As you may have heard, Democratic senators have pushed back at Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempts to use coronavirus relief funds to create a $500 billion slush fund for big businesses while throwing some scraps onto the floor for working Americans. The Republican Party is using this loss as fodder, saying that Democratic Party leaders are playing politics. But anyone who might be paying the least bit of attention realizes that when you add up the math of Trump’s incompetence, Mitch McConnell’s strange vacationing during this emergency, and the Grand Old Party’s proclivity for giving out tankers filled with American taxpayer cash to corporations, it’s clear who is performing in bad faith. Unfortunately, Bloomberg Business host Jonathan Ferro has the mind of a very small bird and is satisfied to perform his host job with the least amount of real cognition possible.
Speaking with Sen. Elizabeth Warren about what was and was not in the Republican emergency relief package, Warren was asked what “strings” Democratic senators wanted attached in order to get the big business $500 billion slush fund in the Republican bill passed. Simple enough. Sen. Warren explained that right now, Republicans want the bill to pass with big business “promising” not to use the bill for stock buybacks and other narrow-minded profiteering. Democrats want the legislation to have those restrictions written into law.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: Restrictions on stock buy backs are part of it. That the money is being used to support payroll is an important part of it. That the companies are truly investing in their workers, not using this money for executive pay, for example. And that there is an oversight panel that makes sure that the money is spent according to the law and according to the promises that have been made … and part of that means the corporate executives that take this money have to sign, under penalty of law, that their companies are complying with all of the laws and rules and regulations. That’s how we make sure that if taxpayer dollars are being used, then the taxpayers are the ones who are truly being served.
Ferro thought the best way to look like someone asking hard questions was to “both sides” this very global, very serious, very easily understandable issue. In his trademark staccato delivery,* he first asked whether Democrats were looking for “the perfect bill.” No: Just a bill that isn’t a fucking giveaway to the uber rich, who Republicans have already given a ton of free taxpayer money to. Then, after Sen. Warren patiently answered that vapid dry fart of a question, Ferro went in for the even thinner, somehow less profound question/statement:
JONATHAN FERRO: In this bill, there are checks for everyday Americans. The reason this bill hasn’t gone through is because of Democratic senators. Do you want to be the person that’s stopping people from getting their checks to meet their rent at the end of this month?
After going outside to grab my computer that I threw out the window, I watched Warren respond to this heinous misrepresentation of the Republican offer to give out “checks” to some working Americans, at some point in the future, if some of them can jump through the Minotaur’s labyrinth the GOP famously constructs any time taxpayer money is being waved in front of American workers.
WARREN: Excuse me! The reason this bill has not gone through is because of Republican senators. Because of Republican leadership, that pretended to negotiate for three days with the Democrats and then at the end of that time basically introduced their own bill.
Warren’s point here was that for all of the talk of Democratic officials needing to “compromise,” the Republican Party is just running out their standard oligarchical cash giveaways to the rich. After explaining to Ferro that the Democratic Party has laid out, very plainly, the standards of relief they are looking for—relief that helps the majority of Americans, not simply the 1%—she had to deal with Ferro’s bizarre big business talking points. Ferro asked if they could “strip out” the $500 billion bailout money and just have a bill, though he said it in a way that seemed to suggest Democratic officials haven’t been asking for just that the whole time. Warren said absolutely, at which point Ferro added that we could get that relief bill done, but we would also need to lose the checks to families.
This is the crux of the problem here. This is the dirty, scummy water that people like Ferro are carrying for the Republican Party. Why would we need to get rid of the checks to Americans? Why? Why is having checks sent to Americans contingent on some corporate bailout deal? It’s not. The Republican Party and their big business interests want it to be, which is the real reason this relief process is taking so long in the first place.
Warren once again explains that this is not a complex issue. One political party, the one in control of the Senate, wants big, no-strings-attached bailout money for big business. The other wants the lions share of bailout funds to go to working Americans, or in capitalist terms, the American consumers who are losing jobs and about to go into serious debt consuming electricity, food, and shelter.
Ferro finishes his dirty work, not able to make a single salient point himself, by saying that if the bill doesn’t go through it is both the Republican Party and the Democratic party’s fault. No. No, it’s not. It’s on Donald Trump, his Republican Party, their broad cuts to our government infrastructure, their deregulation of our economy, and their inaction that has led us to where we are now.
*That is supposed to somehow indicate he’s all business.