Free Advice to the GOP on COVID-19 Stimulus Bill No. 4 (or 5?)

Two of the President's men: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows address journalists after COVID-19 relief negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer, August 1, 2020. Photo: C-Span.

Two of the President’s men: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows address journalists after COVID-19 relief negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer, August 1, 2020. Photo: C-Span.

NEW YORK — Will Team Trump stand tough in the ongoing wrangling over the next COVID-19 stimulus bill? At this writing, it’s an open question whether the GOP will credit themselves or crash and burn on this, the fourth such piece of legislation. Or perhaps the fifth, depending on how you count them.

President Donald J. Trump and the Republicans seem to be at an impasse in negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – California) and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. If so, President Trump may issue an executive order to suspend collection of the payroll tax. This would give workers an immediate 7.5 percent pay boost. It might encourage employers to hire new staffers, especially if job creators are excused from paying their 7.5 percent portion of this tax.

What about the $600 per week in extra federal unemployment funds paid atop the standard jobless relief that was offered before the Chinese Communist germs arrived in January and wrecked America’s beautiful economy? 

A Chyron on Fox News Channel on Wednesday suggested a GOP cave-in on this Democrat demand:


The trouble with such a move is that these funds often exceed what workers earned on their jobs pre-COVID. A dentist, a restaurateur, and several other business people have told me that their employees do not want to return to work, given that Uncle Sam pays them handsomely to relax and watch Netflix.

Pelosi and Schumer know this. They want these jobless employees to stay home and remain in what Karl Marx called the Standing Army of the Unemployed. Higher jobless rates make it easier for Democrats to hammer Trump and the GOP and, possibly, drag a babbling, incoherent Uncle Joe across the finish line on November 3.

However, if that subsidy gets dumped or chopped, these furloughed workers will recalculate their finances and return to their previous posts. This will lower the unemployment rate, allow boarded-up businesses to re-open, and stimulate the economy. This is the right thing for America and the right thing for the president’s and the GOP’s electoral prospects.

Republican negotiators should hold out as long as possible. And if the president issues that executive order, all the better.

He could craft this so that the payroll tax cut kicks in at once, prospectively, from the day it’s signed.

Alternatively, Trump could inject rocket fuel into the economy by making the payroll tax cut retroactive to April 1. Trump declared COVID-19 a national emergency on March 13. Most people were laid off after April 1, which landed two weeks later. It also marked the start of 2Q, which makes these calculations easier.

If this is all impossible, Republicans should agree to $300 per week in federal bonus unemployment benefits, including three months of continued payments for those who return to work. This will nudge people back into the economy. This will push the unemployment rate down, amid headlines in September, October, and November about millions of jobs being created. With any luck, this will whittle the unemployment rate back into single digits. It won’t be 3.5 percent, as it was pre-Kung Flu, but jobless numbers in the 8 or 9 percent range (or even lower) will show the American people that the nation is heading steadily in the right direction — toward prosperity.

I am not crazy about paying people not to work and paying them to work. However, this whole thing might wind up in a compromise, which usually makes no one entirely happy. So, if Republicans must accept more spending than desired, the GOP might as well entice people to go back to work and cut the nettlesome unemployment rate below the 10.2 percent figure announced this morning. This should happen — for humane, economic, and political reasons.

Also, if mayors and governors keep schools closed, the federal government should give parents vouchers, so they can send their kids to schools that are open. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- Kentucky) should schedule a vote on this exact measure. If it passes, hooray. If it fails, the GOP should take names and then meet the offending Democrats in the closest dark alley.

If schools are closed, many parents who return to work will need daycare. Congress should offer tax relief for such expenses. 

Yes, the U.S. Tax Code is more clogged than a kitchen sink after the non-chefs finish washing the Thanksgiving dishes. However, this is an emergency, and Republicans need to get something out of the deal that likely will emerge, godawful as it might be. 

Again, McConnell should hold a vote on such a bill. If it prevails, hallelujah. Send it to Pelosi and challenge her to pass it. If the measure fails, jot down the names of Democrats who voted Nay, make them world-famous, and then snip their brake lines in November.

For current and future reference, McConnell should pass a Senate bill with as many shiny GOP goodies as possible. Every one of these items, and others, should be brought up for votes, as amendments. Some will pass. Some will fail. But Democrat senators should have to decide Yea or Nay on each and every amendment. And voters can applaud or excoriate them and their party accordingly, come November.

Such a McConnell bill should go to a conference committee for reconciliation with the bill that Pelosi passed last month. The latter was a $3 trillion far-Left monster. However, to her credit, it contained every Democrat’s wish list for Santa Claus, Hanukkah Harry, and Charles Darwin, combined. That was Pelosi’s opening gambit.

Conversely, Republicans typically negotiate with themselves. As soon as they convince each other that Democrats never will agree to A, B, and C, they approach Schumer and Pelosi and beg for D, E, and F. Chuck and Nancy knock D and E off the table. Republicans grab F, declare victory, and then amaze themselves with their brilliance.

