Friday, May 15, 2020


To dday.
This puts Nancy Pelosi to the right of Joe Biden for the dumbest reason imaginable. Meanwhile the bill subsidizes COBRA for laid-off workers who lose health insurance, an unbelievably expensive proposition (about 50 percent more per person than putting the unemployed on Medicare, according to the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass). So cost is only a concern when you’re not propping up the private insurance industry.

This bill, pitched as a messaging effort, has now been made toxic for swing-district members. Every ad in the fall will come from it. Either they say no, and they are accused of voting to fire cops and teachers, or they say yes, and are accused of voting to bail out lobbyists and insurance companies. (And slumlords and debt collectors.) There’s no vision of what to accomplish; it’s a grab-bag of wish list policies and attempts at compromise with special interests, of moonshot spending and carefully trimmed and means tested measures.

What will happen is that this entire bill will be thrown out except for a fraction of the state and local fiscal aid, paired with capital gains tax cuts or whatever the Trump administration decides they want, and this sorry exercise will have done nothing but hurt re-election chances and expose Pelosi’s preoccupations. What a waste.