Gimme! gimme! gimme!

YOU’LL GET A kick out of this, and you should also be disgusted.

As you likely know, the Trump Administration engineered “stimulus” payments to many Americans to soften the blow of the economic shutdowns prompted by the Kung Flu pandemic. This is to help those who lost their incomes.

batLike Social Security payments in general, the stimulus cash does not come with means-testing, so some folks get it in spite of not needing it. This is, of course, taxpayer cash, i.e. money forcibly taken from citizens every year.

There is an internet forum that caters to Gringos in my area. A topic of great interest is the stimulus money and when they will get theirs. Of course, 98 percent of the Gringos hereabouts are retired. The pandemic has not affected their incomes in the slightest. No matter. They want their money from Trump, the quicker the better.

Interestingly, 98 percent of them are also Trump loathers. I’m guessing on that percentage, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the overwhelming percentage of Americans who retire south of the border are leftists and/or geriatric hippies.

There are two of these forums that focus on our area on the same internet platform. One is run by a conservative, the other is run by a leftist. Guess which forum has almost all of the activity? I don’t even have to tell you, do I? There has been no mention of the stimulus cash on the conservative forum, but it’s a hot topic with the leftists.

They want their “free” money, and they want it now!

44 thoughts on “Gimme! gimme! gimme!

  1. Felipe: You’re just jealous because you ain’t getting any. LOL. Stew and I haven’t received any either. In anticipation of its arrival, we’ve given $1,000 U.S. to a local food bank to help Mexicans who’ve lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. If you do get a “stimulus check” eventually, I encourage you to donate part or all of it too.

    As far as government handouts, the biggest share of the multi-trillion-dollar piñata, enthusiastically approved by both Dems and Reps, is going to big businesses and entities that are not particularly needy, under the notion that tickling them will spur job creation down the line. Sort of a trickle-down kind of thing.

    One curious thing about all this is that Republicans rail against Big Government and deficits until the po-po hits the fan, and BG is summoned to the rescue. It’s like people who complain about the cost of the fire department until their house catches on fire.

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    1. Señor Lanier: I had already decided that if that undeserved cash does land in my bank, I would do what you might have done prematurely. And yes, lots of the stimulus cash is going to places, businesses, universities, that do not deserve it in the slightest. Just another example of how badly government does many things. Harvard, for instance, has a massive endowment, and yet it received millions in this poorly thought out scheme. Trump badmouthed them, and I believe they have returned it. The poor handling of the “stimulus” is not Trump’s doing. It’s government down the food chain, the bureaucracy.

      The stimulus money, no doubt, is helping many, but it is also being wasted to a YUGE degree from what I have read. I do not blame Trump. I blame the “system” that he inherited. I know you blame Trump. Ni modo.

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      1. First question that comes to mind is: Do you ever blame Trump for ANYTHING?

        But my comment was not about Trump, actually, since I doubt he knows much about macro economic policy, beyond his own business interests. (I sure as hell don’t)

        Rather, my question was that it seems that the universal solution to economic crises, embraced by both parties, is to dump truckloads of the money on the economy. We saw an interview with the chairman of the Fed in Minneapolis and he said the Fed was ready to “flood” the market with “as much money as it was needed” to reinvigorate the economy, or keeping the country from sliding into a depression.

        I wondered, are there any solutions to economic downturns other than dumping money on the problem? Any limits? Don’t the mounting interest costs and carrying charges on such money dumps put us at the risk of inflation? Don’t such massive interventions by the government in the economy make a mockery of the supposed differences of the two parties with regard to small vs big government?

        Even if it wasn’t his own idea, Trump’s rush to sign off on this legislation, and put his name on the stimulus checks, would suggest he’s not philosophically or practically opposed to such interventions. (At least as a emergency effort to resuscitate the economy to prop up his reelection prospects)

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        1. Señor Lanier: Trump, like every human, makes mistakes, but he has a pure heart. He is, if you take into consideration the current state of American society, the best president in U.S. history. He is like the kid whose finger is stuck in the hole of the dike. Sure, Lincoln freed the slaves, which was fine too, but those were different times and circumstances. Perhaps I would rate them equally.

          Trump does not need to be an expert on macro economics. He has assistants for that, as do all presidents. As for my detailed grasp of matters economic, I am pretty much, like you, a dunce. I do know you should not spend more than you earn, and I believe that is just as true for nations as it is for individuals and families. (Some economists agree with that, and some disagree.) I am sure Trump knows it too, but he’s letting other considerations override that. Whether that is good or bad, I know not. I tend toward bad, but he has that pure heart.

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    1. Carole: I was not aware you had married badly. I am duly distressed! Do what you can about him. If nothing works, use a shovel upside his head. You’re still young enough to start over. Well, maybe. On the matter of the money, were you in financial straits due to the Kung Flu? I’m guessing not. You send that cash back right now! You hear? Jeez.