They don’t call the GOP the Stupid Party for nothing.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

  1. What all the businesses need to do is pay more. Americans are being ripped off by fast cat employers taking all the profits for themselves. Prices are skyrocketing and pay is flat. This should be their take away.

    1. where have you been?companies are owned by know what those are?they are people like me that invest in a company to make money.there’s no other reason!i’m middle class and not a millionaire but have investments that have done pretty ood and some not so good.that’s how piglosi is worth 100 million.i can show you where to look it up!earnings on capital gains are taxable so get with it!

    2. Didn’t you learn anything from the Democrat’s Subprime Mortgage SCAM,
      and 8 years of Economic Stagnation under Obama?

    3. Employers Pay what that Job is worth, if you want to make more money Better yourself and or find a Different Job that you are more Qualified to do. if you have a 6th grade Education and have learned no worthwhile skill or haven’t imporved on the ONE skill you may have then YOU are NOT worth more.


    5. Mike, go into business. Find out how hard it is with employees, govt regulations, taxes, etc. These people put their life into these businesses and should get a return. But I agree that once they are doing well, they then should reward their employees that got them there

  2. Don’t agree. Republicans need to make a stand and do what is right for the people of the USA. No way should we pay people not to work. As an essential worker I have been working through this Chinese virus pandemic. I make less than those receiving unemployment. I too would be better off if I was considered unemployed as in would make considerably more. At the same time I get to pay payroll taxes from my earnings. For all of my efforts I also have a Congress pumping made up Dollars into the economy making my savings worth less and less. It is always the people who do the right thing that suffer at the hands of government and I am very tired of it.

  3. Get your act together. There are two federal payroll taxes: income tax and social security Medicare tax. You probably are referring to the later but nowhere do you specify. Reducing the social security tax only hurts retirees in the long run. That doesn’t seem smart either.
    If the Democrats won’t settle, then let labor blame them. Do not give $600 per week!!!!!

  4. If the teachers refuse to go back to work, stop ferderal money and promote home schooling on a permanent basis. That will get them back to work fast.

    1. They’re NOT supposed to get paid for non-performance of their CONTRACTED duties. “Distance” and “Spaced” learning is NOT in their contracts. Should they be told to go back and do their jobs in a ‘conventional’ setting THEY are violating their contracts and CAN BE FIRED.
      All you need to do is go in and pick up a copy of their current contract and you’ll see where I am right. This is an IDEAL time for any over-burdened school system to start clean again. IF, that is, the teacher’s union lawyers are stupid enough to try and convince them they don’t have to.
      Breaking the agreed upon items in a contract will make it null and void. So, GO FOR IT!
      Tell them, in no uncertain terms, that they WILL be fired immediately if they do not return to their classrooms per their contract. (They CAN try and take their accumulated sick days’, but they’ll not last as long as what they’re claiming the covid will. Besides, after a certain number of days they’ll have to have a Dr CERTIFY as to what their ‘illness’ is. And Drs might not like falsifying an excuse for them.

  5. If they don’t want want to work, and refuse a call back to the job they had, the unemployment both at the state level and the bonus from the Federal Coffers should be cut off. It’s that simple!! Refuse to return to your place if employment when call to return to work… loose you free ride!

  6. President Trump is listening to the wrong advisers, and I hope he starts thinking about this on his own, for the amount of $600 federal unemployment benefit, benefits him and the Republicans much more than it does the Democrats.

    Federal investigations have shown that the American people receiving this money are not spending all of it, but are saving a lot of it. Why? Because they haven’t been allowed to go back to work yet, and they don’t know when they will.

    But when they start earning a paycheck again and know that it will continue into the future, they will start spending this saved money, in an economy that will boom, mainly because of their spending this saved money.

    Then instead of the “V” recovery trajectory, in leu of a “U” recovery trajectory, that the Republicans are looking for in an improving economy, it will become like President Trump described it, straight up like a rocket ship, when the first start of opening the economy, but because of the second wave of the Covid-19 was closed down again.

    President Trump’s advisors are warning that they can’t get the now open jobs filled, and blame it on the amount of the $600 federal unemployment benefit, but most the people that are receiving this are still not allowed to go back to work, as restaurants, bars, gyms, salons, hospitality, airlines, ships, and travel related businesses are still not allowed to fully open, and those that are allowed to open are only 50% of their customers capacity.

    These advisors forget that when the economy was going like gang-busters, there were over a million jobs that we were unable to fill, showing an extremely healthy economy, and it will be the same as it was when the economy starts to open again, especially when the economy is fully opened.

    But when the economy does get fully opened, we want all these people to have saved a lot of that $600 federal unemployment benefit, that is burning a hole in their pockets to spend, and they start spending it all, causing the economy to skyrocket upward to where the economy was when the Covid-19 caused it to be closed, and even becoming greater than it was at that time. This will benefit President Trump and the Republicans greatly, especially when the 2022 midterm elections get here.

