Economic Relief from a Compassionate Conservative
George W. Bush coined the phrase “compassionate conservative” in his run for the presidency in 2000. Bush got elected and then the nation’s focus changed on September 11, 2001. This phrase seems appropriate for the challenges and decisions we face in the upcoming days and weeks.
Today, we have a pandemic COVID-19 situation that requires a reasoned, short-term compassionate answer, but a smart, fiscally conservative long-term solution that protects our fragile economy, rebuilds the confidence of the American worker and investor and protects our liberties under the Constitution.
The politicians are moving fast. We have no option but to trust them. For some, that’s hard to do. $22 trillion and counting in National Debt, $5 trillion annual budget (really…a continuing resolution) and an annual short fall of $1 trillion in round numbers.
At this writing (5PM CST on 03/20/20), the US Senate will stay the weekend to resolve and vote on a large and costly package of subsidies for businesses and individuals. Currently, we see from Ballotpedia:
• March 20, 2020: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the federal tax filing deadline would be delayed to July 15.
• March 19, 2020: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced S.3548, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). According to The Hill, the CARES Act includes the following provisions:
– $1,200 in direct cash payments for individuals making up to $75,000 annually, with an additional $500 per child
– Delay the federal tax filing deadline to July 15
– $208 billion in loans for major industries
– $300 billion in loans for small businesses
– Delay payments on federal student loans for three months, with a possible extension of another three months
Americans should be mindful that decisions we make today about this pandemic may have the potential for long(er) term ramifications. Thankfully, some conservative US Senators insist on reading the proposed legislation and debating the long(er) term consequences of the rushed emergency relief package. It’s a good balance of compassion and fiscal conservatism. And, we are grateful.
Perhaps, it’s not too late to offer some ideas.
Let’s propose that banks and mortgage companies delay mortgage payments for three months and add the accumulated principal and interest to the end of the term of the loan. Home and real estate owners and renters will postpone their mortgage payments and can have a heavy burden of relief. Banks and mortgage companies can receive a tax credit “if” needed to make them whole through the process. It’s a proposal that allows the private sector to be part of the solution and will allow effective and efficient execution of the idea.
The stock market and 401(K) retirement accounts have lost nearly a third of their value impacting seniors and those on fixed incomes. Locally, The Kansas Labor Department reports that unemployment claims have jumped by 600% in one week from 1,296 to 11,355. Families, individuals, and small businesses are hurting.
But, the healthcare measures are in place. Springtime is here and the virus will die in the coming heat. Two weeks of sequestered life will soon pass, and President Trump and his outstanding team of health care professionals (lead by the venerable VP Mike Pence) will analyze the empirical data and make “informed decisions” for the rapid recovery of our beloved nation.
We need solutions “now” that are both compassionate and conservative. Compassion to help people and small local businesses and Conservative measures to preserve our ability to recover rapidly and regain the momentum of the great Trump economy we enjoyed just two weeks ago.
Godspeed US Senators!!!
Candidate for US Congress(KS-3)