Gold. Pure Gold.

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August 9, 2020 11:24 a.m.

President Trump’s COVID relief decrees are poor policy (setting aside legality) on their own, inasmuch as they only go to people who have jobs. The COVID era is rough for everyone but obviously it’s much less rough for people who haven’t lost their jobs. But what I find remarkable is a part of this plan that Trump managed to avoid getting in the headlines. If you get COVID “relief” in the form of a payroll tax holiday, you still have to pay it back! After the election!

In other words, Trump’s plan is a sort of ersatz payday loan that you’ll need to pay back after the election.

This is terrible policy. But it’s political gold for Democrats. I mean, this is a classic Trumpian gambit. I’m giving you money to help out. But actually you have to pay me back after you reelect me. And if Trump isn’t reelected, what does he care? It becomes a landmine for Joe Biden who has to oversee collecting the money that workers effectively borrowed without knowing it. This is actually the kind of bait and switch Trump has been known for his whole life.

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