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Old 03-17-2020, 02:48 PM
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Instead of payroll tax cut, Trump now plans to send checks directly to Americans, soon


Plan is for a big cash infusion within the next 2 weeks, because the payroll tax cut plan (which effect would take 6-8 months to percolate through the economy and be felt) was criticized as much too slow.
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Old 03-17-2020, 02:55 PM
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:08 PM
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How will Trumpco make a profit from this?
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:54 PM
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Late April, the article says.

That's fine 'n all, but it's not going to help people who want to self-quarantine now pay this month's rent
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:06 PM
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How will Trumpco make a profit from this?
He probably sees it as a way to salvage his chance of getting re-elected (and thereby not spending the rest of his days as a guest of the State of New York).
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:29 PM
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Will the checks be issued by his university?
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:44 PM
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The payroll tax cut would have taken money from Social Security. Secondly, how do you reduce payroll tax on the thousands of workers who are being laid off? Stupid idea.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:50 PM
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The payroll tax cut would have taken money from Social Security. Secondly, how do you reduce payroll tax on the thousands of workers who are being laid off? Stupid idea.
Of course it's a stupid idea, Steve Mnuchin suggested it.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:58 PM
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He is trying to repeat Bush Sr.'s losing strategy of attempting to buy his way back into the good graces of the voters.

By April $1k won't be nearly enough. And if he only sends it to people with jobs, it won't help those who need it most to get through this.
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:35 PM
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I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:39 PM
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I don't pay into Social Security, so that would've helped me zero.

Romney also essentially invented Obamacare. Depending on your POV, he either consistently gets denied credit or avoided credit for things people don't like.
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:24 AM
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A few questions.
  • Do all Americans have mailing addresses?
  • Do all Americans need a thousand bucks?
  • Will checks be mailed
    • to homeless camps?
    • to homes vacant after eviction?
    • to RVs and trailers in WalMart parking lots?
    • to US citizens out of the country?
    • to households worth over a million bucks;
    • to emptied college dorms?
    • to sanctuary cities?
  • Will recipients lacking bank accounts pay large check-cashing fees?
  • Will thieves follow postal carriers, emptying home mailboxes?
I won't bother asking about inflation. What's another trillion? Pocket change.

If not checks, why not cash-cards? Because same problems as checks. Why not direct deposit? Because not everyone has an account. If the money's there, why not spend it on medical supplies and services? Because that would be unacceptably beneficial. No, printing a trillion bucks and strewing cash from gold helicopters is the only solution.
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:36 AM
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I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this.
Why? There's a Republican president, so Republicans are pro-stimulus until at least November.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:05 AM
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I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:16 AM
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I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.
They think $1000 will make people forget how much the president has screwed the pooch on this thing. History isn't going to be kind to him on a variety of topics, but it is going to salughter him with respect to his initial response to COVID-19. No matter how semi-presidential his pantomiming is now, the receipts showing how much of a monster he is will live forever.

The sad thing is there will be a segment of the population who will manage to give him and his enabling party a mulligan even on this. They will point to their $1000 check as evidence that he tried to do something. I'm sure there are conservatives who still give Hoover props for his feckless efforts too.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:30 AM
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I recall W Bush pushing out payments a ~decade ago. Does anyone recall how that worked? I vaguely recall it being associated with filing my tax return (maybe a refundable credit?) Not a separate mailing.
I don't think the feds even know where I live. I moved last year. Not that I need a check, but I'm not sure how, mechanically, this is supposed to work.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:35 AM
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I recall W Bush pushing out payments a ~decade ago. Does anyone recall how that worked? I vaguely recall it being associated with filing my tax return (maybe a refundable credit?) Not a separate mailing.
I don't think the feds even know where I live. I moved last year. Not that I need a check, but I'm not sure how, mechanically, this is supposed to work.
What you're remembering is the economic stimulus of 2008, which did indeed take the form of tax rebates. It was, I think, $300 per person, or $600 for a married couple filing jointly. For most people, it was an additional line on the 1040 form when you filed your taxes.

