The Democrats try to kill the economy, while Trump tries to save it
It’s easy to get jaded about computer models because those coming from the left, whether about climate or viruses, are almost uniformly wrong. Still, one model is operating on real, not hypothetical data, and that’s the National Bureau of Economic Research’s look at lost jobs: 42% of the jobs lost this year will never return. It cites overly generous unemployment benefits, occupational licensing, and regulatory barriers as some of the hurdles the job market cannot overcome.
In the face of this dire economic future, both Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump are acting. Pelosi is submitting a spending bill that is almost comically awful, while Trump is taking practical steps to clip China’s wings.
One of the centerpieces of the Democrats’ proposed $3 trillion stimulus bill is a provision that would gut American manufacturing. Bryan Preston caught an obscure statement in the proposed package that has enormous implications.
The bill includes a provision that waives Chapter 83 of title 41, United States Code. What’s that?
Chapter 83 of title 41, United States Code, shall not apply with respect to purchases made in response to the emergency declared by the President on March 13, 2020, under section 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5191) and under any subsequent major disaster declaration under section 401 of such Act that supersedes such emergency declaration.
Chapter 83 of Title 41, United States Code is none other than the Buy American Act. That 1933 law prioritizes American manufacturers over others when the government makes purchases. The Trump administration strengthened the Buy American act last year. The Democrats’ bill would waive it permanently, allowing the government to purchase more goods from overseas, unrestricted.
We don’t need to speculate why the Democrats are putting China’s economic well-being ahead of America’s. It’s enough to know that they want to promote China over America.
Bowing to the Chinese, though, wasn’t why the House Dems temporarily pulled their new stimulus bill. The real problem was that it was a little bit too focused on pot. For real. The Dems certainly know their base.
Here’s Tucker’s excellent summary about the horrors in the bill, a bill that is directed to pushing leftist policies rather than helping sustain people until this stupid lockdown continues or promoting American workers in the future:
Keep in mind, please, that Nancy Pelosi knows exactly how monstrous this bill is. This time around, she’s not saying, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” which was her prelude to Obamacare. Instead, she has stated that the bill should pass “without too much conversation”:
Nancy Pelosi: “it’s important for us to put forth our bill now without too much conversation”https://t.co/0Z31Sb5IMF pic.twitter.com/o23vzBo6P2
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 12, 2020
Meanwhile, Trump has a different idea for helping the economy. He’s ordered the federal government to start pulling American money out of China. On Monday, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and National Economic Council Chair Larry Kudlow wrote to U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia about the Thrift Savings Plan (“TSP”), a $4 billion fund for federal employee retirement.
The letter tells Scalia that, to the extent the TSP is planning to invest in Chinese companies, doing so would expose the funds to serious economic risks, as well as putting money into companies that violate human rights and U.S. sanction laws, and that help the Chinese military. Further, the letter cites China’s misbehavior regarding the Wuhan Virus as a reason for keeping American investment funds out of China.
Scalia immediately forwarded the O’Brien/Kudlow letter to Michael Kennedy, the Chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, along with a statement that the President directs that the Board immediately halt all steps associated with investing in China. While Pelosi is stabbing American companies and workers in the back, Trump is keeping American money safe from bad and unprincipled investments.
Here are a few simple suggestions for getting the economy back fast:
End all lockdowns now that we’ve achieved the initially stated goal of flattening the curve.
Abolish most state and federal regulations.
Stop most occupational licensing, except for jobs where consumers are incapable of doing market research. Consumers can figure out if a flower arranger or hair braider is good and they won’t be hurt if he’s not. It’s different when it comes to jobs most consumers lack the data to understand (e.g., brain surgeons or structural engineers).
Temporarily stop payroll taxes and social security taxes.
Cut taxes, especially corporate taxes, which are, in any event, always passed on to consumers as costs.
Make unemployment benefits a bit less appealing. We don’t have to echo the Victorian-era poor houses, which were hellish places to discourage sloth, but there is a happy medium between keeping people from sinking and enticing them away from work.