News to keep you locked up in the family cave with two boulders at the entrance:
The focus on young coronavirus positive patients comes as nearly half of states are reporting a rise in new positive cases and some continue to break records in their daily reported cases. Florida on Monday surpassed 100,000 total coronavirus cases, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.- CNN yesterday
Imagine, 100,000 suffering Floridians, hospitals overloaded, patients treated on the sidewalks, doctors and nurses flying in from across the country.
That’s the picture painted by CNN and other media, as they recently reported 30,000 “active” cases in one state or another.
The only problem is that the 100,000 cases in Florida includes everyone who has been positive since they began testing in March. It also includes the 96% of folks who tested positive and never went to the hospital, because they had mild or – in most cases – no symptoms.
The media, including NYT and WAPO, are also obsessed with danger, danger, danger in California, Arizona and Texas.
CNN gets its cues from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), which has offered frightening prediction of virus deaths in the U.S.
For example, on May 5 a Johns Hopkins study had to be clarified:
Analysis included in leaked government documents that showed the U.S. could see up to 3,000 deaths per day (on June 1) from coronavirus was not meant to be used for official forecasts, JHU claimed.
The university said researchers at its school of public health produced the study for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist planning, as states begin loosening their restrictions intended to slow the spread of the virus.
But Hopkins was completely wrong with its 3,000 deaths-per-day prediction..
Deaths fell to 865 on May 17, and then to 353 on May 24, almost 1/8th the scary projection.
The JSU study also showed the U.S. reaching 200,000 new cases daily by June 1. By May 24 cases had fallen to 26,000, also about 1/8th the Hopkins’ forecast.
About 2,357,000 in the U.S. have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic. The test total is 28,500,000, so about eight percent of those tested were positive, but only four percent of those have been hospitalized, which means that 320 of every 100,000 tested actually required hospitalization.
Despite all the reports of overwhelming deaths and serious illnesses, the total coronavirus hospital cases across the nation was 16,000 on Sunday.
The chart in today’s blog is sorted by the rate of deaths per million residents. New York is the worst – 1,605 deaths per million.
What about the states that CNN points out as danger spots?
Florida is one/11th the New York death rate (1,605) with just 147 per million. California is 140. Arizona is 184 .
Compare that not just to New York’s 1,605, but also: New Jersey – 1,463, Connecticut – 1,195, Massachusetts – 1,140 and dozens of other states with much higher death rates.
But what about CNN’s dire view of Texas? It was too low to fit on my chart, but their death rate per million was 76. You are 20x as likely to have died from the virus in New York than in the Lone Star state.
What you won’t see on CNN is a report on why there are suddenly more than usual new cases in those particular states.
All have a common problem – current heavy influxes of legal and “undocumented” farm workers, primarily from Mexico, and they are being heavily tested.
Our neighbor south of the penetrable border is in trouble with 1,044 deaths yesterday, versus 363 in the entire U.S., and its hospitals are filling up fast – another reason for their residents to seek jobs and virus medical treatments here.
The most deadly states are Northeast coastal, but the media is now focusing on places that have done an excellent job in keeping death rates low. A fair Press would ask why deadly nursing home policies, plus unrestricted air travel in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, have led to the unnecessary deaths of so many.
Another wrinkle in reporting the extent of the virus revolves around the principal source quoted by media – Johns Hopkins.
Here again, let’s follow the money and the politics.
Hopkins is advocating testing every contact of every person tested positive every day, which means isolating those exposed, and those exposed to those exposed.
If 10,000 folks tested positive tomorrow, virtually all without symptoms, each of their contacts (estimate 40) in the past two weeks must be found and isolated. Forty times 10,000 equals 400,000, which leads to 400,000 times 40 equals 16 million – all to be placed under quarantine.
Imagine then contact tracing the 40 contacts of the 16 million quarantined?
This might have worked early in the spread when there were 50 cases total, but to even attempt it today would require many hundreds of thousands of contact tracers, and even then it seems an impossible task in a country so large without forcing major privacy violations.
Despite the insanity of such a plan, tv talk show phenom Dr. Anthony Fauci fully endorses the concept of contact tracing and attempting to eventually test each of our 330 million residents.
And what Fauci isn’t advertising is that you may be negative one day, but an hour later you can test positive. Daily testing – at the least – seems necessary in this idiot-savant fantasy.
If nothing else, the companies who make the tests will get rich and the folks administering them will be very busy.
What is the source of the enthusiasm for contact tracing at Johns Hopkins?
It comes from Fauci’s associate, multi-billionaire and Trilateral Commission member Michael Rubens “Mike” Bloomberg.
On April 30 Bloomberg sketched out his plan to team up with Hopkins to develop mass coronavirus contact tracing in New York and eventually across the country.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed and said to stop the spread of COVID-19, his state will need 6,400 to 17,000 workers to trace the contacts of those who test positive in New York.
Cuomo, whose state had the most deaths in the nation per thousand from the virus, wants to increase diagnostic testing, and trace contacts of those who test positive and isolate those who have been in close contact with affected people.
If New York needs 17,000 tracers for its 20 million residents, initiating the program for 330 million across the nation (20x as large) would require 330,000 tracers.
“When you get a positive, you talk to that person and trace back who they have been in contact with. Then test those people. You then isolate those people, so you don’t increase the rate of infection,” Cuomo said. “That’s what tracing is. The faster you trace, the better.”
And then there’s that Bloomberg-suggested smartphone app that knows when you contact someone who has tested positive. Does a drone suddenly appear overhead and shout – “Report to the virus camps immediately, or else?” The other choice would be sirens wailing as police rush you into a van that takes you to railroad cars that lumber into camps surrounded by barbed wire.
What a goofy plan.
And you have to wonder why such a prestigious university would go along with Bloomberg’s impossible dream.
VOX reported in November, 2018:
Former New York mayor (and potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate) Michael Bloomberg has given $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, to use for financial aid.
For a lot less than $1.8 billion, I would wear an “I LIKEMIKE”
But, I don’t think I would go on television every week and lie about how we need to test every soul in the U.S., and then be obliged to quarantine tens of millions, destroying the country in vain pursuit of absolute perfection, while pleasing my billionaire buddy.
American politics’ number one weasel and 2012 Bilderberg attendee, Willard “Mitt” Romney (R-Utah), is pushing Congress to appoint special commissions to “reform” (cut) Social Security and Medicare under the guise of Homeland Security. The bill’s title is a perfect misnomer: Time to Rescue United States Trusts Act (TRUST).
The “security” farce is that public health and retirement programs can cause debt, and debt itself is somehow a dire threat to the nation. That’s the limp excuse for using the Homeland committee .
The hedge fund master’s merry band of 13 co-conspirators includes four Democrats and nine Republicans: Joe Manchin (D-WV), Todd Young (R-IN), Doug Jones (D-AL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Shelley Capito (R-WV), Lamar Alexander (R-IN), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Angus King (D/I-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Martha McSally (R-AZ), John Cornyn (R-TX) and David Perdue (R-GA).
Who else but Romney would openly organize such a threat to middle class Americans, who depend on Social Security and Medicare for their existence? This is the same Romney who ran for President and picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan was the Ayn Rand-admiring deficit hawk who openly called for private-profit ownership of Medicare and hiking our retirement age to 70.
Instead of regular committee public hearings and votes, three members of the Senate and three members of the House – from each party – 12 in total – will decide by a simple majority vote to approve a report and submit it to the House and Senate.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by Reps. Ed Case (D-HI); Mike Gallagher (R-WI).; Ben McAdams (D-UT); and William Timmons (R-SC).
Once approved by the commissions, no amendments will be allowed to the TRUST Act by any member of Congress.
The bill cannot by stopped with a normal 60-vote cloture rule in the Senate.
Only two hours of debate will be permitted in either the Senate or House before a vote that can pass with a simple majority.
That’s called “railroading” a bill through a legislature.
