Politics as Usual

The Senate has passed the $2 trillion relief package for workers and businesses that are in freefall from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The House has yet to vote on the measure and it is questionable whether Speaker Pelosi will play political football with the bill or get relief to those who need it most.  From her recent actions and bellicose talk I would not count on a smooth vote in the House.  Governor Cuomo is not happy with the bill since it only provides $3.8 billion for New York when the Governor says the state has suffered a $10 billion loss from the crisis.  Seems that the COVID-19 pandemic has struck “blue states” much harder than “red states.”   At least Senate Majority Leader McConnell got the Dems to abandon their demands for increased airline fuel emissions standards and solar and wind tax credits.  Now if we can just get the House to abandon their goal of “restructuring things” according to the Socialist Democrat vision as suggested by House Majority Whip James Clyburn.  Trump critics are losing their minds over the President’s statement that he is hoping to “reopen” parts of the economy around Easter.  The most significant accomplishment of the Trump presidency to date was an exploding economy.  Trump could proudly point to statistics like the lowest unemployment in at least 50 years for nearly every subgroup of the population, wage growth combined with low inflation, and expansion and growth in nearly every business sector.  The Democrats attacked him over Russia collusion, Quid pro quo with the Ukrainian president and failure to convict him on a partisan impeachment.  It took a microscopic virus to finally bring down this economy and its leader.  The Democrats could not have wished for better timing of a pandemic.  It certainly has to be very disheartening for the President to witness the dismantling of the most prosperous economy in history.

The President has no medical background and I’m sure he will ultimately rely on the advise of his close medical team before taking any action.  Some parts of the country have been heavily affected by the virus while other areas have been barely touched.  The President is looking at the China experience and how quickly they were able to reopen parts of their economy.  I hope that the President is correct in his assumption that the “shutdown” of the economy will last weeks and not months.  If this drags on for many months it will be extremely difficult to “pick up where we left off.”  The President is trying to lift everyone’s spirits by giving a timeline for an ending to the crisis.  It is always easier to face a stressful situation if there is an end in site.  Reporters and the media have never given the President any credit and instead are the incessant critics.  I sincerely doubt that Joe Biden or any other Democrat would have done a better job of managing this crisis.  God help us if we had government health care; the federal government moves slower than molasses and the death rate from COVID-19 would be astronomical.  The number of ventilators and the medications to treat the infection (chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine) would be rationed.  The private sector has already stepped up and is retooling to produce the necessary equipment to care for patients and healthcare workers.  My advice to the public is to 1) stay calm, 2) practice your social distancing, and 3) wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.  Remember the old expression: “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  Don’t be part of the problem!

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