Even earlier, in 2001, the Bush administration sent out "tax rebate" checks, which involved actually mailing checks to, theoretically, every taxpayer in the country. I think the amounts were the same--$300 for individuals, $600 for married filing jointly--and the checks were sent by the IRS, since they had the records of who lived where and who had payed taxes.

So mailing a check to most of the population is at least theoretically possible. Even if this passes through Congress, I'm not sure whether the issuing of those checks could actually happen as quickly as the President is suggesting. From what I remember in 2001, the checks were spread out over several months. I don't think I got mine until about July or August. I don't know how practical it is to mail checks to everyone within just a few weeks.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:52 AM
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Increasing in size! Now the talk is that it may be $2,000 checks being sent out, but with limits so that the wealthy don't qualify to receive them.
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:06 PM
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I don't know how practical it is to mail checks to everyone within just a few weeks.
Direct deposit is far more common now than in 2001, of course, so they wouldn't be mailing very many checks at all.
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:26 PM
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Direct deposit is far more common now than in 2001, of course, so they wouldn't be mailing very many checks at all.
That's true, of course, and I thought about that. Of course, that would require knowing everyone's bank account number and routing number. I suppose the IRS would have that information for anyone who's gotten a tax refund and had it direct deposited. But there are lots of people who didn't get refunds, or who might have changed banks in the meantime, or who just plain don't have bank accounts at all. There would be a lot of logistical challenges.

Plus all the articles I've seen about it seem to say "checks." Maybe that's just shorthand.

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Old 03-18-2020, 12:38 PM
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I remember getting a check then. I don’t think direct deposit was as much of a thing at that time. Everyone in my office was still taking our paycheck to the bank to deposit it every 2 weeks back then.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:48 PM
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How many millions of Americans now lack bank accounts, homes, mailing addresses, and incomes?
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:36 PM
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A few questions.
  • Do all Americans have mailing addresses?
  • Do all Americans need a thousand bucks?
  • Will checks be mailed
    • to homeless camps?
    • to homes vacant after eviction?
    • to RVs and trailers in WalMart parking lots?
    • to US citizens out of the country?
    • to households worth over a million bucks;
    • to emptied college dorms?
    • to sanctuary cities?
  • Will recipients lacking bank accounts pay large check-cashing fees?
  • Will thieves follow postal carriers, emptying home mailboxes?
I won't bother asking about inflation. What's another trillion? Pocket change.

If not checks, why not cash-cards? Because same problems as checks. Why not direct deposit? Because not everyone has an account. If the money's there, why not spend it on medical supplies and services? Because that would be unacceptably beneficial. No, printing a trillion bucks and strewing cash from gold helicopters is the only solution.
How was it handled the last time in 2008?
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:40 PM
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I remember getting a check then. I donít think direct deposit was as much of a thing at that time. Everyone in my office was still taking our paycheck to the bank to deposit it every 2 weeks back then.
Direct Deposit has been around since the 80s, It's just been in the last 10 years or so that employers have insisted upon it.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:42 PM
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How many millions of Americans now lack bank accounts, homes, mailing addresses, and incomes?
You don't need a bank account or an income, assuming the government has your address. Not that many people are going to be losing their houses by April - in California the local governments are forbidding evictions when rent is late due to virus-related reasons.
Which leaves the homeless, and usually giving the homeless $1,000 is not going to be a good idea. There is a move here to use vacant hotel space to house them. Let local governments spend it for them on food, clothing and housing.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:47 PM
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The criticism of the program the last time it was done was that people used it to pay off debt or add to savings, not for consumption, so it didn't help the economy much. The Obama payroll tax cut was to provide people with an incrementally bigger paycheck which would encourage more consumption. This is based on the behavioral economics concept of buckets that you put money into - windfalls go into a different bucket than paychecks, and gets spent or saved differently. I think Sunstein was responsible.