The two-hour discussion allowed will create the laws for the Social Security Trust, Medicare Trust and Highway Trust for the next 75 years.
The TRUST Gang of 12 will consist only of Congress members appointed by each party’s leaders. The commissions can interview, hire staff, and listen to lobbyists like Maya MacGuineas. She heads an organization – Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) – that has long pointed daggers at the Social Security pensions paid for by FICA taxes on payrolls.
CRFB has been heavily funded by the late Pete Peterson fortune, and like most big investors, he hated Social Security and Medicare. The banking class wants privatization, so Wall Street can grab big profits by fee-managing your payroll tax contributions.
MacGuineas and CRFB are just nuts about TRUST:
In reviewing programs and evaluating options, rescue committees would work closely with relevant federal agencies, CBO, the Government Accountability Office, Congressional leadership, committees of jurisdiction, other members, and each other.
Commissions could put forward a proposal with a simple majority of total members, including at least two members from each party to ensure bipartisan support. Though due the week after the 2020 election, recommendations could be put forward at any point if consensus is reached. Legislation reflecting these proposals would receive fast-track consideration in both chambers of Congress.
While the TRUST Act does not force policymakers to save the major trust funds, it does force them to work together on a bipartisan basis toward that goal.
Who better to trust with your hard-earned retirement savings than Maya and Robin?
Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, said Romney is “acting true to his income” with a plan to pave the way for benefit cuts.
“They want to pretend that they’re saving the program, and they are going to do it behind closed doors in a fast-track process,” Altman said. “They want to do something the American people don’t want, which is why they’re doing it this way.”
Advocates of increasing benefits under the present system point to the nearly threetrillion dollars In the Social Security Trust, caused by over payments since 1986. Under privatization that giant pot of FICA money would be turned over to the bankers for their investing.
Why the three trillion surplus? This fund growth was designed to cushion baby boomer retirements in the 2020s, when FICA income began to decline with a lower worker/retiree ratio. That hasn’t happened yet, but President Donald Trump is proposing a temporary halt in payments into FICA, which will deplete the fund, and less reserves gives more ammo to deficit hawks.
Adding lighter fluid to the fire, a group of 60 Congress members have sent a letter urging that TRUST commissions be enabled quickly:
United States Congress Washington DC, 20510 June 1, 2020
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Minority Leader U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:
We, a bipartisan group of representatives, remain committed to fighting the pandemic and the economic downturn to help the American people through this hardship. The unemployment rate is nearly 15%, and GDP could fall as much as 30%. We must confront the economic fallout from this crisis head on. As the crisis recedes and our nation recovers, we cannot ignore the pressing issue of the national debt, which could do irreparable damage to our country.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the debt held by the public is likely to exceed 100 percent of GDP in just a few months, and it will hit record levels in a few years. In addition, trust funds for some of our most critical programs will face exhaustion far sooner than we expected as a result of the current crisis. Trust fund insolvency threatens serious hardship for those who depend on the programs.
We, therefore, respectfully request that further pandemic-response legislation include provisions for future budget reforms to ensure we confront these issues when the economy is strong enough. These reforms should have broad, bipartisan support. They should not stand in the way of our making the necessary decisions to deal with the crisis at hand. They should ensure that, in addition to addressing health and economic needs, we lay the foundation for a sustainable fiscal future by building on reforms with established bipartisan support.
First, we must have common ground on the facts and keep this issue in our deliberations. The Fiscal State of the Nation resolution would increase the transparency of our fiscal situation by requiring GAO to present an annual report to Congress and the country detailing the fiscal health of the nation.
Second, we must create mechanisms to help Congress demonstrate greater accountability in navigating the decisions to restore our fiscal health and sustainability. Trust funds for Social Security, Disability Insurance, Medicare Hospital Insurance, and Highway programs face insolvency, now possibly all within a decade. Enacting a consensus process like the Time to Rescue United States Trusts (TRUST) Act would create special bipartisan, bicameral rescue committees to give these programs the priority and urgency they deserve. Other commission structures, such as those from the Sustainable Budget Act or the Budget Control Act’s joint select committee, provide models for a comprehensive fiscal agreement.
Third, the federal debt is growing at an alarming pace. Though emergency borrowing is necessary now, we must have a credible plan for responsibility to bring the debt burden to sustainable levels as the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers. We support a process for establishing overall budgetary goals—such as debt-to-GDP targets—that would reduce debt- limit brinkmanship as long as the budget remains on a responsible path.
Including budget reforms like these with any further pandemic-response legislation would put in place a plan to make sure that as we address our nation’s health and economic concerns, we will deal with our debt challenges at the appropriate time as well.
As the first branch of government, Congress can and must address current needs while planning for tomorrow. These bipartisan options can help us come together—as Americans—to build a brighter, more resilient future. We urge you to include them in the next pandemic response legislation. We stand ready and willing to work with you.
Scott H. Peters and Jodey Arrington, Member of Congress
Additional signers include: Ben McAdams, Dean Phillips, Jim Banks, Tom Reed, Ed Case, Stephanie Murphy, Kathleen M. Rice, Kurt Schrader, Bill Huizenga, Mike Johnson, Lloyd Smucker, Dan Crenshaw,Derek Kilmer, Vicky Hartzler, Jimmy Panetta, Dan Newhouse, Cindy Axne, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Tom O’Halleran, Mike Gallagher, Anthony Brindisi, Rob Woodall, Ron Kind, Warren Davidson, Kendra S. Horn, Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M., Abigail D. Spanberger, Darin LaHood, Jim Cooper, Tom Rice, Jim Costa, George Holding, Henry Cuellar, Drew Ferguson, Xochitl Torres Small, Ralph Norman, Daniel W. Lipinski, David Schweikert, Collin C. Peterson, Ron Estes, Joe Cunningham, Mark Walker, Harley Rouda, Jason Smith, Ann McLane Kuster, Roger Marshall, M.D., Colin Allred, Debbie Lesko, J. Luis Correa, Bruce Westerman, Chrissy Houlahan, Adrian Smith, Terri A. Sewell, Jack Bergman, Sharice L. Davids, Mike Kelly, Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. and Roger Williams
While it would be easy to blame this on Republicans, the effort to destroy earned benefits through taxes such as Medicare and Social Security is a longtime two-party effort.
First, President Ronald Reagan in a moment of fading lucidity allowed Alan Greenspan and his globalist buddies to gut Social Security. Their “reforms” included: taking out more taxes than the program paid, raising the retirement age to 67, introducing tiers that cut many benefits from prior 50% to 15%, and subjecting earned Social Security to Income Tax ($40 billion paid last year alone).
Second, President Barack Obama pushed for the Simpson-Bowles Commission, very much the same sneaky animal as the TRUST deal – a group of politicians blindly approving a commission’s report with virtually no public input. That failed, when members could not reach a super majority of 14 of 18 members. The TRUST commission, however, will only need a bare majority.
President Donald Trump ran in 2016 decrying cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
He can fulfill that promise with a veto of the TRUST act if approved by Congress. The White House has not commented on the bill, probably waiting until after the election to either support the public, or once again cave to the investor class.
Text of the TRUST Act
116th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 2733 To save and strengthen critical social contract programs of the Federal Government. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES October 29, 2019 Mr. Romney (for himself, Mr. Manchin, Mr. Young, Mr. Jones, and Ms. Sinema) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To save and strengthen critical social contract programs of the Federal Government. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the “Time to Rescue United States Trusts Act” or the “TRUST Act”.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Co-chair.–The term “co-chair” means an individual
appointed to serve as a co-chair of a Rescue Committee under
(2) Critical social contract program.–The term “critical
social contract program” means a Federal program the Secretary
identifies in the report under section 3.
(3) Rescue committee.–The term “Rescue Committee” means
a committee established under section 4(a).
(4) Rescue committee bill.–The term “Rescue Committee
bill” means a bill consisting solely of legislative language
that a Rescue Committee approves and submits under clauses (i)
and (vi), respectively, of section 4(a)(3)(B).
