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States Spent Almost None of the $350 Billion ‘Emergency’ COVID Funding Biden Sent Them

The states cried that they needed “emergency” funds to get by. But very little of this money was ever spent on anything at all.

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The states cried that the COVID pandemic was draining their budgets and they needed “emergency” funds to get by. But now we find that very little of this money was ever spent on anything at all.

So… if the states never even spent any of this vital, “emergency funding”… how was it such an emergency?

In March, Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. Some of the cash was supposed to go taxpayers, businesses, and others impacted by the draconian shutdowns imposed on America and blamed on the pandemic. But $350 million of that cash was doled out to the states because the governors whined that their budgets were bleeding out because of their own local pandemic spending. It was an emergency, dontcha know?

Republicans objected at the time because many of the deepest blue states — such as Illinois — only wanted the money to bail them out of fruitless spending deficits they incurred long before COVID came around.

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Now, it looks like the Republicans were right. According to research by the Associated Press, little of that “emergency” money has been spent by any of the states that received it.

Per the AP:

As of this summer, a majority of large cities and states hadn’t spent a penny from the American Rescue Plan championed by Democrats and President Joe Biden, according to an Associated Press review of the first financial reports due under the law. States had spent just 2.5% of their initial allotment while large cities spent 8.5%, according to the AP analysis.

Many state and local governments reported they were still working on plans for their share of the $350 billion, which can be spent on a wide array of programs.

Though Biden signed the law in March, the Treasury Department didn’t release the money and spending guidelines until May. By then, some state legislatures already had wrapped up their budget work for the next year, leaving governors with no authority to spend the new money. Some states waited several more months to ask the federal government for their share.

The Wall Street Journal added that almost a trillion dollars was never spent from the “emergency” CARES Act:

The biggest cache is grants to states, cities and territories, of which $210 billion remains unspent. That’s no surprise given the $500 billion showered on states and cities between the March 2020 Cares Act and President Biden’s follow-up in March 2021.

The bailout came despite a mere 0.2% drop in state revenue from 2019 to 2020, according to the Tax Foundation. Few strings are attached to the funds so state and local lawmakers are taking their time. New York, California and others have passed record budgets while tapping only a portion of their federal aid.

Again… how were the state in an “emergency” situation in March?

This “emergency relief” spending was just a giant boondoggle and waste of taxpayer dollars.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Southwest Caves to Pressure from Anti-Vaccine Employees

But there’s one heck of a catch.

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Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees.

The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue.

Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters.

By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down.

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Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.

“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.

And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement.

The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported.

It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees. The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue. Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters. By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down. Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees. “The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber. And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement. The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported. It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

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Senator Obliterates Dr. Fauci’s Holiday Gathering Advice

“We don’t need permission”!

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If you follow the science, and the math, it’s beginning to become clear that the coronavirus pandemic is waning.  Again.

In the days before the Delta variant became the prominent strain of COVID-19, we were just about out of this whole mess.  Venues and restaurants were opening again.  People were beginning to gather at home or with friends.  When delta arrived, the ease retracted a bit.  The masks were a little more prevalent.

But now, if you simply look at the case numbers and infection rates, it is plain to see that everything is going to be okay.

This is what Florida Senator Rick Scott believes, as evidenced by his latest comments regarding the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), dismissed suggestions that Dr. Anthony Fauci can give or take away permission for Americans to celebrate the holidays with their families, calling it “insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live.”

“We don’t need Fauci’s permission to celebrate the holidays with family. People are smart. They know how to make decisions that best protect their loved ones. It’s insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live,” Scott said in response to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief’s recent remarks […]

Fauci had recently insinuated that gathering with people outside of your immediate home over the holidays may not be advisable, suggesting instead that people continue to socially distance from even their own family.

 

If you follow the science, and the math, it’s beginning to become clear that the coronavirus pandemic is waning.  Again. In the days before the Delta variant became the prominent strain of COVID-19, we were just about out of this whole mess.  Venues and restaurants were opening again.  People were beginning to gather at home or with friends.  When delta arrived, the ease retracted a bit.  The masks were a little more prevalent. But now, if you simply look at the case numbers and infection rates, it is plain to see that everything is going to be okay. This is what Florida Senator Rick Scott believes, as evidenced by his latest comments regarding the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), dismissed suggestions that Dr. Anthony Fauci can give or take away permission for Americans to celebrate the holidays with their families, calling it “insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live.” “We don’t need Fauci’s permission to celebrate the holidays with family. People are smart. They know how to make decisions that best protect their loved ones. It’s insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live,” Scott said in response to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief’s recent remarks […] Fauci had recently insinuated that gathering with people outside of your immediate home over the holidays may not be advisable, suggesting instead that people continue to socially distance from even their own family.  

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