It really won't help now since it is hard to consume if the stores are closed. Making sure everyone gets unemployment insurance payments will help more. But it is still a lot better idea than the payroll cut under current circumstances.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:09 PM
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It really won't help now since it is hard to consume if the stores are closed. Making sure everyone gets unemployment insurance payments will help more. But it is still a lot better idea than the payroll cut under current circumstances.
There is a big difference between now and then: Amazon is open. And they are hiring 100,000 new workers and giving all workers a $2 an hour pay raise.

I am not saying one company will make all the difference. But there are new segments of the economy that can function even if brick and mortar stores fail.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:35 PM
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Details are out: Democratic and Republican senators have tentatively agreed on a package to send "$2,000 to every American earning less than a million dollars per year."

I was hoping it would have been limited more, so that those who earn $300-999k are also disqualified, but it is what it is.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:48 PM
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America gets means-testing obsessed as it is, but in this case it would be more stupid IMO to waste time poring over everyone's documents to check if they qualify for a means-tested handout and to check for fraud. It's better to just give it to everyone now, and in the future raise taxes on the top brackets (obviously it would take the Dems in power for the second part to happen).

Also, there are probably a lot of small-business owners who have no income source right now but on the books have a gross revenue of hundreds of thousands annually, but it would take a ton of effort to confirm that they actually make under the threshold if you properly account for business expenses and whatnot.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:24 AM
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My SIL (former senior financial executive), facing a cash crunch, just sold stocks low for a cool quarter-million-buck loss. A kilobuck or two won't ease her pain much - she and useless hubby waste a lot. They may yet end up residing in our little RV. But if they talk politics, they'll get a tent in the meadow instead. Charity has limits.

I find US homelessness numbers elusive. Some sources say about about 555k persons on any given night, others point to ~1.5 million children at any time, and up to 20% of college students. I (so far) can't find numbers on Americans lacking mailing addresses, which includes many in Indian reservations and border-area colonias.

Who else likely won't be mailed bailout checks? Will itinerant workers, nursing-home residents, troops, parking-lot campers, the incarcerated, or the recently deceased receive anything?
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:26 AM
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server error dupe

Last edited by RioRico; 03-19-2020 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:39 AM
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What you're remembering is the economic stimulus of 2008, which did indeed take the form of tax rebates. It was, I think, $300 per person, or $600 for a married couple filing jointly. For most people, it was an additional line on the 1040 form when you filed your taxes.

Even earlier, in 2001, the Bush administration sent out "tax rebate" checks, which involved actually mailing checks to, theoretically, every taxpayer in the country. I think the amounts were the same--$300 for individuals, $600 for married filing jointly--and the checks were sent by the IRS, since they had the records of who lived where and who had payed taxes.
Many people seem to have forgotten that in the FOLLOWING year, there was a line on the 1040 for the purpose of repaying that loan. There was never any free money given out. The $300/$600 that we got in the first year was deducted in the second.

I'm trying to find out if this is going to happen again. I'll happily take whatever they offer, but I'd like to know NOW, whether it means that next year's refund will be that much smaller.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:48 AM
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Many people seem to have forgotten that in the FOLLOWING year, there was a line on the 1040 for the purpose of repaying that loan. There was never any free money given out. The $300/$600 that we got in the first year was deducted in the second.
No, there wasn't; I believe you are the one who has forgotten how it worked. There was a line on the 2008 return (due in 2009) to REPORT how much you received, which enabled those who did not receive the full amount originally to claim an additional credit, but it wasn't a deduction and you did not have to repay anything.

See the 2008 Form 1040, line 70, and the accompanying instructions on pages 61 through 63.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:51 AM
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A few questions.
  • Do all Americans have mailing addresses?
  • Do all Americans need a thousand bucks?
  • Will checks be mailed
    • to homeless camps?
    • to homes vacant after eviction?
    • to RVs and trailers in WalMart parking lots?
    • to US citizens out of the country?
    • to households worth over a million bucks;
    • to emptied college dorms?
    • to sanctuary cities?
  • Will recipients lacking bank accounts pay large check-cashing fees?
  • Will thieves follow postal carriers, emptying home mailboxes?
I won't bother asking about inflation. What's another trillion? Pocket change.

