Before we dive in, consider the following…
As previously reported by The Drill Down, COVID relief programs have been lousy with fraud. In Maryland, for example, criminals siphoned more than $500 million from the state’s COVID relief funds —state officials say they had more fraudulent claims than real ones.
$163 billion dollars has been stolen in pandemic unemployment assistance nationwide.
Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports that of the $122 billion in federal money set aside for school COVID relief, 93% of it has gone unspent. “If local districts don’t spend or direct the funds by September 2024, the money will disappear from their budgets,” WSJ reports.
“There’s a real pressure to show something for it,” said Nick Melvoin, a school board member for the 575,000-student Los Angeles Unified School District.
This is all to say that the federal government has thrown money around somewhat irresponsibly —and many members of Congress want to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Take Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who says the timing of the Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022 is “inappropriate.”
“COVID-19 is over, and yet Congress is ready to spend $48 billion of borrowed money to bail out yacht and limousines businesses, minor league sports, and luxury gyms under the guise of pandemic relief,” Paul said in a letter to Biden Administration officials.
“Now is perhaps the most inappropriate time to spend more taxpayer dollars on a poorly targeted spending spree while Americans struggle with the effects of price increases and supply chain issues caused by Congress’ last $6 trillion COVID spending extravaganza,” Paul added.
“[Paul] argues that additional government spending will only help already-recovering industries at a severe expense to others. Inflation is continuing to hover near a 40-year high and Americans are feeling the pain at the gas pump and at the grocery store as consumer prices continue to rise,” Fox News reports.
And that’s a fair assessment. With inflation continuing to break records, and coming off of a week where every day set a new record for the average price for a gallon of gas, perhaps the federal government could stand to be more responsible with its checkbook.
And here’s some good news…
Despite having bipartisan support, the Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022 failed to float through the Senate; it sank 52-43.
It’s easier to get puberty blockers for children in Joe Biden’s America than it is to find baby formula; Americans are paying, on average, $4.59 for a gallon of gas —and not just in ritzy counties in California; the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 11% in the last month.
Those sound like the markings of a healthy economy?
Layoff the checkbook for a while.