(5) Secretary.–The term “Secretary” means the Secretary
of the Treasury.
SEC. 3. IDENTIFICATION OF CRITICAL SOCIAL CONTRACT PROGRAMS.
Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the
Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that identifies each
(1) for which a Federal trust fund is established;
(2) the amount of outlays of which, for the fiscal year
immediately preceding the fiscal year in which this Act is
enacted, were not less than $20,000,000,000; and
(3) the amount of dedicated Federal funds and Federal trust
fund balances that the Secretary determines will be inadequate,
on any date during the period beginning on the date of
enactment of this Act and ending on the last day of fiscal year
2035, to meet the total amount of outlays of the Federal
program that would otherwise be made.
SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF RESCUE COMMITTEES.
(a) Establishment of Rescue Committees.–
(1) Establishment.–On the date on which the Secretary
submits the report under section 3, there shall be established
a Rescue Committee for each critical social contract program.
(2) Goals.–The goals of each Rescue Committee shall be to,
with respect to the critical social contract program for which
the Rescue Committee is established–
(A) avoid depletion of the Federal trust fund
established for the critical social contract program;
(B) provide for the solvency of the Federal trust
fund established for the critical social contract
program during the 75-year period beginning on the date
described in paragraph (1);
(C) simplify the critical social contract program
to the extent practicable; and
(D) otherwise improve the critical social contract
(A) In general.–
(i) Improving critical social contract
programs.–Each Rescue Committee may develop
recommendations and legislative language that
will significantly improve the critical social
contract program for which the Rescue Committee
is established, including by–
(I) increasing the duration of
positive balances of the Federal trust
fund established for the critical
social contract program; and
(II) to the extent practicable,
providing for the solvency of the
Federal trust fund established for the
critical social contract program during
the 75-year period beginning on the
date described in paragraph (1).
(ii) Recommendations of committees.–Not
later than 30 days after the date described in
paragraph (1), each committee of the Senate and
the House of Representatives may transmit to
the relevant Rescue Committee any
recommendations of the committee relating to
changes in law to improve the critical social
contract program for which the Rescue Committee
is established in accordance with the goals of
the Rescue Committee described in paragraph
(B) Report, recommendations, and legislative
(i) In general.–Not later than November
12, 2020, each Rescue Committee shall meet to
consider, and may vote on–
(I) a report that contains a
detailed statement of the findings,
conclusions, and recommendations of the
Rescue Committee described in
subparagraph (A)(i) and the estimate of
the Congressional Budget Office
required under paragraph (5)(D)(ii);
(II) legislative language to carry
out the recommendations of the Rescue
Committee in the report described in
subclause (I), which shall include a
statement of the economic and budgetary
effects of the recommendations during
the 75-year period beginning on the
date described in paragraph (1).
(ii) Advisory nature.–Any proposed change
to the Standing Rules of the Senate or the
Rules of the House of Representatives included
in a report or legislative language under
clause (i) shall be considered to be merely
(iii) Approval of report and legislative
language.–A report and legislative language of
a Rescue Committee under clause (i) shall
require the approval of a majority of the
members of the Rescue Committee, provided that
such majority shall be required to include not
less than 2 members of each party.
(iv) Additional views.–
(I) In general.–A member of a
Rescue Committee who gives notice of an
intention to file supplemental,
minority, or additional views at the
time of the final Rescue Committee vote
on the approval of the report and
legislative language of the Rescue
Committee under clause (i) shall be
entitled to 3 days to file those views
in writing with the staff director of
the Rescue Committee.
(II) Inclusion in report.–Views
filed under subclause (I) shall be
included in the report of the relevant
Rescue Committee under clause (i) and
printed in the same volume, or part
thereof, and such inclusion shall be
noted on the cover of the report,
except that, in the absence of timely
notice, the report may be printed and
transmitted immediately without such
(v) Report and legislative language to be
made public.–Upon the approval or disapproval
of a report and legislative language under
clause (i) by a Rescue Committee, the Rescue
Committee shall promptly make the report, the
legislative language, and a record of the vote
on the report and legislative language
available to the public.
(vi) Submission of report and legislative
language.–If a report and legislative language
are approved by a Rescue Committee under clause
(i), not later than 3 days after the date on
which the report and legislative language are
made available to the public under clause (v),
the Rescue Committee shall submit the report
and legislative language to the President, the
Vice President, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, and the majority and minority
leaders of each House of Congress.
(vii) Rule of construction.–Nothing in
this subparagraph shall be construed to
prohibit a Rescue Committee from voting on a
report and legislative language under clause
(i) before November 12, 2020.
(A) In general.–Each Rescue Committee shall be
composed of 12 members appointed in accordance with
(B) Appointment.–Not later than 14 days after the
date described in paragraph (1), with respect to each
(i) the majority leader of the Senate shall
appoint 3 individuals from among the Members of
the Senate who shall serve as members of the
(ii) the minority leader of the Senate
shall appoint 3 individuals from among the
Members of the Senate who shall serve as
members of the Rescue Committee;
(iii) the Speaker of the House of
Representatives shall appoint 3 individuals
from among the Members of the House of
Representatives who shall serve as members of
the Rescue Committee; and
(iv) the minority leader of the House of
Representatives shall appoint 3 individuals
from among the Members of the House of
Representatives who shall serve as members of
the Rescue Committee.
(i) In general.–Not later than 14 days
after the date described in paragraph (1), with
respect to each Rescue Committee–
(I) the majority leader of the
Senate shall appoint 1 individual from
among the members of the Rescue
Committee who shall serve as a co-chair
of the Rescue Committee; and
(II) the Speaker of the House of
Representatives shall appoint 1
individual from among the members of
the Rescue Committee who shall serve as
a co-chair of the Rescue Committee.
(ii) Staff director.–With respect to each
Rescue Committee, the co-chairs of the Rescue
Committee, acting jointly, shall hire the staff
director of the Rescue Committee.
(D) Period of appointment.–
(i) In general.–The members of a Rescue
Committee shall be appointed for the life of
the Rescue Committee.
(I) In general.–Any vacancy in a
Rescue Committee shall not affect the
powers of the Rescue Committee, but
shall be filled not later than 14 days
after the date on which the vacancy
occurs, in the same manner as the
original appointment was made.
(II) Ineligible members.–If a
member of a Rescue Committee ceases to
be a Member of the Senate or the House
of Representatives, as applicable–
(aa) the member shall no
longer be a member of the
Rescue Committee; and
(bb) a vacancy in the
Rescue Committee exists.
(A) In general.–With respect to each Rescue
Committee, to enable the Rescue Committee to exercise
the powers, functions, and duties of the Rescue
Committee, there are authorized to be disbursed by the
Senate the actual and necessary expenses of the Rescue
Committee approved by the co-chairs of the Rescue
Committee, subject to the rules and regulations of the
(B) Expenses.–With respect to each Rescue
Committee, in carrying out the functions of the Rescue
Committee, the Rescue Committee is authorized to incur
expenses in the same manner and under the same
conditions as the Joint Economic Committee is
authorized under section 11(d) of the Employment Act of
1946 (15 U.S.C. 1024(d)).
(C) Quorum.–With respect to each Rescue Committee,
7 members of the Rescue Committee shall constitute a
quorum for purposes of voting, meeting, and holding
(i) Proxy voting.–No proxy voting shall be
allowed on behalf of any member of a Rescue
(ii) Congressional budget office
(I) In general.–The Director of
the Congressional Budget Office shall,
with respect to the legislative
language of a Rescue Committee under
paragraph (3)(B)(i)(II), provide to the
(aa) estimates of the
legislative language in
accordance with sections 308(a)
and 201(f) of the Congressional
Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C.
