ll have a swoosh-shaped recovery a la the Panic of 2008 recovery. They don’t, though, seem to recognize key differences between the two situations, beginning with the underlying causes of the two dislocations.

The Panic was driven by economics: a credit crunch. The present situation is created by a Government-mandated closure of our economy in response to the rapid spread of the Wuhan Virus and its perceived danger; economics has nothing to do with it.

Economic Reopening, Resistance, and Perspective

As States reopen for business, and as increasing numbers of businesses reopen and customers patronize them against State government encouragements or outright diktats to the contrary, Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden is nattering on that President Donald Trump’s policies are undermining the core pillars of our economic strength. In the meantime, the NLMSM is focusing ghoulishly on body counts and not mentioning any other relevant information.

The following table looks at some data for three States mentioned in one Wall Street Journal article, another State mentioned in a different WSJ article, and two States mentioned by Fox News.

New Jersey Wants Federal Dollars

But it’s not a bailout, Governor Phil Murphy (D) insists.

“I wouldn’t call it a bailout. I would just say this is a war, we’re at the front lines,” Murphy said, stressing that his state does not want federal help at this time for “legacy” budget issues that predate the pandemic.
“We know what we got to do with the old legacy stuff, we need help with the here and now: educators, police, fire, EMS, the front-line stuff.”

Sunset Clauses

Here’s another example of their utility. To help out the furloughed and fired during the current Wuhan Virus situation, the Federal government enhanced existing unemployment insurance payouts with an extra $600 per week. The plus-up doesn’t expire until the end of July, more than three months hence.

Many businesses, especially the small and mom-and-pops that are at the heart of our employment environment, are starting to re-open as they figure out ways to operate at least partially or as State-level restrictions start to ease.

However.

GIGO

Garbage in, garbage out. That doesn’t only apply to modeling or to the utility of software functions.

Deutsche Welle had an article earlier discussing the potential of the present Wuhan Virus situation and the emphasis on working from home to drive increasing digitization of the work being done.

[M]any firms and a considerable proportion of workflows in administration and the education system are still paper-based, using postal letters and fax machines. However, the coronavirus crisis has been a wake-up call for many of them.
Smaller firms are now hoping to jump on the bandwagon, [Bitkom Head of Digital Business Processes Nils] Britze notes. “By using cloud technology, every company can quickly find a digital solution to processing documents or setting up video conferences.” Direct investment in IT infrastructure complete with servers would have been too costly for many, but cloud-based services have proven a real game changer.

Employment Insurance

This is Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s latest brain…storm.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee proposes getting all 50 states to adopt and dramatically scale up short-time compensation programs—also known as work sharing—in which businesses and companies in distress keep workers employed at reduced hours, with the federal government helping to make up the difference in workers’ wages.

That’s not going to do anything other than shift a part of a worker’s pay from the company employing him to us taxpayers.  With Uncle Sugar—that’s us—picking up part of the tab, companies would have no incentive to keep workers employed fulltime, much less pay them a full wage. They would have an incentive to claim this or that distress.

Reporting To/Working For

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is going to release an Executive Order this week outlining requirements for safely beginning to reopen the Texas economy as the Wuhan Virus situation begins—begins, mind you—to start [sic] to wind down.

The details of the order were not immediately clear.

The NLMSM isn’t, yet, particularly upset by this lack of clarity at this point, and neither should they be. Still, the statement invites a remark from me (if for no other reason than that it’s my blog, and I’ll blog if I want to, blog if I want to, blog if I want to).

Progressive-Democrat Extortion

The Progressive-Democrats in Congress held up the last Wuhan Virus Federal aid program for four critical days, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Pelosi (D, NY). These persons tried to force inclusion in the aid an array of programs irrelevant to it but central to the Progressive-Democrats’ ideology and platform.

They’re at it again. The new aid effort, currently under way in the Senate, is centered on small businesses and their employees: an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program