If not checks, why not cash-cards? Because same problems as checks. Why not direct deposit? Because not everyone has an account. If the money's there, why not spend it on medical supplies and services? Because that would be unacceptably beneficial. No, printing a trillion bucks and strewing cash from gold helicopters is the only solution.
I suspect (and hope even) that the checks will be for people who file tax returns, and sent to that address.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:56 AM
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Many people seem to have forgotten that in the FOLLOWING year, there was a line on the 1040 for the purpose of repaying that loan. There was never any free money given out. The $300/$600 that we got in the first year was deducted in the second....
Not quite. IIRC it became taxable then next year, you didnt have to pay it all back, only maybe 28%.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:03 PM
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Details are out: Democratic and Republican senators have tentatively agreed on a package to send "$2,000 to every American earning less than a million dollars per year."

I was hoping it would have been limited more, so that those who earn $300-999k are also disqualified, but it is what it is.
Note that this IS NOT a single $2000 check to every American.

It's $1000 now and maybe $1000 in another six weeks. That's $167/week.



Whoop-de-fucking-doo.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:11 PM
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Note that this IS NOT a single $2000 check to every American.

It's $1000 now and maybe $1000 in another six weeks. That's $167/week.



Whoop-de-fucking-doo.
......It's $2,000 more than we would have gotten otherwise.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:46 PM
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You don't need a bank account or an income, assuming the government has your address.
Thatís a big assumption. Itís not like the government has a big master list of everyone in the USA, updated constantly.

I just filed my 2020 tax returns, which arenít due yet. My 2019 returns have an incorrect address. My bank, credit card companies and the postal service are in possession of my current address but I donít register an address with the government and I donít notify them if I move. Freedom and democracy.

I donít see, logistically, how the government will get the info to ďjust send a check to everyoneĒ. They have social security and disability info, tax returns - and maybe access to local tax rolls. But there would be lots of duplicates between those lists, and possibly lots of outdated addresses. Iím really curious to see how this will work.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 03-19-2020 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:30 PM
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So now the eligibility threshold is $1million? A report I read earlier was that $65,000 was being considered. That's quite a difference.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:48 PM
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So now the eligibility threshold is $1million? A report I read earlier was that $65,000 was being considered. That's quite a difference.
A $1 million threshold is beyond ridiculous. I'm not really sold on this idea in the first place, but if it were going to be implemented it should target those under the most potential strain. Like $100k or less - $65k would be fine.

Giving a check for $2k to someone making $750k/year is the worst fucking kind of pandering.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:43 PM
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Not quite. IIRC it became taxable then next year, you didnt have to pay it all back, only maybe 28%.
No it didn't become taxable. No you didn't have to pay ANY of it back.

But if you are sure this was the case, here are all the previous year tax forms and instructions. Please point out where it says you had to do this.

There was a first-time homebuyer credit in 2008 that had to be repaid. But the general rebate that almost everybody got did not.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:32 PM
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I suspect (and hope even) that the checks will be for people who file tax returns, and sent to that address.
Are people with incomes who file tax returns this year the only recipients? Where do they receive checks if they've been evicted and now live in a van or tent?

Are people with secure addresses those most in need of a couple of kilobucks? Are they likely to repeat the Dubya saga and use the money for savings or debt payment rather than economy-boosting consumption?

I don't expect satisfactory answers for an obvious, absurd bribe-the-voters ploy. The poorest and neediest, those most likely to consume, are left out. Fuck the proles and peasants. They hopefully won't have the strength to revolt, right?
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:48 PM
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I have no illusions this will happen, but they could set up a fund to deposit unclaimed and undeliverable checks. Use this fund to support food banks and homeless shelters.

But it will never happen.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:53 PM
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1-So the proposal that it be $1000 for adults plus $500 for every child isn't going to happen? I was wondering how they're going to know how many children are in a household.
2-Are these checks taxable?
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:05 PM
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A $1 million threshold is beyond ridiculous. I'm not really sold on this idea in the first place, but if it were going to be implemented it should target those under the most potential strain. Like $100k or less - $65k would be fine.

