Does it seem like the GOP is attempting to follow the trickle-down method of economic situmulus?

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/488925-senate-democrats-block-mammoth-coronavirus-stimulus-package

I’m not saying it is right or wrong for the Democrats to block the cloture vote. But if the majority of the stimulus, which we have been told was for the people, is front loaded to corporations, then doesn’t it stand to reason that trickle down is the GOP answer here?

Loans to businesses that need them to stay afloat, not loans that may or may not have to be repaid. Extensions of unemployment benefits to those who will need them. Not sure if the direct “rebate” payments are good, but need be, then so be it. BUT with qualifiers that are fair to all.

This is what happens when the majority party does not work with the minority party to get the deal done. I know the House did the same thing with package #2. It wasn’t right then, but at least it got done, and ended up passing with overwhelming support in the House. And McConnell told his caucus to gag on it and vote for it. But because the Senate rules are different, more bipartisanship and honesty is required from the GOP. All IMHO.

19 thoughts on “Does it seem like the GOP is attempting to follow the trickle-down method of economic situmulus?

  1. There is no need for the government to provide capital to major corporations. In the current financial market they can borrow almost without limit at extremely low interest rates. The Fed made that even more clear today. Let’s try “trickle up” for a change. Help people survive financially and the money will flow up to the corporate organizations that need business.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are asking corporations to keep people on payroll, even if at lower pay levels, so they will have a job to come back to.

    So, helping the employers makes that possible, but by-passing the employers going directly to the laid off workers does not preserve the employer-employee relationship.

    I do think that some degree of oversight to be sure the money is used for that purpose is warranted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rick Santorum, who I have a definite dislike for from when he was a Senator from PA (my home state) and equated homosexuality with bestiality, has an opinion piece on CNN that talks about that. It makes sense because he says that any loan to corporations or businesses MUST be used for payroll to be forgiven.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/opinions/workers-come-first-coronavirus-legislation/index.html

      However, big oil needs no bail out as the issue their is the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. That is a market driven issue not actually related to COVID-19. The MTA in NY/NJ is asking for money, but not sure for what purpose, if it is to pay their workers during this time of reduced travel need, then fine. But if it is just try and get free money for much needed upgrades to their systems, that is a loan that requires pay back, plus interest, a la GM, Fannie and Freddie. (Examples from 2008)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “not preserve the employer-employee relationship.“ ??

      Interesting turn of a phrase; I think it’s possible to do both, and of course, with oversight.

      Business, particularly big business will ALWAYS make decisions to enrich themselves in any situation. Workers are just a necessary (so far) evil.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. RE: “But if the majority of the stimulus, which we have been told was for the people, is front loaded to corporations, then doesn’t it stand to reason that trickle down is the GOP answer here?”

    Not necessarily. It might seem that way if one assumes that corporations are somehow “above” the people, like clouds in the sky. But it is probably more realistic to think of corporations as being on the same level as the people they employ and serve; in something like an eye-level relationship. It helps to remember, too, that nearly all businesses, from Walmart and Amazon down to the local bar, restaurant and Laundromat are corporations.

    In any case, the stated reason for helping businesses survive the economic downturn is so that workers will have places to go back to work when it is over. I don’t know how much of that sort of government support is really needed, but the logic seems pretty solid, especially since government is telling people to stay home. It has nothing to do with so-called “trickle down” economics.

    I would add that there is no such thing as “trickle down” in all of economics. It is not a term you will find discussed in textbooks, except to debunk it. Trickle down is just a political description, a talking point without a reality.

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  4. “I would add that there is no such thing as “trickle down” in all of economics. It is not a term you will find discussed in textbooks,”…

    Insert “supply side” and it is the same thing. Something that has been attempted three times since the 80’s, all by Republican administrations, and has failed all three times. And then had to be fixed by a Democrat.

    The point of the post is a bailout, similar to what happened in 2008 is not needed for most corporations. Most of them are in a position to borrow money at extremely low interest rates to maintain their people. However, smaller businesses need assistance to stay afloat and for people to have jobs to return to if laid off.