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  2. As far as I can see, senior Canadians get no stimulus. I think everyone else does, including some foreign students. There are a few changes to how much you can get out of your rrsp (401k) but not really any help.

    I have always claimed to be a fiscal conservative, and I agree with Felipe. Send it back. We have donated to several groups in our area. There are a lot of people who really need the help. Give what you can. It’s good for the soul.

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    1. Kirk: The “stimulus” to which I refer here is a U.S. program, not Canadian. I do not anticipate receiving the payment, and I think lots of the Gringos around here are gonna be disappointed. I hope they are. Quite possible, however, that those with U.S. bank accounts, and that would be most of them, might get the cash. I have no U.S. bank.

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      1. You should almost certainly qualify for that $1,200. There’s an IRS website where you can check on it. Take the money; not doing so won’t help anything.

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  3. Obviously, a lot of people are being prevented by the government from earning a paycheck. It’s only right that the government help them.

    The reason everyone else gets the swag is political reality: about 30% of voters in this country would rather live in a cardboard box under a bridge and eat sparrows roasted on a curtain rod than see someone else getting something that they aren’t.

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    1. Creigh: The “stimulus” thing is a federal payout. People being kept from working is almost entirely done by local governments, from state on down.

      Yes, it is political reality that has the cash flying all over the place. Pathetic.

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  4. This money has to come from somewhere, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out from where. Oh sure, the Treasury sells bonds to the Fed in exchange for currency, but this eventually will ruin the member banks. Truth be, both the bonds and the currency will soon be worthless. Inflation soon spins into hyper-inflation, and that really kills an economy. Store shelves become empty because if goods are sold, the merchant will not receive enough to restock the shelves.

    Remember the Weimar Republic? Zimbabwe?

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      1. Weimar and Zimbabwe are not around the corner, although I knock on wood when I say that. The money that the U.S. government is printing is just replacing demand that would otherwise be devastated by lack of paychecks. Those missing paychecks, if not replaced somehow, would result in significant deflation. If there is inflation it will be caused by disruptions in the food supply and not money printing, as it was in Zimbabwe where food production crashed due to civil war and subsequent farm mismanagement.

        Bottom line, inflation — certainly hyperinflation — is not caused by money printing per se, but possibly by money printing as a response to natural or man-made disaster; crop failure, war, and the like. Let us pray that coronavirus is not one of those things.

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        1. Money-printing is a necessary but not sufficient condition for hyperinflation. But persistently large government deficits, covered by money printing is another key condition for hyperinflation, and we now have that at a scale not even seen in WWII. So yes, there’s something of a demand hole to be filled. And near-term we are unlikely to have hyperinflation. But there’s no sign the government is going to stop with these enormous spending bills, made all the worse by the fact that it’s an election year. And if that keeps up, then yes, we’ll have hyperinflation. Protecting yourself would be a good idea.

          Cheers,

          Kim G

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  5. Try this: You can check the status of your payment on the IRS website at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. The U.S. government cannot drop money into a foreign account. Who knew that? Be careful what kind of information you give to others who say they can help you. They will just help themselves.

    Good luck!

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    1. Señor Gill: Who knew that? Well, I did. Out of curiosity, I went that route a couple of weeks ago and was sent into a dead end, no info. Tried it twice with the same results.

      But sure, the U.S. government can drop money into a foreign account. They do it every month when they deposit my SS into my Mexican bank account, and into the Mexican accounts of lots of other folks down here too.

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        1. Ms. Shoes: Quite true. I explained that to him this morning via email. And it’s not that the IRS cannot deposit in foreign banks. It’s just that they do not or will not. They could if they wanted to.

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  6. Our Facebook pages over here are filled with people whining about their “missing” money — some are certain Trump has personally targeted them for their political views. As you note, most are on pensions that were not affected by the economic slowdown. But they demand “their” money.

    The fact that I would not get any of the stimulus money even if I lived in The States makes me an independent observer without a perro in this fight. Getting the money does not concern me. Cranking up the deficit does. There appears to be no organized political activity to bring government spending under control. And that does concern me.

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    1. Señor Cotton: Unlike you, I am eligible for the welfare payment, and I imagine I would be getting it if I lived above the border or even if I still had a U.S. bank account. Sending me the money would be ridiculous. As mentioned, I have not been financially hit by the Kung Flu in the slightest. I do not need to be propped up in any way.

      Yes, this is yet another example of how irresponsible the U.S. is with taxpayer cash, tossing it every which way. And the Gringos down here who are salivating over the thought of “free” cash falling into their un-needy laps should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

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    2. And let’s not forget that the foreign exchange market has already given those USD pensioners a 30% raise here in the past few months. Those folks are not struggling at all!

