Despite Lindsey Graham’s hysteria and pearl clutching, the relief bill passed last night. I guess the Senatorette didn’t want to explain to Possum Hollar why he didn’t want them to get FREE MONEY? Anyway, it passed without any Nay votes. Go figure.
Senatorett Graham had no problem that the bill will give billions to companies that have poured cash into share buybacks after the 2017 corporate tax cut, which by the way enabled all that bad behavior.
The hotel giant Hilton, for instance, announced a $2 billion stock buyback on March 3, weeks after coronavirus cases began affecting the industry. Cruise lines for years have avoided taxes and U.S. safety regulations by registering their vessels abroad. Coal companies put some of their workers in harms way and are now asking to get out of tax that generates money to compensate former miners who have black lung disease….
A year ago Arne Sorenson, chief executive of Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, announced the company would return $11 billion to shareholders through buybacks and dividends by 2021. Its share price jumped 3% on the announcement. Now the company has begun furloughing tens of thousands of employees, effectively laying them off but allowing them to maintain health benefits….
As Congress debated the details of the bailout this week, lawmakers wrestled with how far Congress should go to help another set of American corporate titans two years after tax reform and less than a dozen years after the bank and auto industry bailouts of the Great Recession. The choice is between two options unsavory to many: bail out some of the country’s largest corporations or watch as they put more people out of work.
Among those seeking assistance from a pot of at least $500 billion in the rescue package are companies employing hundreds of thousands of servers, flight attendants, housekeepers, janitors, security guards, and other workers. With unemployment already expected to reach as high as 20 percent this year, no one wants to see so many people lose their jobs.
Axios’ morning email thingie leads with the COVID-19 relief bill passed late last night:
How to think about it: “This should not be thought of as a stimulus bill — this should be thought of as social insurance in a disaster state of the world for the most hard hit,” Jonathan Parker, professor of finance at MIT, told Axios.
- “The idea is to freeze time for a month or six weeks and let people emerge with not a huge amount of debt — not starving, not being evicted.”
- This would ideally produce “a V-shaped recovery where people find themselves roughly where they were when we went in.”
What’s next: This morning, the Labor Department is expected to announce that as many as 3.4 million people filed for unemployment insurance last week.
- Not only would that be the highest level in history, it would be nearly five times the highest level of claims seen during the Great Recession.
The bottom line: This is likely just the first data point in a string of previously unfathomable reports on the U.S. economy.
The next time some Republican screams socialism at us, I think we get to point and laugh.