639(a) and 601(f)); and
(bb) information on the
budgetary effect of the
legislative language during the
75-year period beginning on the
date described in paragraph
(II) Limitation.–A Rescue
Committee may not vote on any version
of the report, recommendations, or
legislative language of the Rescue
Committee under paragraph (3)(B)(i)
unless the estimates and information
described in subclause (I) of this
clause are made available for
consideration by all members of the
Rescue Committee not later than 48
hours before that vote, as certified by
the co-chairs of the Rescue Committee.
(i) Initial meeting.–Not later than 45
days after the date described in paragraph (1),
each Rescue Committee shall hold the first
meeting of the Rescue Committee.
(ii) Agenda.–For each meeting of each
Rescue Committee, the co-chairs of the Rescue
Committee shall provide an agenda to the
members of the Rescue Committee not later than
48 hours before the meeting.
(i) In general.–Each Rescue Committee may,
for the purpose of carrying out this section,
hold such hearings, sit and act at such times
and places, require attendance of witnesses and
production of books, papers, and documents,
take such testimony, receive such evidence, and
administer such oaths as the Rescue Committee
(ii) Hearing procedures and
responsibilities of co-chairs.–
(I) Announcement.–The co-chairs of
each Rescue Committee shall make a
public announcement of the date, place,
time, and subject matter of any hearing
to be conducted under this subparagraph
not later than 7 days before the date
of the hearing, unless the co-chairs
determine that there is good cause to
begin such hearing on an earlier date.
(II) Written statement.–A witness
appearing before a Rescue Committee
shall file a written statement of the
proposed testimony of the witness not
later than 2 days before the date of
the appearance of the witness, unless
the co-chairs of the Rescue Committee–
(aa) determine that there
is good cause for the witness
to not file the written
(bb) waive the requirement
that the witness file the
(G) Technical assistance.–Upon written request of
the co-chairs of a Rescue Committee, the head of a
Federal agency shall provide technical assistance to
the Rescue Committee in order for the Rescue Committee
to carry out the duties of the Rescue Committee.
(b) Staff of Rescue Committee.–
(1) In general.–The co-chairs of a Rescue Committee may
jointly appoint and fix the compensation of staff of the Rescue
Committee as the co-chairs determine necessary, in accordance
with the guidelines, rules, and requirements relating to
employees of the Senate.
(2) Ethical standards.–
(A) Senate.–Members of the Senate who serve on a
Rescue Committee and staff of the Rescue Committee
shall adhere to the ethics rules of the Senate.
(B) House of representatives.–Members of the House
of Representatives who serve on a Rescue Committee
shall be governed by the ethics rules and requirements
of the House of Representatives.
(c) Termination.–Each Rescue Committee shall terminate on the day
after the date of the sine die adjournment of the 116th Congress.
SEC. 5. EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF RESCUE COMMITTEE BILLS.
(a) Qualifying Legislation.–Only a Rescue Committee bill shall be
entitled to expedited consideration under this section.
(b) Consideration in the House of Representatives.–
(1) Introduction.–If a Rescue Committee approves and
submits legislative language under clauses (i) and (vi),
respectively, of section 4(a)(3)(B), a Rescue Committee bill
consisting solely of that legislative language may be
introduced in the House of Representatives (by request)–
(A) by the majority leader of the House of
Representatives, or by a Member of the House of
Representatives designated by the majority leader of
the House of Representatives, on the next legislative
(B) if the Rescue Committee bill is not introduced
under subparagraph (A), by any Member of the House of
Representatives on any legislative day beginning on the
legislative day after the legislative day described in
(2) Referral and reporting.–Any committee of the House of
Representatives to which a Rescue Committee bill is referred
shall report the Rescue Committee bill to the House of
Representatives without amendment not later than 10 legislative
days after the date on which the Rescue Committee bill was so
referred. If a committee of the House of Representatives fails
to report a Rescue Committee bill within that period, it shall
be in order to move that the House of Representatives discharge
the committee from further consideration of the Rescue
Committee bill. Such a motion shall not be in order after the
last committee authorized to consider the Rescue Committee bill
reports it to the House of Representatives or after the House
of Representatives has disposed of a motion to discharge the
Rescue Committee bill. The previous question shall be
considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without
intervening motion except 20 minutes of debate equally divided
and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. If such a
motion is adopted, the House of Representatives shall proceed
immediately to consider the Rescue Committee bill in accordance
with paragraphs (3) and (4). A motion to reconsider the vote by
which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.
(3) Proceeding to consideration.–After the last committee
authorized to consider a Rescue Committee bill reports it to
the House of Representatives or has been discharged (other than
by motion) from its consideration, it shall be in order to move
to proceed to consider the Rescue Committee bill in the House
of Representatives. Such a motion shall not be in order after
the House of Representatives has disposed of a motion to
proceed with respect to the Rescue Committee bill. The previous
question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its
adoption without intervening motion. A motion to reconsider the
vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.
(4) Consideration.–The Rescue Committee bill shall be
considered as read. All points of order against the Rescue
Committee bill and against its consideration are waived. The
previous question shall be considered as ordered on the Rescue
Committee bill to its passage without intervening motion except
2 hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the
proponent and an opponent and 1 motion to limit debate on the
Rescue Committee bill. A motion to reconsider the vote on
passage of the Rescue Committee bill shall not be in order.
(5) Vote on passage.–The vote on passage of the Rescue
Committee bill shall occur not later than 3 legislative days
after the date on which the last committee authorized to
consider the Rescue Committee bill reports it to the House of
Representatives or is discharged.
(c) Expedited Procedure in the Senate.–
(1) Introduction in the senate.–If a Rescue Committee
approves and submits legislative language under clauses (i) and
(vi), respectively, of section 4(a)(3)(B), a Rescue Committee
bill consisting solely of that legislative language may be
introduced in the Senate (by request)–
(A) by the majority leader of the Senate, or by a
Member of the Senate designated by the majority leader
of the Senate, on the next day on which the Senate is
in session; or
(B) if the Rescue Committee bill is not introduced
under subparagraph (A), by any Member of the Senate on
any day on which the Senate is in session beginning on
the day after the day described in subparagraph (A).
(2) Committee consideration.–A Rescue Committee bill
introduced in the Senate under paragraph (1) shall be jointly
referred to the committee or committees of jurisdiction, which
committees shall report the Rescue Committee bill without any
revision and with a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable
recommendation, or without recommendation, not later than 10
session days after the date on which the Rescue Committee bill
was so referred. If any committee to which a Rescue Committee
bill is referred fails to report the Rescue Committee bill
within that period, that committee shall be automatically
discharged from consideration of the Rescue Committee bill, and
the Rescue Committee bill shall be placed on the appropriate
(3) Proceeding.–Notwithstanding rule XXII of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, it is in order, not later than 2 days of
session after the date on which a Rescue Committee bill is
reported or discharged from all committees to which the Rescue
Committee bill was referred, for the majority leader of the
Senate or the designee of the majority leader to move to
proceed to the consideration of the Rescue Committee bill. It
shall also be in order for any Member of the Senate to move to
proceed to the consideration of the Rescue Committee bill at
any time after the conclusion of such 2-day period. A motion to
proceed is in order even though a previous motion to the same
effect has been disagreed to. All points of order against the
motion to proceed to the Rescue Committee bill are waived. The
motion to proceed is not debatable. The motion is not subject
to a motion to postpone. A motion to reconsider the vote by
which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in
order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the
Rescue Committee bill is agreed to, the Rescue Committee bill
shall remain the unfinished business until disposed of. All
points of order against a Rescue Committee bill and against
consideration of the Rescue Committee bill are waived.
(4) No amendments.–An amendment to a Rescue Committee
bill, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the
consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the
Rescue Committee bill, is not in order.
(5) Rulings of the chair on procedure.–Appeals from the
decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules
of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to
a Rescue Committee bill shall be decided without debate.
(d) Amendment.–A Rescue Committee bill shall not be subject to
amendment in either the Senate or the House of Representatives.
