Idyllic Beach and the Toxic Vine

crumbs from the oligarchs' banquet -- 3/27/2020

Today the House of Representatives passed, and the president signed into law a bill labeled "The Care Act", the estimated $2T bailout bill which authorizes, among other things, some much anticipated monetary relief to most American tax payers. After much wrangling in the Senate as to just how badly ordinary people are going to get fucked, or better yet how to make it look like we are not getting fucked or how to make us all think that we are not getting fucked, it was decided that all individuals with 2018 or 2019 adjusted gross income less than $75,000 will receive a one time payment of $1200. Considering some of the blatant fuckery proposed by the GOP Senate original draft, e.g. giving the lowest income people in the country (i.e. everyone whose AGI was below the threshold of having to pay any income tax) only half that amount, I suppose that we should all be glad for the monetary relief. But, considering that the GOP shot down a Democratic proposal that would have paid those individuals who are unemployed an additional $600 per week for up to 4 months, fearing that lower income working people might get more in government aid than they were making at the jobs from which they have been laid off, and the fact that the bill also includes $500B (to be leveraged later into the gift that keeps on giving to the tune of what could be a couple of trillion more) in what seems to be very few (if any at all) strings attached corporate bailout money, there is little doubt about who the authors of the "Care Act" care the most about. Most of us who are sitting in the cheap seats really don't want to seem ungrateful for getting some extra $$, but it kind of makes me empathize with Curly in the old Three Stooges routine "Ham Dinner".

At least some people in Congress recognized the bill for the oligarchs' banquet that it is, and that what ordinary Americans are being offered are merely crumbs falling from the table of the feast. Watch the video linked to this article in which Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expresses her frustration and helplessness as she must vote for the bill with all of its flaws in order for her constituents to get any relief at all.

Of course, the Democrats insisted upon the inclusion of and were able to negotiate into the final bill some regulatory oversight of how the corporate bailout money will be spent, but a few hours after signing the bill into law, the president issued a signing statement in which he basically said that he doesn't have to comply with any of that, and will basically do whatever he wants with the money.

If anyone is shocked by that, then they haven't been paying attention. Foreshadowing the eventuality of his using the COVID-19 pandemic as a stage on which to orchestrate a public funds giveaway, aka "corporate bailout", that will probably make the 2017 Tax Giveaway Act pale significantly in comparison, was the president's National Emergency declaration on 3/13/2020. In that speech he made special note of things like extensive new powers that he had and rolling back certain regulatory laws. No one should be surprised, and I'm not saying that we should forget all of the fuckery and drop to our knees in thanks, but if you are getting a check, then be happy that you are getting something out of it, continue to exercise good hygiene and social distancing practices, stay healthy, go on about your business, and use your power to vote in November.

In closing, I offer you some words of wisdom, written decades ago by the late, great Frank Zappa. Here is a verse from one of my favorite Zappa songs, "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing"

You say yer life's a bum deal
'N yer up against the wall...
Well, people, you ain't even got no
Deal at all
'Cause what they do
In Washington
They just takes care
You ain't even NUMBER TWO

Peace be with you, stay well, and cash that stimulus check before the bastards clean out the treasury. Klaatu barada nikto.

--Bob { Next >>> }

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