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Thread: This time is different....

  1. #1

    Default This time is different....

    Decided that fiscal and monetary policies to address the covid-19 pandemic, and economic fallout, should have a dedicated thread.

    Clearly no nation or government is set up to deal with this because this time is different. But we should discuss & debate all ideas
    so here we go!

  2. #2
    At some level of unemployment it will be necessary to begin shifting the balance of tax burden more toward wealth accumulation.
    .

  3. #3
    That will take too long.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    That will take too long.
    Will it take longer than passing legislation to eliminate the ability of the executive office to gut the agencies put in place by previous administrations to plan for predictable events. I believe this type of legislation would require amending the Constitution.
    .

  5. #5
    That would take too long, too.

    I'm just saying that workers and small businesses need *immediate* relief. It will be expensive and complicated, but it's absolutely necessary, and do-able.

  6. #6
    A $2 TRILLION economic "rescue" package is close to being finalized by US congress.
    US Treasury and Federal Reserve have new-fangled "tools" amounting to another $2 TRILLION, give or take.
    All to avert a viral pandemic that threatens economies with a global Depression.

    "Freee Markets" are a political-biased myth....particularly when it comes to "healthcare". Let's get that straight and stop pretending otherwise.

  7. #7
    I really wish they'd put more thought into the taxpayer ID based stimulus checks. They should have included retroactive means testing to recoup payments to people who lost no income due to the crisis. Giving the same amount of money to someone who is still getting full pay is irresponsible.
    .

  8. #8
    That would take too long.

    The only way a direct-payment "rescue" package can work is to eliminate (or reduce payments) to "high income" individuals/households. Not sure how $75,000/$150,000 became the metric, since COL varies so much by state, but at least it's a start.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    That would take too long.
    No it wouldn't because (maybe I used the wrong word) by retroactive I mean the checks go out now but when you file your taxes next year you pay it back if you realized no loss of income due to the crisis.
    .

  10. #10
    Good luck with that? The tax code is so full of loopholes, it's practically a jobs program for CPAs, tax attorneys, and lobbyists. But I get your gist.

    I'm concerned about the millions of people who work in the shadow/grey economy, especially within the service industry, that won't get direct payments because they (a) don't earn enough to file a tax return, (b) don't qualify for unemployment insurance, or (c) don't have a bank account.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    I really wish they'd put more thought into the taxpayer ID based stimulus checks. They should have included retroactive means testing to recoup payments to people who lost no income due to the crisis. Giving the same amount of money to someone who is still getting full pay is irresponsible.
    "free" money is nice and all but I have to agree to a degree. My family (not including my mom) is supposed to get $3,900 We are both still working. Hell, I'm getting paid for 5 hours of Windows 10 training today.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  12. #12
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    Strangely the only thing I am not concerned about in this crisis is money. I think that I will spend a lot less over at least the next three months. My income will stay roughly the same, although I expect my tenants to ask for a lower rent, at least temporarily (which I will seriously consider provided they ask). I'm going to simply save up the excess and see what I do with it. Pay off the mortgage I still have or maybe get back into shares.

    Working at home is kind of relaxed too. And it's great to be able to use the extra time for long walks with Bella.
    Trump: Lock him up.

  13. #13
    Hmm. We're not getting a dime from the government, and we're still paying nearly $4k/month on childcare that we can't use because the government closed them all. So that's a bit frustrating, but we figure that daycare and preschool teachers need the money more than we do. Our expenses are probably quite similar (slightly higher because we're doing less shopping around for food and such) but our exhaustion level is much, much higher - we've each essentially added 5 hours of work to our day that was pretty damned full already.

    Assuming this doesn't go on too long, my job is safe(ish). So I guess that's good? But honestly 2+ months of this is going to be absolutely brutal.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  14. #14
    Is that daycare so prestigious that you won't risk withdrawal and reapplying? Here's a copy/paste from ours:
    I am not closing so if you choose not to send your child next week or longer, you have the following options:

    If you are going to be out less than four weeks, full tuition is due to hold your spot.

