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Viral Spending

The Senate has passed the Coronavirus Relief Bill, which will likely pass the House by the end of this week. The size of the bill is staggering, at $2.2 trillion dollars. To put that in perspective, total federal spending is already $4.45 trillion, so we are talking about increasing this year’s spending by 50%, to $6.65 trillion.

Note that total tax revenue for the US is $3.46 trillion/year, but don’t be too surprised when that goes down due to the economy cratering.

Already, politicians on both sides of the aisle are pointing out that even this staggering bill will not be enough, and are talking about additional money being allocated. Estimates are that $2.2 trillion will only be enough to keep the country afloat for a few months.

Lastly, and also to nobody’s surprise, the bill is full of pork for special interests. In addition, the largest chunk of money ($540 billion) goes into a slush fund, which the Trump administration (under the direction of Trump’s Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin) can hand out anyway they see fit (also known as “picking winners and losers”). The Democrats did manage to add a limitation that none of the slush fund can go to any elected federal officials (including Trump) but does anyone doubt that it will end up in the bank accounts of Trump’s big campaign donors? Or used to build a wall along the southern border?



  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Be warned, its a bit salty

    Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  2. James wrote:

    … and right about now, Universal Basic Income and Universal Healthcare look like the smartest, most cost effective ideas to have been proposed in decades.

    Friday, March 27, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  3. Jonah wrote:

    It’s worth noting how the vote took place on political lines. In the senate it was 96-0 and in the house there was 1 dissenter… a republican. Also worth noting 11 years ago when the country needed to come together there were only 3 republicans who joined the democrats in passing ARRA in the senate. I don’t believe a single republican voted yes in the house. That package led to the longest bull market in history after what was the worst recession since the depression.

    Something to remember when considering which party is more humane.

    Friday, March 27, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink