8 socialist ideas embraced by Republicans coronavirus stimulus package

8 socialist ideas now embraced by Republicans in coronavirus stimulus package

03/23/2020 10:19 am ET Mackenzie Zlatos

Source / Wikimedia

Socialism is a word all Republicans fear. Yet in the face of a stock market crash and a pandemic in the form of coronavirus, it seems as if Republican officials and the Trump administration could be an advertisement for socialist policies.

“Socialism destroys nations,” Trump said in February. He even promised that he would never let “socialism destroy American health care.”

Trump and Republicans opposed Obama’s stimulus package in 2008, but the package presented by the Senate plans to spend at least $1 trillion to bail out corporations, small businesses, and even families.

1. Cash payments

The 8 ideas proposed by Republicans for coronavirus relief are socialist 4

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Republicans scoffed at former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s plan for universal basic income. But in the face of economic stress from the coronavirus, Republicans are making arrangements to hand out cash — on a regular basis — to regular families, not just businesses.

Lindsey Graham even said, “What I want is income, not one check. I want you to get a check you can count on every week, not one week.”

The bill that was just introduced by the Senate offers $1,200 per person in relief.

2. Free COVID testing

The 8 ideas proposed by Republicans for coronavirus relief are socialist 5

Source: Screenshot/CDC

The Senate bill, pushed through by Mitch McConnell, requires that insurance companies cover the cost of COVID-19 testing and vaccines. Insured patients will not be required to pay any copays or fees although to date no provisions have been made for the uninsured.

Yet Republicans find that Medicare For All is too much for them.

3. Student loans

Facing $100,000 fine, Betsy Devos wipes out 1500 student loans — And 10 other shockers about Trump's Education Secretary 11

Source: Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Loans for students whose semesters were canceled because of the virus were waived. Yet the Trump administration has not been very forgiving when it comes to student loans. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been against easy loan forgiveness, striking down rules made during the Obama administration.

Now, Trump is saying that student loan payments can be waived for the next 60 days. Interest is suspended and the payment suspension can be expanded.

4. Small business loans meant to be forgiven

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Senator Marco Rubio from Florida said that small businesses can get loans as bailouts. $350 billion will be used to “rescue” these businesses. These loans would be handed out if the business owners kept their employees on the payroll.

Essentially, the government is pushing to keep employees paid.

5. Cap on what owners make, profits

Survey: a majority of Americans want a wealth tax on the very rich

Source: Pixabay

Companies that get bailed out will not be able to lay off employees. CEOs and other executives will not be able to increase their own profits or give themselves raises. In fact, there is a cap on how much an executive can make, should they choose to accept a loan: Employees who make more than $425,000 will not receive a raise for two years. No executive may make more than $425,000 in total for two years.

“Owners will not be able to use the funds to give themselves raises or increase their own profits,” said Mitch McConnell. “The point is to help small businesses endure, help workers keep their jobs and help workers and businesses emerge from this ready to thrive.”

6. Women’s rights?

Source: Wikimedia

The Senate bill has language to include menstrual care products as medical care. What is more, these will be paid for. The bill states that this includes as medical care “a tampon, pad, liner, cup, sponge, or similar product used by individuals with respect to menstruation or other genital tract secretions.”

7. Companies can’t buy back stock

Source: Pixabay

Trump has discussed the option of preventing bailed out companies from buying their stocks back to drive their equity prices higher. While this isn’t in the Senate bill, Trump has publically approved of the idea, claiming to have discussed it with Senator Chuck Schumer.

8. Mortgage payments and rent

Source: Wikimedia

Housing isn’t considered a right yet, but the federal government is acting as if it is, announcing a halt to foreclosures and evictions. 30 million Americans who were at risk of losing their home will be allowed to stay sheltered.

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