    Big oil does not need a bailout. IMO. With the government subsidies and multi-billion dollar quarterly profits, they don’t need to have their hands out. But the offer is there.

    Bottom line here is we agree, with the exception of the phrasing. -IMHO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Insert ‘supply side’ and it is the same thing.”

      Nope. Supply side economics is a well-established theory in economics which textbooks devote a great deal of space to. Wikipedia has an article on the topic, if you are interested.

      Politicians sometimes debate whether the supply-side effects of fiscal policy are sufficiently beneficial, but there’s not much debate among economists that production and consumption in an economy are at least equally significant. At least, not much debate that I’ve ever seen.

      RE: “The point of the post is a bailout, similar to what happened in 2008 is not needed for most corporations.”

      That may be true, but I wouldn’t assert it as a general principle because the idea covers too much ground. By “corporations” do we mean large companies, or small ones; do we mean only companies large and small that are relatively debt free, or even those whose credit was already maxed out; and so on?

      RE: “Bottom line here is we agree, with the exception of the phrasing.”

      I wish we did.

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      1. Heard part of an interview of Hear Say during lunch. It was with Bob McNab @ ODU, talking about the current proposal being worked on in Congress. He discussed the need for caveats to the plan which include no stock buybacks or CEO pay raises for ANY financial support for corporations. This is what TARP did in 2008/09. With the reform package of 2017, the companies that got the biggest tax breaks used them for those 2 things and did not reinvest in resources such as R&D or people.

        As far as supply side goes, Reagan started it, Bush continued it and Clinton FIXED it. Then Bush II tried it again and Obama had to fix it. Trump has now tried it and whoever the Democrats end up replacing him with will have to correct it AGAIN. -IMHO

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      2. RE: “As far as supply side goes, Reagan started it…”

        Not really. If you count the tax holidays of the ancient world, especially the “jubiliees” that were common in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean nations, supply side economic stimulus goes back thousands of years. I only mention this because your comment confuses a partisan political talking point with basic economics.

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        1. RE: “Complete bullshit”

          What makes you say so? Have you never heard that tax holidays and jubilees were common in the ancient world, or that they are prototypical examples of supply-side fiscal stimulus? I have posted about them before.

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          1. Jubilees may have been common in the ancient world, but they had nothing to do with supply side economics. You may want to believe so. I believe it is, as stated, bullshit. And has little to nothing to do with the GOP NOT holding corporations to account for government money by specifically preventing them from using ANY stimulus money for stock buy backs or corporate salaries.

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          2. RE: “Jubilees may have been common in the ancient world, but they had nothing to do with supply side economics.”

            I see. You don’t believe that jubilees in the ancient world had an impact on production by putting money in the hands of producers (by not giving it to government).

            I can’t argue with belief. I also can’t argue with ignorance.

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          3. OK. How about this. The top 1% and especially large corporations got a tax “jubilee” with the 2017 “reform” package. What did they do with that money? Bought their own stocks and jacked up their C-suite compensation packages. No investment in resources like people or R&D. Happy Jubilee!

            The stimulus III plan needs to have language in it to prevent that from happening with the government money being proposed. That is one of the many protections Schumer has been negotiating for, but McConnell, being tied to those corporations, wants to leave it ambiguous. Mnuchin and Schumer appear to have fixed that issue. With little to no input from the GOP.

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          4. @Adam

            It seems pretty obvious that this nonsense about “jubilees” being proof of the ancient roots of “supply side economics” is something that was read on some kooky web site and now parroted without understanding.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Expanding unemployment benefits does several things.

    One, it taps into a pool of money that is not borrowed, but rather already paid into by employers.

    Next, it takes employers of the hook for not only paying for employees who are home, but also the natural tendency to keep the ones who do show occupied in an attempt to keep open, thereby incurring other costs such as utilities, etc.

    Finally, it can make it easier to keep people in the self quarantine mode that seems to be critical at this time.

    On the flip side, I also like the idea of loans to businesses with the caveat that the can be forgiven a few years down the road if they do keep people on the payroll.

    Of course these all seem like short term measures. If this problem persists until we get a vaccine, then all bets are off.

    Liked by 2 people

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