Boots & Sabers

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1911, 08 Aug 20

Trump Signs Executive Orders for Rona Relief


President Donald Trump is moving to suspend payroll taxes and extend expired unemployment benefits after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.

Trump signed four executive orders related to what he called ‘China virus relief’ during a press conference at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday afternoon.

It came hours after the White House signaled that Washington’s gridlock had compelled him to act as the pandemic undermined the country’s economy and the November election nears.


Trump first announced an order that would allow employers to defer payroll tax through the end of the year.

The second order included a freeze on evictions that will allow hard-hit renters to remain in their homes even if they can’t afford payments.

A third order, perhaps the most crucial, will extend the unemployment benefits that have run out, offering people an additional $400 per week – down from the $600 that was part of the relief package that expired this month.

No, I don’t think this is legal. This is an executive fiat that is beyond the power granted to the president. And no, I don’t think this is good policy. It retards economic recovery and adds another fortune of spending for future generations to pay back.


1911, 08 August 2020


  1. Mar

    I guess it is an election year.
    I would love to see democrats go to court to stop it.
    Trump winning again.

  2. steveegg

    I’m glad to see that not all of us are Communists in favor of universal basic income and the divine right of naked emperors, though our number can probably fit into a VW Beetle Type 1.

    The $400/week unemployment kicker is a hot mess that I can’t begin to unwrap.  The ban on evictions (if HUD/CDC actually implement the “suggestion”) is flat out unconstitutional.

    The 4-month employee social security payroll tax deferral for employees “whose wages or compensation, as applicable, payable during any bi-weekly pay period generally is less than $4,000” (quoting from the memorandum) is one hell of a sham.

    First, as currently constructed, every penny of that roughly $100 million deferral (a bit more if the self-employed don’t pay that amount on their September estimated tax) would have to be paid back in January to avoid penalty.   Given it’s a mere deferral, and the IRS tends to go after employers instead of employees for missed employee payroll tax payments, I doubt that employers are going to kick an extra 6% out to their employees.

    If they do kick that money out, and the employees spend it as intended (or you stupidly decide to pay less on your September estimated quarterly taxes and spend the money), there’s going to be a bloody reckoning come early next year when either the employers or the IRS directly come calling for that aggregate $100 million.

    Let’s say Trump gets his way and Congress forgives that tax.  Now that leaves a $85 million hole in OASI and a $15 million hole in DI.  The “easy” solution is to do what they did before and dump another $100 million in publicly-held debt into that hole to make Social Security “whole”.  The harder solution is to let OASI die a few months earlier in 2034 and DI die a lot earlier than 2065 (probably far closer to the 2026 high-cost death date).

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    Crazy town.

    I’m amazed liberals are not cheering…

  4. dad29

    Owen, Eggster, and I join the Washington Post in disapproval of this move.


  5. Randall Flagg

    Mitch McConnell is cheering this action.

  6. steveegg

    The only reason the Post is opposing this is because of who is wielding the phone and pen.

  7. dad29

    Ohhhhhh Nooooooooooooes!!  You mean the Post lacks principles, integrity, and honesty in its editorial (read: news) pages?

  8. Randall Flagg

    Donald Trump opposes Donald Trump’s move:

    Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress. (Nov 20, 2014)

  9. Mar

    It is good politics but bad policy and sets a bad precedent for future presidents.

  10. dad29

    sets a bad precedent

    Actually, Trump is following the precedent of the Obamessiah.  Pen, phone, subvert the country, YAH!!

  11. Mar

    To the knuckleheads that say conservatives support President Trump no matter what, well, we will await your apologies anytime.

  12. Pat

    I’m waiting for the Tea Party protests to begin.

  13. jjf

    It’s so weird, Trump’s never done anything like this before.  It’s so out of character.

  14. Merlin

    Since Democrats are such strict adherents to the Constitution, Pelosi and Schumer should sue Trump to preserve their separation of powers. Do it today. Might as well give John Roberts yet another shot at the piñata.

  15. jjf

    Golly, Merlin, it’s so unlike Trump to do something un-Constitutional.

  16. Mar

    I see the screw up fairy, jjf, has shown up again.

  17. Randall Flagg

    Mar, how is your wife Payback doing?

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