No doubt some members of Congress had to hold their noses while they were voting for the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. CARES includes a ton of money for initiatives that have nothing to do with COVID-19. Why on earth did anyone think it was important to cough up $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C.?

Still, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives were right to approve the bill, in overwhelming bipartisan fashion. Handling it as nearly all legislation is dealt with on Capitol Hill would have delayed critical assistance for months.

Additional spending to help Americans deal with and rebound from the epidemic is being considered now. It may include trillions more in federal spending — and that spells opportunity for special interests of both the ideological and financial kinds.

“Green New Deal” spending sought by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other ultra-liberals was excluded from the CARES Act. Rest assured they will try again.

Other proposals, such as one to spend billions of dollars on what supporters call a “Lifeline” initiative to expand broadband internet access, also will be brought forth. Clearly, by the time additional broadband funding could be spent, the immediate health-related need for it would be over.

Again, however, ideology-related proposals are far from the only peril in a second COVID-19 recovery bill. The CARES Act already includes a measure some critics have said could save wealth real estate investors as much as $170 billion during the next decade. Is that really necessary?

Lawmakers and President Donald Trump did the right thing in acting quickly on the CARES Act. Reasonable objections to some provisions in its 880 pages had to be put aside to ensure tens of millions of Americans know the help they need is coming quickly.

But moving forward, more care needs to be taken to avoid making CARES Version 2.0 a giveaway to special interests of all kinds. With the national debt at $23.6 trillion — plus $2.2 trillion — we simply can’t afford to spend money we don’t have unless the need is clear and critical.

(13) comments

Conservative

TERM LIMITS!!! NOW!!!!

Jim McCarthy

Good idea! Let’s eliminate the US Senate making each Senator a House member. Increase the House member term to 4 years limited to 3 terms. Barred from lobbying for 5 years after service. BTW, I’m a liberal.

Spock Here

Star apparently doesn't know that the president defended funding of the Kennedy Center : "He defended the inclusion of $25 million in funding for the Kennedy Center as part of the massive economic relief bill aimed at boosting small businesses and workers harmed by the fallout of the coronavirus.

Trump fashioned himself a supporter of the arts, arguing that the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is deserving of assistance given its inability to put on shows as officials ban large gatherings to try to curb the spread of the virus." Apparently he wants to go over to see Romeo and Juliet....

Doc Samson

Just another misguided (and misused) attempt to fix a long term problem with a short term solution. This money will cost us (and our descendants) down the road and future generations will likely look back at us in disbelief...

Spock Here

Shameful that both parties had their wish lists. Shameful that that once again our money is bailing out cruise ships and airlines and corporations, who tend not to trickle it down, Thank goodness the democrats kept properties owned by our public servants exempt from bail out money

DavidSparkman

You get what you deserve. Conservatives railed against Pelosi two years ago and Dems promised they would not vote for her to be speaker. Yet you the voter elected Democrats either with your vote or by not voting. The Democrat Representatives lied about not voting for her. They are spineless and caved to her bribes of important positions and financial election help. So now to get this bill passed, Pelosi demanded her pound of flesh. Shame on you for electing Democrats to office.

Jim McCarthy

But youse guys won and passed a tax welfare bill creating huge deficits! Youse initiated “trickle down” economics decades ago and we continue to wait to be trickled upon. Or has that already happened?

Spock Here

I can't see much of a trickle myself. not to mention, this week the Secret Service signed a $45,000 "emergency order" to rent golf carts in Sterling, Va. so the president can play golf, since, in the past, such rentals have preceded presidential golf trips. So let us spread the outrage around a little bit, folks.

Spock Here

Pelosi wasn't the only person in the room, Sparky.

Eredmon

Fiscal sanity flew out the Capitol window years ago, as both Party’s helped to open the window. It is too easy to spend what they obviously assume to be “other people’s money.” It does speak even more poorly of this round when pork is added to a critical needs shopping list for desperate, out of work Americans.

Doc Samson

Yep. You see this at ALL levels of gov't and any suggestion of getting rid of ANY gov't program is met with shrill hysteria. Why, it's a wonder we, as a people, have been able to accomplish anything without gov't assistance! Did anyone really learn anything before the Dept. of Ed. was created? lol.

Jim McCarthy

Did anyone get well before Medicare and Medicaid? Retire with dignity before Social Security? Drive on a highway before the Interstate Highway program? Have some sense of safety and confidence in food and drugs before the FDA? Feel safe in an airplane before the FAA? LOL. Give it some thought!

Conservative

Social Security was set up for the younger folks to pay in while the elderly take it out. Problem is, that's how it was started, so nothing was built up enough. Kicking the can down the road, like all politicians do.

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