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Reblogged:Bipartisan Looting Enabled Lockdowns

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At RealClear Markets, John Tamny makes a clear case that all the "stimulus" packages passed by the federal government basically enabled governors such as Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, and Mario Cuomo to lock their states down indefinitely, by apparently sparing them from the financial consequences of doing so:

If this is all you think of when you hear the word looting, you aren't paying enough attention. (Image by Gabe Pierce, via Unsplash, license.)
[T]t began in the spring of 2020 when President Trump signed a $2.9 trillion emergency spending bill meant to cushion the blow of massive job loss and business bankruptcy. Generous unemployment benefits and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are but two examples of the federal response that made it possible for the unemployed to get by, and for dying businesses to remain afloat.

Sadly, it was never asked whether the federal government had the power to intervene so substantively in response to the coronavirus, but it’s worth asking once again what would have happened had President Trump and Republicans, often deferential to states’ rights in rhetoric, properly removed the federal government as a factor.

If so, it’s pretty safe to say that the most restrictive states would have had to end their lockdowns long ago. Really, what choice would they have had? Lockdowns of any kind of length would have resulted in unemployment and bankruptcy, and the latter would have quickly forced the hands of governors. Except that their hands weren’t forced thanks to a multi-trillion federal cushion that most certainly distorted state responses. Federal meddling enabled local responses that never could have happened absent federal largess.
As with all such federal "aid," this is wealth redistribution in the form of future taxes and inflation, and on a historic scale. The consequences will be ugly, and it is a certainty that our politicians will make them worse than they will have to be, just like they did with this pandemic.

-- CAV

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