    1. I agree fully, but ONLY for those who’s employer has NOT made an effort to get them back on the job. Anyone collecting unemployment should have to have their employer certify to the unemployment office that their job is still in limbo, and that they have NOT been asked to return to work. Those whose businesses are permanently closed should NOT be able to collect more than what they’d have made while on the job they had. Regardless. Unemployment is not a position for making more than what you were earning, it’s to replace up to a certain percentage of it WHILE you were actively LOOKING for work. Above that it becomes nothing more than a “Stay Our of Work” card.

      1. Agree,,,,It was no secret that the money was going to end…It was simple to help out from a situation that was no fault of anyone,,,and it worked…Things were getting back to normal,,,until the dems decided to play their nasty games ( like always ) by continuing the lock downs….

  7. I think 300 would work so the people on unemployment could get pay to look for a job. I also would give people money back if they don’t open Schools so they can have there kid’s go to other Schools.

    1. As long as teachers refuse to go back to their regularly formed classrooms the people paying school taxes should have them suspended.
      Frankly, I’m surprised that some of the more financially hard-pressed school districts haven’t had either, or both, of two things happening: Being sued by taxpayers for NOT suspending taxes for a service they’re paying taxes for and NOT receiving those services, and TWO, not demanding that their schools be reopened fully or having the teacher’s contracts negated by a court for non-fulfillment. You can’t have a contract that is being violated, and you can’t be paying for the services required by a contract IF they’re not being done.
      SO, folks, get on the stick and find a good law firm who understands contracts.
      That and demand your municipality stop collecting taxes for a service NOT being delivered.

  8. ALL unemployment insurance should be made payable contingent upon a certification from the (previous) employer that the would-be collector of the benefit is NOT wanted back on the job. People are refusing to go back to work because they’re being paid more for NOT working. But then, that’s always been how the Democrats have kept their voters on the plantation: Give them free stuff so you can live OK without working for it.

  9. DemonRatz are doing this as a back door to Socialism and a way to destroy our economy, so they can hurt Trump and step in to be the saviors but I pray God won’t let this happen

  10. Please do not give in to Democrates. Please stand strong, weather people are asking you to stand strong and say no to democrats.

  11. If they GOP continue with the extra $600.00 dollars per wk (2400 hundred a month) you can bet President Trump WILL NOT get our vote and the chips can just fall where they fall. Make people go back to work or fend for themselves. It is disgusting,

  12. Mr. Murdock usually has pretty good ideas, but any Trump/Republican engineered rise in employment will never see the “light” of the U.S. Pravda press, anymore than the infamy of negative Democrat obstructionists being universallhy denounced. These blessings will simply be twisted into something negative against President Trump. The Republicans must realize we are on our own to save America – there obviously will be no help from the Democrats, only obstruction.
    The Democrat Party has truly become DOMESTIC TERRORISTS holding the suffering American working man as their hostage. Perhaps, when (?!) President Trump is reelected some of these scoundrels can be prosecuted for their crimes (there are too many to begin listing here), and the rest driven back underground. Then another real American party can arise that actually wants to help our country back to greatness.
    The first/next thing President Trump needs to do is stop the murder of God’s children – make an executive order and let the Communist Democrats scream, and holler, and sue. We need to trust our Creator!!

  13. I do wonder about McConnell sometimes but he has been good about helping President Trump in more than one way against the democrats. I disagree with the extra unemployment pay. My Father had to go on unemployment every winter thanks to the weather which was also not his fault, the weather killed his and lots of other jobs. He would just catch up on the bills working from Spring until winter and he was out of work. He had to rely on what the conditions on getting that unemployment check were and no politician ever said while winter is out of your control so you get extra money in your check and have to find another job in a certain no of weeks or you were off the unemployment. Life guarantees you nothing, it includes things like a fire burning down your place of work, weather tearing down your place of work, or a virus or the flue or pneumonia (two common illnesses thanks to the winter) all not your fault. Make the people go back to work since that is an option just like my Father was forced to go back to work when the winter left and there were still many dangerous stuff he had to face. It’s life and this is an old person who has had to face problems all my life and thanks to my Father I got through all of them and will get through what comes next. Oh, and I remember when the unemployment was 15% and you had to wait in line for gas to just get home because of restrictions on the amount of gas you could buy. My Father said for me to take civil service tests for a job just to have a job, took three years but I got one that got me through college which gave me the ability to face any change in my life like gov’t cut backs and union rules, last one in first out. Well you get what I am saying. Force people back to work if you have too.

  14. Progression chart for a new democrat. First you join the party wild eyed and innocent. Then you are brain washed and become a Dumb-o-crat. Then they hit you with their lies and propaganda. If you succumb you become a Scum-o-crat. Congratulations you now work for Satan!

  15. Facebook and twitter is doing more for President Trumps election but banning him. People have lost all faith in censorship so it has become an incentive to support the President


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