PPP data, finally released by the SBA, shows that millions of US taxpayer dollars went to businesses tied to the likes of Jared Kushner, Mitch McConnell, and Devin Nunes, in what can best be described as a corporate looting free-for-all

I was going to write about Florida’s executive order to reopen schools in August in spite of the fact that they just broke a national record with 11,458 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, and their hospitals are now reaching capacity, but then the Small Business Administration (SBA) finally caved to pressure and released the names of all the entities that received $150,000 or more from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and now I’m off on a tangent, trying to figure out, among other things, why the Ayn Rand Institute would need between $350K and $1 million of our hard-earned tax dollars.

I’d known, of course, based on how much the Trump administration had fought oversight and transparency, that, when the details finally became public, it was going to be an absolute mess, but I had no idea just how bad it was going to be. Here, before we get to that, though, is a little background from the Washington Post.

Data released Monday by the Small Business Administration shows that businesses owned by members of Congress and the law practice that represented President Trump were among the hundreds of thousands of firms that received aid from the agency.

As part of its $660 billion small-business relief program, the SBA also handed out loans to private schools catering to elite clientele, firms owned by foreign companies and large chains backed by well-heeled Wall Street firms. Nearly 90,000 companies in the program took the aid without promising on their applications they would rehire workers or create jobs.

The data, which was released after weeks of pressure from media outlets and lawmakers, paints a picture of a haphazard first-come, first-served program that was not designed to evaluate the relative need of the recipients. While it buttressed a swath of industries and entities, including restaurants, medical offices, car dealerships, law firms and nonprofits, the agency did not filter out companies that have potential conflicts of interest among influential Washington figures…

Did you get all that? 90,000 companies were given money without saying whether or not even a single job would be saved, and there was no system to evaluate either the relative need of the recipients, or potential conflicts of interest. The Trump administration essentially took billions of tax payer dollars and just gave them away in the form of forgivable loans to the likes of a winery owned by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes and the shipping company owned by the family of Mitch McConnell’s wife, Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, without any real thought as to whether or not what they were doing actually made any strategic sense. [Chao’s family company, the Foremost Group, received a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million.]

And, now, every reporter in the United States is pouring over this data, trying to make fucking sense of it all, and drawing lines back to the Trump administration… For instance, it looks as though Kanye West, who came out yesterday saying that he intended to run for president, received over $2 million for his highly-profitable fashion company Yeezy. And several of the payouts, totaling millions of dollars, went to companies owned by relatives of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. [Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz, it’s being reported, received between $5 million and $10 million in PPP funds.]

Yes, it would look as though, while most of us were worrying about just making it through this crisis safely with our families intact, the wealthy and powerful were lining up to siphon even more money from our federal coffers. Even anti-government activists like Grover Norquist — a man who once famously said, “I don’t want to abolish government, I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub” — got in line for a piece. [His organization, Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, which says it exists to educates taxpayers on “the true cost of government” and “the realities of costly government programs”, took between $150,000 and $300,000 through the program.] What could be better than getting tons of cash from the government, and, at the same time, ensuring that there’s less available to be spent on social programs, and things that would actually improve the lives of regular, non-wealthy Americans, right?

Again, if these were normal times, this alone would be enough to see a president driven from office. But, as we’re reminded every day, these aren’t normal times.

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10 Comments

  1. Wendy-chan
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    You misspelled ‘data’ by the word ‘date’ please fix.
    “And, now, every reporter in the United States is pouring over the DATE”

  2. John Brown
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    When the white collar looting starts, the shooting starts.

  3. Wobblie
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Aloha, this is just the graft associated with the 660 billion Payrole Protection Act. Now try to find out where the other 6.5 Trillion stimulus have gone. At this point the only purpose of the US government is to wage war and extract wealth from the serfs. We need to remember that St. Nancy got these laws through Congress in record time. MAGA

  4. Wobblie
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Aloha, we could still have a real leader for the people as VP

    https://mobile.twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1280217780684386304

  5. John Brown
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Wobblie wants to balance the ticket with a ruskie stooge? Interesting flex.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    A whole lot of religious organizations got PPP money.

    https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1280512770723758081?s=20

  7. Wobblie
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Aloha JB Got to give the CIA a reason to keep you on the payroll. Agent-provacator masquerading as macho militant is as common on the left as right, cant have folks recognizing common interest. I think it was a great victory for the peoples struggle against DAPA, but as you are a thrall of the fossil fuel barons got to tow the Company line.

  8. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Aloha, 2,300,000,000,000 in covid stimulus payments.
    100,000,000 working age adults
    2.3 trillion divided by 100 million folks =23000 each or 46000 per married couple

    we got 1,200 and 2400

    MAGA

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Steve Mnuchin’s exclusive LA country club scored a PPP loan between $2 and $5 million.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/steve-mnuchins-exclusive-riviera-country-club-got-millions-in-covid-relief

  10. Demetrius
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    The more things change …

    http://markmaynard.com/2010/04/plutocracy-in-america/

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