By Tank Murdoch @TheNatSent
Well, thought I, that’s good news, I suppose. That ought to at least make Wall Street happy, which is certainly good news for a guy nursing a smallish 401(k) retirement account who hopes to use a portion of it someday soon to lay around on a beach somewhere.
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That is, if we don’t allow COVID-19 hysteria to completely destroy our country. And it seems well on its way to doing just that.
But the markets were actually set to open lower this morning, according to a quick check of CNBC. That makes no sense, thought I; indexes skyrocketed on Tuesday just on the news that a deal was close to being made to ‘combat the virus.’
So what gives? Well, maybe it’s this: Investors really aren’t sure what to make of the package just yet. Other than Sen. Schmuck Schumer crowing that the deal wouldn’t provide any money at all to President Donald Trump’s businesses, no one yet knows what sort of results to expect from creating $2 trillion out of thin air to blast into the country.
Meanwhile, our neighbors to the north are set to pass a far more frugal virus recovering bill. According to Bloomberg News:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won parliamentary support for his C$82 billion ($57 billion) stimulus package to bolster an economy ravaged by the coronavirus.
The plan received approval from the House of Commons in the early hours Wednesday morning after tense negotiations with opposition lawmakers over how much emergency spending powers the governing Liberals should be given to tackle the crisis. The bill now needs Senate approval before becoming law.
The Canadian measure includes many of the same things the U.S. Congress is currently working on passing — direct payments to Americans, support for businesses, liquidity for financial institutions to provide incentives for loans, etc.
But the Canadians are set to spend a fraction of what American legislators are looking to spend. What do they know that we don’t?
Yes, yes, the Canadian population is about one-tenth that of the United States (37.5 million compared to 328 million). Still…$2 trillion?
Where is this money going to come from? Because it sure as hell isn’t going to come in the form of taxes. We spend more than we take in every year in taxes and revenue as it is, evidenced by our massive and growing debt under a president who swore he’d cut it in half by now.
Yes, Trump couldn’t see the virus coming. Got it. And sure, the Democrats in Washington and in cities and states around the country are exploiting it like bosses to hurt him and his chances at reelection.
But seriously, at some point this debt is going to crush our country, destroy our economy, and ruin a generation or two of our prodigy.
A shutdown of 30 days or so, painful as it is, would be nothing compared to a collapse of the world’s No. 1 economy, because it would lead to a global collapse. Everyone around the world depends on, and feeds off of, the U.S. economy.
So the Canadians are being minimalists when it comes to providing for their people during his time of crisis. As Americans, we are going big. Again. Like always.
And hopefully, this massive infusion of freshly-printed cash will do some good. It had better, as large of an amount as it is.
Yet, I can’t help but think this virus has given our spendthrift government a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go for all the gusto and pad industries, pay off political allies, and enrich the least-needy. I know — that’s skeptical as hell, but that’s how I feel.
Because think of this: It wasn’t too long ago that Republicans (and the president himself) were pooh-poohing 2020 Democrat plans to pay off all college debt, provide basic incomes, and other socialist plans as “too expensive.”
Yet now they’re all-in to spend an amount of money that exceeds the total annual GDP of Russia by about $500 billion.
Over a virus that hasn’t yet infected 100,000 Americans…after we’ve nearly shut down our entire economy.
Call me kooky, but this all just sounds…overblown.
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