    If you are going to be out four weeks or more, you can hold your child's spot by paying 1/2 of the your current weekly tuition.

    You can withdraw your child and contact us to check availability when you are ready to come back.

    My work is only requiring 5 hours of work for 8 hours of pay so I've taken to a schedule of working for an hour, checking on the kids or making lunch or getting the next activity set, then getting back to work for an hour.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  15. #15
    It's not a matter of prestige but supply. There's always tight space and waiting lists.

    Different programs have different responses. A friend's fired all of the teachers and stopped collecting tuition, but asked parents to chip in a bit for a fund to bridge to unemployment. Mine is one of the programs offering emergency care for critical workers (which I'm not) so they're half open. They are continuing to collect tuition and pay their teachers (with some modest online programming for older kids) and they're promising a rebate of sorts if government aid comes through. It's sucky either way but I'd prefer the teachers (who get paid shit) actually get a paycheck.

    My 5 year old is fine with modest needs but my 20 month old needs constant supervision. As a friend said, "So blessed to be a stay at home mom and be working full time. Who says you can't have it all?"
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  16. #16
    I thought one component of the rescue package was the SBA giving grants and/or no-interest loans to places like Day Care/Child Care facilities, so they can keep paying their employees even if they're furloughed or working part-time? That way they keep their employer-based Health insurance, don't stress the Unemployment Insurance system, and it frees their clients from having to pay OOP costs.

    Did I read that wrong?

  17. #17
    That's what it's supposed to do. How quickly it will do it is another matter. Lots of places already had to start making decisions or will have to make them before they've guaranteed they're going to get such money.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  18. #18
    It probably matters if employees are paid by salary, or hourly wages. That's how it panned out in the "essential" part of the restaurant sector, anyway. I just assumed there were special provisions for Child Care/Day Care operators, especially since first-responders need them in order to do their job. ??

    This state-by-state relief response is crazy. Some have enacted moratoriums on evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs. Some have suspended all late fees and fines. Others haven't. Hard to keep up.
    Last edited by GGT; 03-28-2020 at 03:07 AM.

  19. #19
    Seeing as the states aren't all responding the same way, it's perhaps not so crazy. You can't expect the same relief response in a state which hasn't enacted a stay-at-home order shutting down everything non-essential as one which has, for instance.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Seeing as the states aren't all responding the same way, it's perhaps not so crazy. You can't expect the same relief response in a state which hasn't enacted a stay-at-home order shutting down everything non-essential as one which has, for instance.
    Yes, of course. But the federal response hasn't been so nuanced -- they're sending money to almost every household -- because it would take too long otherwise. In the meantime, the states that don't think they have a disaster at their door aren't preparing, and it's business as usual. That just doesn't make sense from a viral perspective, let alone a coordinated Public Health response.

    If you can't fly into JFK or O'Hare or Miami, just rebook your flight to Bozeman, Montana or Paducha, Kentucky and rent a car?
    Last edited by GGT; 03-28-2020 at 04:12 AM.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    I thought one component of the rescue package was the SBA giving grants and/or no-interest loans to places like Day Care/Child Care facilities, so they can keep paying their employees even if they're furloughed or working part-time? That way they keep their employer-based Health insurance, don't stress the Unemployment Insurance system, and it frees their clients from having to pay OOP costs.

    Did I read that wrong?
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    That's what it's supposed to do. How quickly it will do it is another matter. Lots of places already had to start making decisions or will have to make them before they've guaranteed they're going to get such money.
    LF is right. We've been shut down for two weeks and it'll probably be a few more at a minimum before any aid is coming. We use a moderately large daycare provider. My guess is that they have at least 30 staff, and monthly payroll costs are somewhere on the order of $100-200k, not even taking into account things like facilities costs and the like. They might be able to swallow that kind of loss for a few weeks, but any more and I'd bet they'll be in serious trouble.

    I'm not sure using the unemployment system is a better solution, but it does give the parents some relief when they're stuck at home with their kids for 6-8 weeks. I just sent in a $4k tuition payment for a month of school that is not going to exist.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  22. #22
    I'm trying to understand the relief package....when we have a patchwork of state needs and responses.

