Mitch McConnell wants a bill
So all his pals can raid the till
Gosh, I’m confused again. A while back, and not a long while, the good folk of the GOP could always be counted upon to holler, as if by reflex, their reliable old refrain: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR THAT?? Well, not always. Mainly when anybody suggested that now might finally be a good time to spend a bunch of money on liberal priorities for a change, which, to be fair, do tend to be expensive. Maybe not as expensive as endless foreign wars and multi-trillion dollar tax cuts for the rich, but still, if enacted they’d definitely cost a chunk. Anyway, there’s no money, that’s just how it is, like a law of physics,
just like the one that dictates that you can’t run up huge deficits year after year.
Except hey, whoa, wait a second, darned if there isn’t money after all! No problem! We borrow the stuff at effectively negative rates these days, meaning the poor saps out there are actually paying us for holding on to their savings – just like we were a bank or something! – so c’mon, everybody, noses to the trough!
Yeah, not so fast there, Chuck and Nancy.
Yup, the Republicans, faced with a global economic extinction event, have come to Jesus on the public finance issue, and now have no trouble at all finding two trillion dollars in loose change lodged between the Senate seat cushions. The problem is that the Democrats, like always, want to give it to the wrong people. Students, seniors, small businesses, working stiffs and poor people, the usual cast of losers. Well, Mitch won’t have it. No sir. Thus, as of the time of writing, the Senate is gridlocked on the vital stimulus package meant to stave off a downturn that might look a lot like the Great Depression, or, God help us, something once unimaginably worse. Maybe Mitch figures that with Congress already polling lower than the deadly virus that makes all of this necessary, they might as well conduct business as usual.
Now, I’m not saying that the Dems are completely blameless. I’m not saying they aren’t acting as if this crucial stimulus bill gives them a precious chance to wring a number of concessions out of the GOP, including on matters that perhaps ought to be back-burnered until a happier time. Of course they are, and in many instances that’s wrong-headed, even acknowledging that this is the only point at which they’ll have leverage, and when those happier times arrive they’ll have no chance whatever to get anything they want. I don’t disagree with their critics on that score. It so happens I’m in favour of most of the things they want, but maybe now’s not the time to arm wrestle over the composition of corporate boards, emission standards, tax credits for solar power, and so on. I grant that, and I bet most of them do too, and will give up on most of their liberal wish list in the characteristic Democratic spirit of grudging yet total acquiescence.
The real sticking point, though, is that Mitch and his buddies figure the best way to help ordinary Americans in their time of need is to once again shovel hundreds of billions of dollars at large corporations, no strings attached. From today’s New York Times:
Sorry to yet again fail to be all Fair and Balanced, but Jesus Hand-washing Christ, this is just so typical. The Republicans won’t act to save the nation unless they get to hand out $500 billion more dollars to their paymasters in the corporate sector, and no, there won’t be any conditions attached, and no, we won’t even tell you who we gave it to until after the next election. Oh, you don’t think it’s right to allow them to lay off all their employees despite getting the hand-out? Aaaaah, go fuck yourself. You don’t think they should be able to line their own pockets by ploughing the hand-outs into stock buy-backs and executive bonuses? Eat shit, liberal donkeys. What’s the interest rate going to be? When do they have to pay it back? Who decides? When do we find out? You Dems are just full of questions, aren’t you? Well, piss off about that stuff, you obstructionist bastards.
No corporate slush fund, no stimulus. Thus sayeth Mitch. So it shall be written. So it shall be done.
Watch this, if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty:
Hands up, those who think Warren isn’t straight-up frickin’ righteous here. Identify yourselves, so that I might smite thee.
If this goes the way it usually does, the Dems will blink first, telling themselves that even a grotesque bill is better than no bill at all at this point, and give in to Mitch’s blackmail. Maybe they’ll surprise me. Maybe, though, they shouldn’t keep fighting, not if it’s going to gum up the legislative works for even a few days. The truth is, even a grotesque bill really is better than nothing at this awful moment, and something has to be done. ASAP. Now.
Same as it ever was. As I’m wont to remark, Mitch always wins.