(e) Consideration by the Other House.–
(1) In general.–If, before passing a Rescue Committee
bill, a House receives from the other House a Rescue Committee
bill consisting of legislative language approved by the same
Rescue Committee as the Rescue Committee bill in the receiving
(A) the Rescue Committee bill of the other House
shall not be referred to a committee; and
(B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be
the same as if no Rescue Committee bill had been
received from the other House until the vote on
passage, when the Rescue Committee bill received from
the other House shall supplant the Rescue Committee
bill of the receiving House.
(2) Revenue measures.–This subsection shall not apply to
the House of Representatives if a Rescue Committee bill
received from the Senate is a revenue measure.
(f) Rules To Coordinate Action With Other House.–
(1) Treatment of rescue committee bill of other house.–If
a Rescue Committee bill is not introduced in the Senate or the
Senate fails to consider a Rescue Committee bill under this
section, the Rescue Committee bill of the House of
Representatives consisting of legislative language approved by
the same Rescue Committee as the Rescue Committee bill in the
Senate shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under
(2) Treatment of companion measures in the senate.–If,
following passage of a Rescue Committee bill in the Senate, the
Senate then receives from the House of Representatives a Rescue
Committee bill approved by the same Rescue Committee and
consisting of the same legislative language as the Senate-
passed Rescue Committee bill, the House-passed Rescue Committee
bill shall not be debatable. The vote on passage of the Rescue
Committee bill in the Senate shall be considered to be the vote
on passage of the Rescue Committee bill received from the House
(3) Vetoes.–If the President vetoes a Rescue Committee
bill, consideration of a veto message in the Senate under this
paragraph shall be 10 hours equally divided between the
majority and minority leaders of the Senate or the designees of
the majority and minority leaders of the Senate.
SEC. 6. FUNDING.
Funding for each Rescue Committee shall be derived in equal
(1) the contingent fund of the Senate from the
appropriations account “Miscellaneous Items”, subject to the
rules and regulations of the Senate; and
(2) the applicable accounts of the House of
SEC. 7. RULEMAKING.
The provisions of this Act are enacted by Congress–
(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate
and the House of Representatives, respectively, and, as such,
(A) shall be considered as part of the rules of
each House, respectively, or of that House to which
they specifically apply; and
(B) shall supersede other rules only to the extent
that they are inconsistent therewith; and
(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of
either House to change such rules (so far as relating to such
House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent
as in the case of any other rule of such House.
Republican and Democrat politicians, plus the Media brain trust, are missing the catastrophe coming from the $600-a-week Covid-19 unemployment compensation supplemental benefit for all 50 states.
In the ivory tower of statistic worship and technocratic analysis, the supplement makes sense. When millions lose jobs, unemployment insurance only covers about $400 average per week. With overtime, stock bonuses and such, the average earnings before taxes in America is about $970 a week, so $400 + $600 = $1,000, totally replaces the median wage.
The tragedy of this false logic: it ignores that half of the full time employed make more than $970, and half make less, many far less, as low as minimum wage: $270 weekly, after taxes.
Median high school grad 25 and older (26 million workers) earns $710 weekly after payroll taxes, laid off and receives $400 unemployment compensation, plus $600 supplemental – a total $1,000. Earnings are $290 a week more by not working.
Minimum wage worker earning $270 weekly, laid off and receives $210 unemployment compensation, plus $600 supplemental – a total of $810, three times as much by not working.
For millions of workers it pays to not work. Not only do they make more money, there’s no miserable boss, crazy deadlines, childcare costs, driving or transit expense. Even if the government payments were the same, let alone three times as much, wouldn’t nearly everyone stay home?
Some libertarians disagree, claiming that employees love their jobs, miss their fellow workers, find meaning in life by spending 40 hours or more away from home and family. This is another proof that libertarians are rich folks, who make up jobs they like, and just want to get away from the clatter of servants washing dishes (or a nagging spouse). For the rest of us, their golf and three-hour lunches are not real work.
Unfortunately, this supplemental unemployment cash will last until the end of July.
And that means going to work is stupid and irresponsible if you are the average person. Stay home. Enjoy the summer. You might even vacation with that earlier additional $1,200 per person stimulus check that went to every adult, except those claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return (including blind, crippled and senile).
For two more months the current 17 million unemployed, mostly in lower paying jobs, will make every effort not to return to work.
For many businesses no staff means no income, and they will close, go bankrupt.
Even when workers return, what will be their reaction when, for example, their weekly pay is $300, not $800?
However, you might ask, suppose your boss decides to reopen and offer you your job again?
You might hate your boss if this happens. An employer who makes someone accept $300 or $400 a week for working, instead of earning $700 or $800 by not working, is asking for serious labor troubles.
Most employers are smart. They won’t bring back the workers until after the end of July.
And so the shutdown must continue for many businesses, even though they might enter the green phase,
This will kill the economy as more business go bankrupt – a bonanza by the way for the hedge funds, banks and investors who snatch up distressed firms.
A recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR) illustrated the problem:
“The very people we hired have now asked us to be laid off,” according to shop owner Sky Marietta, “Not because they did not like their jobs or because they did not want to work, but because it would cost them literally hundreds of dollars per week to be employed.”
You also have to think [of] the benefit of not having to go to work, especially during a pandemic.
It’s not that we don’t wish that we could pay our employees at that level all the time. You’re always wanting to pay your staff the best you possibly can. But to be put in a position where you can’t compete with them being at home, unemployed, it’s really tricky. It’s a really difficult situation to be in.”
To make things worse, the Covid-19 stimulus act also includes a provision to lend businesses money that doesn’t have to be repaid if it is used to pay salaries to retain workers.
Jamie Black-Lewis, who owns Oasis Medspa & Salon and Amai Day Spa in Washington state, said she received two forgivable loans through the new federal Paycheck Protection Program, She thought it was great to help keep her 35 employees who had their pay halted when the spas closed.
No surprise, the loans and being kept on payroll made many of her employees angry. The reaction she got was a “firestorm of hatred about the situation,” Black-Lewis said.
These employees realized they could make more money from unemployment than employment.
It’s a windfall they see coming, In their mind, I took it away.
Of course, the unethical business owner can win big if they want to break the rules.
First, don’t offer jobs back to your past employees, who are now on unemployment benefits.
Then hire new workers, who are employed elsewhere at a lower wage, and report you are not cutting staff and deserve a forgivable federal loan.
In time for August 1, lay off the “replacement” workers and rehire the old staff.
That way, they get the extra money, you get the help, and taxpayers are on the hook for your scam.
And with the efficiency of our government whiz kids, no reviews will be made of cheating the program, even if there was any way or desire to recover our money.
Follow the money! The esteemed investor site The Motley Fool explained this week:
The drug (Remdesivir) could see over $1 billion in sales in the course of the entire coronavirus outbreak, due to the sheer number of patients infected and potentially at risk for the virus. This is assuming the drug can treat up to 500,000 patients and cost little over $2,000 for one course of treatment.
But who will control the licensing and supply of the drug, now being promoted by the media as the preferred treatment for Covid-19, versus Hydroxychloroquine, a $20 generic?
Remember the lab where the virus probably originated?
“The Wuhan Institute of Virology — based in the Chinese city at the center of the epidemic — has applied for a patent in China for the use of the antiviral drug, known as Remdesivir, in treating Covid-19. The application was made on Jan. 21 together with a military academy,” according to a Feb. 4 statement on the institute’s website.
If the application succeeds, Gilead would need to get Chinese patent owners on board in sales of the drug for treating coronavirus infections outside China, including the United States.
“The good thing in having a patent is that it would lead to cross-licensing situations that give China more bargaining chips in negotiating the licensing fee with Gilead,” Wang Yanyu, a senior partner at AllBright Law Offices in Beijing, explained.
While the politicians in the U.S. were busy closing the Senate and dominating the airwaves with a foregone no at the President’s impeachment trial, China was busy buying up supplies to treat the virus and making this bet on Remdesivir.