    PA started with mandatory school and business closures, but it's full of exemptions, so it became a rolling county-by-county policy. Those small businesses that started earlier can't wait 3-4 more weeks. And the federal grant/loan money allotted to states is going first to large urban hubs (over 500,000 ppl) when big cities like Pittsburgh (~300,000 ppl) need the money just as badly. Then there's DC which is being treated like a territory, and getting shafted.

    I also have questions how states with no income tax (like Florida) will compare to others, esp. for unemployment insurance short-falls. Maybe they were slow to implement stay-at-home policies so they could still get their tourist tax revenue(?) But everyone is losing revenue, some for longer than others. Just wonder how that's being worked out.

  23. #23
    It's ironic that states are hiring people to man the .gov phone and web sites, because 3 million newly unemployed people have overwhelmed (crashed) the system.

    Hey, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you don't need no stinkin' gummint welfare, get in line for your bailout, lol

    https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/0...until-june-10/
    Last edited by GGT; 03-31-2020 at 03:42 AM.

  24. #24
    Anecdote: my son (who moved to another state specifically for a job with a restaurant corporation but got laid off within 6 months *because of covid19*) applied for Unemployment Insurance benefits...but is being told that he has to continue to apply for jobs, and prove that he's looking for employment, in order to qualify. Now there's some question about residency requirements, because he hadn't lived there for a full 6 months before he was laid off.

    How can *millions* of people in the food service/restaurant industry get Unemployment benefits if they're required to apply for jobs that don't even exist? You can't just stall entire sectors of the economy -- for public health reasons -- but expect them to find jobs *somewhere else*.

    He's itching to work and doesn't want an Unemployment check. He'd gladly move again (as if other states are hiring *and don't forget about the travel restrictions*)...but then he'd have to break his lease (which would cost about $4,500 OOP), so what's he supposed to do?

    Seriously, can this be any more fucked up?
    Last edited by GGT; 04-02-2020 at 05:30 AM.

  25. #25
    You make logs of your phone-calls to find places that are hiring, save classifieds, screenshot online searches, etc.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  26. #26
    It was a rhetorical rant.

    So it looks like the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) for small businesses had an abysmal roll-out. $350 Billion in loans/grants that can't be used by those who need it most, because the SBA only uses certain banks, and they weren't prepared to handle the millions of applicants.

    And who can promise to keep 90% of their employees "on the payroll" for the next 6 months anyway?

  27. #27
    I'm watching the Trump TV shit show (his coronavirus task force briefing ) and he continues to say that a "payroll tax cut" is the answer to our problems. Along with corporate tax deductions for restaurants, entertainment, hospitality. It's an astonishing thing to watch, but even more disturbing regarding policy.

    Never mind that Trump's early tax cuts went to the top 10%, added $Trillions to our debt/deficit, gutted funding for Public Health initiatives, and put the Federal Reserve and Treasury in the cross-hairs of a global health crisis. He's now threatening to put US funding for WHO on hold.

    This is madness.

    And this time is different because it's coming from the US, the leader of the freee world.

  28. #28
    The IRS web site has some severe flaws. The "stimulus check" tracking mechanism is FUBAR because it's based on people looking for their tax refunds.

    If you've filed your taxes but *owe* the IRS, there's no mechanism to input direct deposit info, in order to beat the paper check payment. My CPA has always e-filed, but they didn't have my bank info (for direct deposit) until now because I rarely get a refund.

    Yay, I'll have to wait until some time in May to get a paper check with Trump's signature on it? omg
    Last edited by GGT; 04-16-2020 at 04:27 AM.

  29. #29
    I don't like direct deposit myself (or automatic payments, I prefer to be directly involved in all transactions in an out of my account) and my taxes are simple enough that I always do them myself anyway. So I'll be waiting quite a while as well.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  30. #30
    I also don't get direct deposit, which is great because I plan on soaking the check in dog vomit and mailing it back to the king. Best $1200 dollars I never spent.
    .

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