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      1. Kim, P.S.: I am a member of that forum. I would go on there and leave a post to shame them, just for the fun of it. But I’m on permanent moderation there for already calling out the ham-fisted forum owner for not following his own rules, so anything I would say would never see the light of day.

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          1. Ms. Shoes: Of course, I know that. Liberty is good.

            The rules over there state, “just be nice.” I am always nice. There is also the “no politics” rule which applies only to no conservative politics. Politics they agree with, leftist, are fine and dandy. It is often a dishonest forum.

            And now a number of them are hollering for their free money! Sad.

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  7. From my cursory understanding of U.S. government, finance and funding bills originate from the Congress, not the executive branch. Trump merely had to approve or disapprove. So, technically it’s not coming from Trump. Surprisingly, I got a check. I’ve given most away to food banks in U.S. and to a missionary in Honduras who is feeding the unemployed there.

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    1. Laurie: If memory serves, and I believe it does, the idea for these handouts originated in the White House, so it did come from Trump. It was then handed off to the House and Senate to actually put it together in legislative form, at which point it went back to Trump for his signature. The original legislation was jam-packed with unrelated pork, done almost exclusively by the Democrats, of course, stuff that had squat to do with the effects of the Kung Flu. A howl went up about that, and they reworked it before sending it on to Trump to be signed. However, even the revised legislation remained pork-heavy, just not so much as the original version. Americans who were financially hit by the pandemic were indeed helped, which is good, but so were lots of other people and organizations who were not financially suffering in the slightest. They just got money dropped into their laps. A classic example of what’s wrong with American government. Pathetic.

      By the way, you handled your Trump gift well. Kudos. But remember in November that it was a gift from the Blond Bomber.

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      1. While blessed to receive said stimulus, I don’t think a vote for the money’s supposed originator is warranted. The orange-faced one will not receive my vote. Even a thought in that direction makes me shudder.

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  8. The ratio of goods available to currency in circulation determines the price of the goods. The U.S. government does not print currency, the Fed does. The Fed is a creature of the banks, not the government. But when the government force-feeds treasuries to the banking system in exchange for currency, eventually the banking system will fail. The government’s propensity to spend is endless. Government debt is never retired, but is only rolled over. Inflation is the way the government steals the savings of the people. Sad but true.

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      1. Everyone’s propensity to spend is endless. That’s what makes the world go round, economy-wise. Except that due to coronavirus, many people’s propensity to spend has collapsed and is taking the economy with it. So it’s a good thing for the economy that the government is stepping up,

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  9. The concerns about the deficit mentioned above are misconstrued. This is in large part because money itself is misconstrued. (Money is not “kinda like gold only made out of paper, or something…”) In order to understand the real consequences of fiscal operations including the deficit — and there are real consequences — it is necessary to understand what money is, how and why it is created, and how its creation and deployment relates to the real economy.

    For a couple of years now, I’ve taught a Continuing Ed seminar at our state university on money and its relation to the real economy. I have prepared class material of about 8500 words that I hope and believe clarifies a lot of this for a general audience. Taking a couple of hours to read it might be an enlightening way to spend some social distancing time. Here’s the link:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T_Qz935hZobySWQYTfowHnUx9AjFWeeUufoPx2ijTnM/edit

    Comments strongly encouraged

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    1. Creigh: Thanks. I doubt I’ll read all of that. They don’t call economics the dismal science for nothing. But perhaps others here are more inclined to that sort of thing. Let us hope so.

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  10. At first I was very unhappy about this stimulous. We received $2,400. We didn’t need it, and we live on Social Security. We haven’t paid taxes in six years. In the last great Depression, they threw that money at jobs to build infrastructure and the jobs they provided. Well, they just threw the money at us whether we need it or not. I decided to split ours up between our four children. They pay taxes, more than the stimulus they received. That’s my good cause.

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    1. Dave: I am ambivalent about the stimulus payments. Obviously, it did good for people who needed it. What I’m not ambivalent about is the poor administration of the program, the tossing of money left and right, often to people and organizations who had no need for it whatsoever. Just one more, of the endless train of it, example of how government runs things so very badly and wastefully.

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  11. I have a friend in California who runs a successful insurance business. His business has not been affected at all, and in fact, he’s setting records in the number of policies he’s sold in the past few months. Yet he qualified for the PPP “loan,” which turns into a gift if he doesn’t fire any of his employees over the next X months. Since he needs those employees and his business has not been affected, he’s basically just collected a $70,000 gift from the U.S. Treasury.

    More in government than in any other field of effort, the term “haste makes waste” applies in spades.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where I’m daily appalled at the horror of it all — sickness and death; economic collapse; social immiseration.

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