“While Gilead’s experimental drug isn’t licensed or approved anywhere in the world, it is being rushed into trials in China on coronavirus patients after showing early signs of being highly effective. It may go into clinical trials in China as early as next week in patients with moderate and severe symptoms of the pathogen,” Merdad Parsey, Gilead’s chief medical officer, said.
In the journal Cell Research Wuhan Institute scientists said Gilead’s Remdesivir, and Hydroxychloroquine, are “highly effective” in laboratory studies at thwarting the coronavirus.
China is capable of manufacturing Hydroxychloroquine, and now wants not only access to Remdesivir, but also worldwide control of the drug.
Gilead will still retain the global rights to market the antiviral medication, once approved, in treating illnesses such as Ebola and SARS, the Wuhan institute said.
If China grants the patent, it will control the use and price of Remdesivir, enabling huge profits from treating a worldwide virus. Gilead’s share from working with China remains unclear at this time, but dividing up a global Remdesivir treatment conservative total of even 100 million patients would yield a $200 billion payoff.
Will Congress, the media or the medical profession censure the company for such a deal?
Unlikely, since Big Pharma spends tens of billions of dollars on ads and other marketing, including direct payments to universities and doctors.
Totals listed below account for payments during the 2018 calendar year that mention Gilead products.
Totals listed below account for payments during the 2018 calendar year that mention this product. If a payment record mentions more than one product, the entire value will be included in each of those products.
Gilead products, number of doctors, and total paid
EPCLUSA 7,487 $4.32M
BIKTARVY 3,937 $2.08M
TRUVADA 3,496 $1.65M
VEMLIDY 3,268 $1.58M
ZYDELIG 1,283 $962K
RANEXA 2,290 $870K
CAYSTON 559 $292K
YESCARTA 233 $218K
LETAIRIS 1,566 $181K
HARVONI 176 $29,211
Top Doctors Receiving Payments From Gilead in 2018
Pediatric Infectious Diseases
BIRMINGHAM, AL $302K
ZOBAIR YOUNOSSI Surgery
FALLS CHURCH, VA $234K
SORANA SEGAL- MAURER Infectious Disease
FLUSHING, NY $142K
CHRISTIAN RAMERS Infectious Disease
SAN DIEGO, CA $138K
CALVIN PAN Gastroenterology
FLUSHING, NY $135K
ANTHONY MARTINEZ Internal Medicine
BUFFALO, NY $130K
BRIAN PEARLMAN Internal Medicine
ATLANTA, GA $128K
FELICIA STERMAN Internal Medicine
SAN FRANCISCO, CA $122K
SAMMY SAAB Transplant Surgery
LOS ANGELES, CA $121K
DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM Geriatric Medicine
SCOTTSDALE, AZ $114K
CYNTHIA BRINSON Family Medicine
AUSTIN, TX $102K
Top Teaching Hospitals Receiving Payments From Gilead in 2018
EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL ATLANTA, GA $2.76M
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA HOSPITAL BIRMINGHAM, AL $1.76M
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL BOSTON, MA $1.45M
LANGLEY PORTER PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL SAN FRANCISCO, CA $1.26M
What is your chance of a fatal Covid-19 infection?
We compiled these charts yesterday to demonstrate total deaths per 1,000, 10,000 and 1,000,000 persons by state and country. Some 193 nations are safer and have a lower mortality than the United States. The higher the number, the more chance of death. Only one nation – San Marino – has more than a one-in-a-thousand chance of dying from the disease.
While critics of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) bring up the $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, there is virtually no reporting of the $10.8 billion authorized for three African development banks.
Funding for the Kennedy Center came with the stipulation it would help deal with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. There is no such restriction connected to the huge sums for the African Development Fund (ADF), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Development Association (IDA)..
The ADF and the AfDB are two related organizations that are supposed to fund development and poverty eradication efforts in Africa. The IDA is a subsidiary of the World Bank that lends money to poor countries and then forces changes in their financial and social structures to promote privatization.
These agencies have been criticized for failing to be effective. For example, the average Sub-Saharan African lives on just $1 a day, while developers of infrastructure often build projects of little value to these mostly tribal countries.
In February David Malpass told the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) forum that the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the AfDB, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have a “tendency to lend too quickly and thereby aggravate the problem of country debt”. There are also hedge fund connections to create “securitization” of loans, including paid arrangements with Mariner Investment Group.
The President of the World Bank Group, Malpass criticized the AfDB specifically for its activities in Nigeria and South Africa. He urged “greater coordination among international financial institutions to coordinate lending and maintain high standards of transparency”.
How did all this money become part of the virus bill?
The Center for Global Development (CGD) told Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell in a letter that they must include funding for these groups, claiming that even after the virus is under control in the United States, it could come back if it surges in Africa.
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers heads the CGD board. A prominent member of the Trilateral Commission, Summers served as Treasury Secretary under President William Clinton. Other CGD board members include Judy Woodruff, Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour. CGD was founded in November 2001 by another Trilateral leader, Fred Bergsten, ex-director of the Peterson Institute.
There are 115 total reported deaths from the virus thus far in the entire continent of Africa among its 1.216 billion population. That compares to 1,342 deaths in just New York State with 19.54 million residents. Africa is the last place to send aid to fight a virus which has killed 39,000 worldwide.
What else could Congress have done with that $10.8 billion that went to the international development banks?
We could have replaced the $9.2 billion cut from the budget for the Department of Education, which would allow us to:
Restore programs and grants for teacher training, after-school and summer care, and aid to low-income students.
Add back Striving Readers/Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants and funding for Supporting Effective Instruction State grants of $2.3 billion.
In addition, we could restore $1.6 billion in cuts to the Department of the Interior, which eliminated 4,000 jobs, ended funding for 49 National Historic Sites and decreased funding for land acquisition and the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.
The following is the relevant text of the bill, which was included in the original Republican draft and approved unanimously by Congress:
‘‘SEC. 31. NINETEENTH REPLENISHMENT.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The United States Governor of the International Development Association is authorized to contribute on behalf of the United States $3,004,200,000 to the nineteenth replenishment of the resources of the Association, subject to obtaining the necessary appropriations.
‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—In order to pay for the United States contribution provided for in subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated, without fiscal year limitation, $3,004,200,000 for payment by the Secretary of the Treasury.’’.
(2) INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION AUTHORIZATION.— The International Finance Corporation Act (22 U.S.C. H. R. 748—314 282 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 18. CAPITAL INCREASES AND AMENDMENT TO THE ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT.
‘‘(a) VOTES AUTHORIZED.—The United States Governor of the Corporation is authorized to vote in favor of—
‘‘(1) a resolution to increase the authorized capital stock of the Corporation by 16,999,998 shares, to implement the conversion of a portion of the retained earnings of the Corporation into paid-in capital, which will result in the United States being issued an additional 3,771,899 shares of capital stock, without any cash contribution;
‘‘(2) a resolution to increase the authorized capital stock of the Corporation on a general basis by 4,579,995 shares; and
‘‘(3) a resolution to increase the authorized capital stock of the Corporation on a selective basis by 919,998 shares.
‘‘(b) AMENDMENT OF THE ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT.—The United States Governor of the Corporation is authorized to agree to and accept an amendment to article II, section 2(c)(ii) of the Articles of Agreement of the Corporation that would increase the vote by which the Board of Governors of the Corporation may increase the capital stock of the Corporation from a four-fifths majority to an eighty-five percent majority.’’.
(3) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK.—The African Development Bank Act (22 U.S.C. 290i et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 1345. SEVENTH CAPITAL INCREASE.
‘‘(a) SUBSCRIPTION AUTHORIZED.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The United States Governor of the Bank may subscribe on behalf of the United States to 532,023 additional shares of the capital stock of the Bank.
‘‘(2) LIMITATION.—Any subscription by the United States to the capital stock of the Bank shall be effective only to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriations Acts.
‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In order to pay for the increase in the United States subscription to the Bank under subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated, without fiscal year limitation, $7,286,587,008 for payment by the Secretary of the Treasury.
‘‘(2) SHARE TYPES.—Of the amount authorized to be appropriated under paragraph (1)—
‘‘(A) $437,190,016 shall be for paid in shares of the Bank; and
‘‘(B) $6,849,396,992 shall be for callable shares of the Bank.’’.
(4) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FUND.—The African Development Fund Act (22 U.S.C. 290g et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 226. FIFTEENTH REPLENISHMENT.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The United States Governor of the Fund is authorized to contribute on behalf of the United States H.R. 748—315 $513,900,000 to the fifteenth replenishment of the resources of the Fund, subject to obtaining the necessary appropriations.
‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—In order to pay for the United States contribution provided for in subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated, without fiscal year limitation, $513,900,000 for payment by the Secretary of the Treasury.’’.
(5) INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AUTHORIZATION FOR NEW ARRANGEMENTS TO BORROW.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Section 17 of the Bretton Woods Agreements Act (22 U.S.C. 286e–2) is amended—
(i) in subsection (a)—
(I) by redesignating paragraphs (3), (4), and
(5) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;
(II) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new paragraph:
‘‘(3) In order to carry out the purposes of a one-time decision of the Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund (the Fund) to expand the resources of the New Arrangements to Borrow, established pursuant to the decision of January 27, 1997, referred to in paragraph (1), the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to make loans, in an amount not to exceed the dollar equivalent of 28,202,470,000 of Special Drawing Rights, in addition to any amounts previously authorized under this section, except that prior to activation of the New Arrangements to Borrow, the Secretary of the Treasury shall report to Congress whether supplementary resources are needed to forestall or cope with an impairment of the international monetary system and whether the Fund has fully explored other means of funding to the Fund.’’;
(III) in paragraph (5), as so re-designated, by striking ‘‘paragraph (3)’’ and inserting ‘‘paragraph (4)’’; and
(IV) in paragraph (6), as so re-designated, by striking ‘‘December 16, 2022’’ and inserting ‘‘December 31, 2025’’; and
(ii) in subsection (e)(1) by striking ‘‘(a)(2),’’ each place such term appears and inserting ‘‘(a)(2), (a)(3),’’.
(B) EMERGENCY DESIGNATION.—The amount provided by this paragraph is designated by the Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to section
251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
HR 860 (Social Security 2100 Act) has gained the endorsement of former Republican Congressman Mark Meadows. A founder of the House Freedom Caucus in 2015, Meadows was just named White House Chief of Staff by President Donald Trump.
This same House bill to modernize Social Security is co-sponsored by Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She has hundreds of thousands of contributors in her active quest for the Democrat Party’s nomination for President in the November general election.
Unfortunately, the bill is held up in the House Ways and Means, House Education and Labor, and House Energy and Commerce committees.
Despite hundreds of supporters for passage of the bill, the Speaker of the House has not called for a vote in more than a year.
HR 860 establishes the Social Security Trust Fund to replace the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund.
It would provide an immediate increase for beneficiaries equal to 2% of the average benefit
HR 860 would set the minimum benefit at 25% above the poverty line
The law would change the way the annual cost-of-living adjustment is calculated to include medical and other expenses significant for seniors..
The plan raises the limits on non-Social Security income before benefits begin to be taxed. The new caps would go to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples, up from the current (1986 original) $25,000 and $32,000. This includes mandated RMDs, which cause double taxation for many.
To pay for those changes to sustain the system through the end of the 21st century, the plan would also apply payroll taxes to wages more than $400,000, and gradually increase the contribution rate for both workers and employers to 7.4% from 6.2% of wages between 2020 and 2043.
This bill is backed by groups including the AFL-CIO, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and Social Security Works.
Rep. John Larson, D-Conn is spearheading the effort to pass this real reform. He currently has 202 members of the House ready to vote for it. He has also talked to Ivanka Trump and others in the White House and hopes for bipartisan support.
One needed area of support to get the bill passed will be the Senate, as well as the president. There are indications that the administration is at least considering the issue, Larson said.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has also met with the bill’s supporters several times and she likes the approach.
But the big surprise is the support for the measure by Conservative leader Mark Meadows.
The plot thickens when you realize Meadows replaced Mick Mulvaney as Chief of Staff.
Mulvaney has publicly pushed for radical benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare as recently as two weeks ago. He was a co-founder of Freedom Works with Meadows, and the two began with the same negative views on so-called “entitlements”, but now find themselves on opposite sides.
When Trump exiled Mulvaney to Northern Ireland last week and brought in Meadows it provided a great relief to advocates for seniors.
After hearing from his mother last year on how crucial Social Security benefits and Medicare are to her budget, Meadows changed his mind in October, last year, and said he plans to work with Larson to come up with a Social Security fix.
“It is a bipartisan issue,” Meadows said in an interview
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) is encouraging its members to raise the issue at debates and town halls. Passing HR 860 has been a taboo subject for media reporters so far this primary season.
Meanwhile, Mulvaney’s enthusiasm to take away people’s earned benefits mirrors the motives of Mitch McConnell, who has called for Social Security and Medicare to be “adjusted” (destroyed). However, the Senate Majority Leader has met his match with Meadows, who will wield significant power as WH Chief of Staff, dealing not only with Trump, but also the Senate and House.
Why are so many in Congress, as well as the last five Presidents, so anxious to cut senior benefits by raising the retirement age, reducing Cost of Living Adjustments, or privatizing the insurance program? Reagan and Obama used commissions to urge reductions in benefits, while Trump, Clinton and the Bush duo sought cuts in their proposed budgets.
Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works (SSW) explained “the private sector is incapable of providing the wage and health insurance that Social Security and Medicare provide as efficiently, universally, securely or effectively as the federal government.”
Insurance works best when the greatest numbers of people are covered. The only entity that can require that everyone is covered and pays premiums as soon as they start working is the federal government. That is one of the reasons both Social Security and Medicare work so well.
And that is why Mulvaney, McConnell, and other opponents of these programs want to end them. These programs put the lie to their ideological zealotry, which insists that the private sector is always better than government.
Altman said the new crusade against Social Security uses words like “reform” and opponents pretend to like the program.
Mulvaney, McConnell, and other opponents hide their straightforward ideological opposition. Rather, these opponents subversively seek to undermine confidence in Social Security’s and Medicare’s future by asserting that both programs are not affordable.
Worse, in their efforts to end Social Security and Medicare, they seek to turn Americans against each other. They tell us that seniors are taking from children, that people with disabilities are taking from seniors.
The public should cheer now that Mulvaney has been exiled to the Green Island. When explaining to a conference that he had plans for Social Security after the 2020 election, Mulvaney predicted:
In the long term you’ll have to make more major changes. The president has asked me to fix the easy stuff first.
In defending HR 860 and other bills to improve Social Security, Altman was adamant:
These opponents will not give up. And neither must we. Expanding, not cutting, our Social Security and Medicare is profoundly wise policy and is overwhelmingly popular.
But it will only become a reality if we keep our voices loud, reminding our political leaders that it’s voters, not donors, to whom they must account next election day.
No country has sent more of its nationals to the United States over the last decade than China, according to the Census Bureau.
In 2006, 350,000 Mexican nationals legally arrived in the U.S., which was more than Chinese, Indians, and Canadians combined. A dozen years later, it was China that supplied the most foreign-born immigrants to the U.S. — surpassing India, Mexico, and Canada in 2018.
Since 2010, China has dominated foreign-born legal immigration, as both corporations and universities competed to offer visas and other incentives that displaced American workers and scholars, reducing wages and opportunities for U.S. citizens.
The population of Chinese immigrants in the United States has zoomed nearly 700% since 1980, reaching 2.5 million in 2018. Some 1.2 million legal immigrants from all nations are imported into our country every year.
Click here to view an interactive map that shows where immigrants (not born in the U.S.) from China and other countries have settled in the U.S.