Giving a check for $2k to someone making $750k/year is the worst fucking kind of pandering.
Maybe where you live. Where I live if you make $85K a year you qualify for housing assistance. Households in Santa Clara County have a median income of over $126K.
Not to mention that making $100K last year doesn't mean you have a job today.

You might think this is a lot of money. With rents and housing prices around here, it isn't.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:09 PM
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Thatís a big assumption. Itís not like the government has a big master list of everyone in the USA, updated constantly.

I just filed my 2020 tax returns, which arenít due yet. My 2019 returns have an incorrect address. My bank, credit card companies and the postal service are in possession of my current address but I donít register an address with the government and I donít notify them if I move. Freedom and democracy.

I donít see, logistically, how the government will get the info to ďjust send a check to everyoneĒ. They have social security and disability info, tax returns - and maybe access to local tax rolls. But there would be lots of duplicates between those lists, and possibly lots of outdated addresses. Iím really curious to see how this will work.
You underestimate how much the government knows about us. When I applied for Social Security the book I read said you need to bring your marriage license. When I did it, they knew all about it and I didn't need to document anything.

In any case, this is a fine example of the best being the enemy of the good. Even if 5% miss out (and I hope have an opportunity to appeal) 95% getting this payment will be good for the economy and good for them.
They made this work 20 years ago with relatively primitive data processing capabilities. It will work good enough now.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:08 PM
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1-So the proposal that it be $1000 for adults plus $500 for every child isn't going to happen? I was wondering how they're going to know how many children are in a household.
2-Are these checks taxable?
We don't know anything until Congress actually passes a law and the IRS publishes procedures.

THIS IS PURELY A GUESS, but I bet it will be for every child for whom you claimed the child tax credit.

They have never been taxable before, but Congress can make them taxable if it wants.
  #48  
Old 03-19-2020, 05:11 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
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Originally Posted by Mnemnosyne View Post
I'm surprised that anyone on the Republican side is considering anything like this. I heard Romney was in favor of this too. That said, I seriously doubt it'll happen. I can't imagine enough Republicans going along with something that might actually help people to let it pass, especially not McConnell. Though I would be delighted to be proven wrong.
I would not be surprised if Republicans outright adopted socialism and used it as a cudgel to bend blue states to their will. They'd claim they invented it, they'd call it "Capital Socialism" or hell, maybe drop the fig leaf and make it "National Socialism". Agree to abolish sanctuary cities, let ICE run rampant, and let the government abuse women and minorities, and poof! Universal healthcare for your state.

If anybody could/would pull that off, Trump would be the guy. The Republicans are in a historical moment where they have political license to repeat anything Trump says if it helps them stay in power.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 03-19-2020 at 05:13 PM.
  #49  
Old 03-19-2020, 05:21 PM
Alley Dweller's Avatar
Alley Dweller is offline
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Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
I would not be surprised if Republicans outright adopted socialism and used it as a cudgel to bend blue states to their will. They'd claim they invented it, they'd call it "Capital Socialism" or hell, maybe drop the fig leaf and make it "National Socialism".
I really doubt they'd call it anything that had the word "socialism" in it. It would probably be "Working Families Tax Relief" or "Small Business Leadership Funds."
  #50  
Old 03-19-2020, 08:19 PM
RioRico is offline
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
I really doubt they'd call it anything that had the word "socialism" in it. It would probably be "Working Families Tax Relief" or "Small Business Leadership Funds."
Such relief and funds will likely funnel into districts with (R) legislators, not areas full of "disloyals". "My" congresscritter sucks rosy Rosebuds so I'll be funded while coastal residents are left to smoke dog turds, as it were. Just to be safe, I'll start a small business selling Tulsi Gabbard campaign souvenirs. What, she dropped out? I'll go bankrupt! Send me more relief checks!
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