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Thomas Gallatin / May 13, 2020

Pelosi's Dreamy Debt Bomb

The speaker's $3 trillion stimulus bill is nothing more than a laundry list of Democrat pet projects.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released her proposed legislation for a fourth China Virus stimulus package — ironically titled the HEROES Act. The 1,800-page bill is anything but heroic, as it’s built of little more than a leftist spending wish list, topping out with a price tag of $3 trillion. Combined with the three previous COVID-19 stimulus packages and the regular budget, Pelosi’s bill would see government spending this year alone hit a whopping $10 trillion.

However, the $3 trillion price tag may be the least offensive aspect of Pelosi’s bill. As noted, it consists of funneling massive government funding to a litany of leftist pet projects like student-loan bailouts, relief for poorly run states that were already heavily in debt prior to the pandemic, a $25 billion bailout for the U.S. Postal Service, and millions for House members to buy laptops for working remotely — to name but a few.

Pelosi’s bill also calls for three more monthly installments of $1,200 relief checks for individuals (including those without Social Security numbers, i.e. illegal aliens) and for extending the $600 in added federal unemployment bonuses through January 2021. As we have noted before, these unemployment bonuses effectively slow an economic recovery. The money removes financial incentives for unemployed Americans to get back to work, which means that in many instances they are receiving more money while on unemployment than when they were working.

Predictably, the bill contains one of Pelosi’s old demands: a tax break for wealthy Americans living in tax-heavy Democrat-run states. The legislation would “temporarily” lift the SALT cap for the next two years, allowing wealthy Americans to deduct state taxes from their federal returns. As The Daily Signal observes, “Before the 2017 reforms, high-tax states such as California, Connecticut, and New York were subsidized by other federal taxpayers across the country. In the case of high-income California taxpayers, the federal state and local tax deduction reduced their overall state tax bill by 40%.”

Notably, Pelosi’s massive bill does not include the payroll tax cut President Donald Trump favors or the COVID-19 liability protection for businesses that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insisted be in any new relief package.

Demonstrating that Pelosi’s bill is far from a serious proposal — amounting to little other than a pie-in-the-sky leftist pipe dream — were the sentiments expressed by several House Democrats. Even they admit that it “feels like little more than an effort to appease the most liberal members of the caucus.”

Finally, McConnell quickly shot down any notion that Pelosi’s bill would see its way to the Senate floor. He pointedly argued, “What you’ve seen in the House [from] Nancy is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations. This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

(Updated.)

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