Issuing employment visas to China and India harshly impacts our technical and professional fields. These work permits go to U.S. firms that claim no Americans exist to do high-paying jobs. It is a ridiculous claim, considering, for example, the current median H-1B salary is $90,000 for software engineers.
While corporate America is maintaining there are no qualified citizen applicants for these jobs, millions of STEM grads work outside their specialties.
Another population factor is that China leads the world in sending international students to the United States. In just the 2018-19 school year, close to 377,000 students from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau were enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions, according to the Institute of International Education. They accounted for about one-third of the 1 million international students studying in the United States.
One benefit to China is that it receives a booming growth of remittances from their citizens working here – now more than $70 billion a year. Another benefit is that China dominates our STEM advanced degree programs, and their leaders have easy access to U.S. corporate and military technology.
Tom Psillas is one of the Americans hit by the increase in hiring foreigners, especially from China and India:
The H-1B Visa program is definitely a big issue for most of us software developers born and raised in the US. Over 65% of us have been replaced with H-1B Visa workers, only because companies are getting away with it and the laws are not being enforced enough.
Psillas said that 20 years ago Silicon Valley had some Chinese and Indian workers, who were “educated and well-trained.”
Now that the H-1B Visa program has grown too big, we have issues with the large Indian firms dumping H-1B Visa workers in almost all large corporations in America; many times replacing older American workers.
The American worker, me included, was forced to train these H-1B workers, who were our replacements. Do you think we could train them to do everything we learned over many years? Absolutely not.
The end result is sub-standard work, incompetence (not due to lack of effort), and lack of direction from management, who fear for their own job.
Most H-1B workers work hard, Psillas explained, “but after a while, when they see the attitude of management in corporate America and they start caring less about the job.”
Who wouldn’t, given the conditions they are forced to work under. The Indian recruiting firms exploit them, making things even worse.
It is not their fault. It is the fault of corporate CEOs, who care about making their big bonus by cutting expenses and propping up stocks for their investors. They don’t care about the American worker, who lost their job, any more than they care about the H-1B Visa workers being exploited.
…most American software developers in their 60s are out of work, at a time when we should be making the most and spending the most, helping our economy. Instead, we are not eating out anymore, not buying anything, losing our homes or not remodeling them, and not spending money on imports from China.
The following H-1B major occupations and total employed by foreign workers:
The U.S. H-1B is issued for three years, but can be renewed for another three years if approved by the government and employer.
After graduation with a Masters or Doctor’s degrees, Chinese international students generally return home to use their skills there.
DAVOS, the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF), had special guests from the Club of Rome last month, and the question is why would the richest folks in the world invite an organization publicly advocating programs that supposedly restrict free markets and reduce capitalist profits?
The answer is population control, a goal shared by both the very rich and some of the very idealistic. To them, fewer humans means less depletion of natural resources, thus prolonging these assets’ availability to those of us remaining.
That proposed paucity benefits the rich, who would control the size of your family, house and car, and inspires the utopians, who seem convinced that having less, means more virtue, and that sacrifice is a required rite for the righteous.
Which side convinced the other that world population decline was good for everyone? Was it the protected people at the top of the food chain, or the bottom dwellers most affected by human numbers and forced austerity?
Most of the Davos’ agendas look boring, but the very rich at this year’s confab should have been fascinated with the Club’s presentation on a growing global population that can’t be sustained by limited natural resources.
These bankers and industrialists see value in the Club of Rome’s austerity and solutions. Better the public should focus on thermostats, rather than their own inadequate wages. Nothing could thrill the people at the top more than a working class urging a lower standard of living for itself.
But you aren’t invited as a featured guest at the biggest party of the year if you aren’t a good friend. Strange irony is that activist groups, protesting outside the conference, seemed to agree with the Club’s aspirations, or did it only appear that way?
The Club and the deep pocket elites agree the danger is clear – too many mouths, and not enough food. That result spells unhappy citizens and a threat to folks whose highest priority is protecting their property and power.
Founders of the Club concluded a half century ago that there are only two solutions to an over-population disaster:
Limit, or preferably cut population growth.
Reduce resources used by the public.
The battle to fulfill goal #1 has not been very successful.
Population has soared, despite systematic promotion of birth control, easier access to safe abortion, delayed marriages, extended school attendance for girls that reduces number of birthing years, as well as stagnant wages that require both husband and wife to work – creating prohibitive childcare expenses after one, or at most, two children.
Asian and European populations have dropped in recent decades. Meanwhile the U.S. has enjoyed growth since WW2, but that has now fallen to a non-replacement rate of 1.9 per couple
Another way to reduce population is through mass migration into Western democracies from poor nations. The theory is that newcomers will adopt the self-imposed reproductive limitations of advanced societies and have fewer children.
Solution #2 is working, Reduced resources for manufacturing, higher expenses for home and factory construction, limited financial access to cars and use of planes – all result in a lower standard of living in developed nations
The Club Of Rome was formed in 1968, and immediately focused on population.
A prominent part of the Club of Rome’s agenda was population reduction. In 1972 a group of Club “scientists” under the United Nation’s (UN) direction, published a paper called ‘Limits to Growth, which called for greatly reduced human population in the name of “saving the environment.”
This effort was directly linked to another agenda – the institution of a global government that could handle and enforce population controls on a wide scale. -Wikipedia
Here is a quote from The First Global Revolution, written by Alexander King and Bertrand Schneider, and published by Pantheon Books 19 years later in 1991. This Club of Rome treatise follows up on the The Limits of Growth:
In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat, which must be confronted by everyone together.
But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes. and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.
Another interesting Club of Rome quote:
Historically, fertility and mortality rates have fallen with higher levels of education and economic opportunity for women and girls. It is thus expected that current advances in human capital will impact the future size and age composition of the global population.
Halt all fossil fuel expansion, investments and subsidies in 2020 and shift investments and revenues to low-carbon energy deployment, research, development and innovation.
Continue the doubling of wind and solar capacity every four years, and triple annual investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies for high-emitting sectors before 2025.
Set a global floor price on carbon (>30 USD/ton CO 2 and rising) immediately for developed countries and no later than 2025 for the most advanced transition economies, that internalises high-carbon energy externalities in all products and services.
Agree in 2020 to halve consumption and production footprints in developed and emerging economies and close loops in inefficient value chains, by 2030.
Internalize externalities in unsustainable and high-carbon production and consumption through targeted consumption taxes and regulation, as well as consumption-based accounting, by 2025.
Develop national and cross-national roadmaps for all countries towards regenerative land-use and circular economies, including a reduction in global carbon emissions from basic materials to net-zero, by 2030.
Introduce economic progress indicators that include socio-ecological and human health and well-being by 2030, recognising that the latter depends on the flourishing and stewardship of natural ecosystems.
Provide legal tools by 2025 that allow indigenous, forest and tribal communities to secure their rights to traditional land, recognising their vital role as stewards of these lands in mitigating climate change and ecosystem degradation. Such mechanisms must include funding and legal aid to guarantee that these communities have access to justice.
Shift taxation from labour to the use of all natural resources, final disposal, emissions to land, air and water by 2020.
Establish clear funding and retraining programmes for displaced workers, rural and industrial communities by 2025.
…as described by Club documents. Select a section and then click individual member’s names for details
Full Members are “individuals of outstanding ability who share a concern for the future of humanity. Together, they currently represent over 30 countries in five continents and have a wide range of professional backgrounds. Potential new members are proposed by existing members to the Executive Committee.”
Honorary Members are purported “distinguished international personalities who support the work of the Club of Rome. They are typically ex-heads of state, notable scientists or business and community leaders of distinction.”
Associate Members are “individuals who are interested in the Club’s work and wish to support it. They may apply for membership or be proposed by other members; their application is accepted or rejected by the Executive Committee. Associate members are often those who have been Full Members but who wish to play a less active role, or those who may become Full Members in the future.”