from Conservative Review:
Horowitz: The key bad assumption in the bipartisan panic pander bill
How can Congress treat the fallout of a problem it has failed to define and whose solutions are helping to drive the problem? What is the point of bankrupting our future for a stimulus when California is shutting down the entire state and the Trump administration is considering doing so for the entire nation? We are entitled to a robust debate and some answers.
Politicians and the media are telling the public to be prudent and not to panic, but everything they are saying and implementing is sowing panic, and they are now contemplating actions that reflect more of a bubonic plague dynamic. Their entire legislative approach is about feeding on panic and using the crisis to immediately implement socialism before we even know the scope of the problem and can more effectively target solutions.
Bailing out industries and indiscriminately sending out $1,200 checks to every person in this country (even those fully employed) is way too premature and doesn’t address the problem at hand. There is no economy to stimulate until we solve the logistical problem of getting people back to work. That requires using better scientific data to more effectively localize the quarantines to the places and to the people who need to be home and get as many people working as possible. We need a strategy of containment more in line with the South Korea model than with the European model.
In the meantime, we should be suspending different forms of taxation and offering interest-free loans to incentivize people to work and maintain personal businesses. We already passed paid leave for those who can’t work. And those who are laid off are already eligible for unemployment benefits, which we should work on expediting.
side from that, sending out checks to everyone makes no sense. For starters, while many are unable to work, a lot of people are still receiving 100 percent of their salary by working from home or through other arrangements. Why should we pay those people? For example, a family of five like mine who relies solely on telecommunicating (which is not shut down) would receive $3,900 in cash. I mean, I’ll gladly take it or donate it to charity, but does it really make any sense? Instead, incentivize more work by slashing taxes.
As for those in need, $1,200 per person is both too much and too little. It’s too much in the macro-fiscal sense, because it will bankrupt our nation with crushing interest payments on the debt. But it’s also way too little for most families if government is really warning about months of shutdowns, even up to 18 months. If we go the European route instead of the Korean route in terms of a shutdown, we’ll have to mail out $50,000 checks.