McConnell to states, localities: Bankuptcy is your best option

coronavirus politics
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The political fight over COVID-19 response has a new front – at the state and local government level.

The economic slowdown is, predictably, hitting states and localities in the pocketbooks with sales tax collections falling off the cliff.

As with everything else, the federal government is being asked to shoulder the burden by borrowing trillions more.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling an end to the bailout frenzy.

Actually, signaling?

No, he’s outright saying it’s over.

“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio show on Wednesday.

Bankruptcy? Seriously?

Well, that escalated quickly.

State and local governments going bankrupt translates to, for starters, teachers being laid off, road maintenance projects being thrown off into the future.

This against the backdrop of a glut of studies showing that the original modeling used by President Trump and governors across the country to justify the ongoing lockdowns vastly overstated the situation.

But the few states that are moving to slowly re-open their economies are getting shouted down by the angry hordes, which is understandable.

We’ve been told for six weeks that as much as stepping outside without a mask and full-body prophylactic will get us killed instantly.

And now they’re asking us to go back outside?

What McConnell is doing here is obvious. Governors and big-city mayors who want to maintain the lockdowns are doing so knowing that there’s no safety net.

For the other side of the story, let’s go to Don Beyer, a Virginia congressman and former car-sales magnate.

Beyer is also the top Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee, which advises Congress on economic policy, and recently released an economic report entitled “Massive Aid to State and Local Governments Needed to Slow Economic Damage.”

In remarks on the House floor today, Beyer made it clear that “state and local governments desperately need our help.”

“The idea that we would tell states and localities to bear the brunt and then let them go bankrupt and lay off medical workers, police, firefighters, and teachers is despicable, and we must reject it. Letting state and local governments founder would dangerously weaken the response ahead of the virus’ expected second wave,” Beyer said.

Story by Chris Graham

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