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The Viral Economy

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LawBeefaroni
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Viral economy tangent.

Congress approved FSA rollover for 2020. On December 28. Thanks a fucking whole lot. It's optional for employers, not required, and few HR staffs are going to be able to implement and message before Jan 1, even if they decide to do it. So this rewards procrastinators who get lucky and that's it.

I met with our HR a week ago to ask about a rollover and they said there wasn't any indication that one was coming so they closed the window. Which is perfectly easonable. And then at the 11 hour Congress acts.

This was an obvious issue months ago with elective healthcare spending way down and appointments difficult to get as wave whatever started. Granting a rollover costs the government nothing. Yet they waited until the last minute to extend it, in most cases too late for any real relief. Just more ineptitude from all ranks.





Personally I had over a grand left so I bought a shitload of first aid/survival stuff for the kids, bonus rx glasses for the wife. I stil have a several hundred left to burn so I'm thinking about getting stop-the-bleed kits and acetaminophen/ibuprofen to donate to CPD and shelters, respectively. Hearing aid batteries for eldercare facilities? It's not ideal because we just pushed back a lot of routine stuff into next year. But hey, it's not like our government can do anything about it.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Alefroth »

I'd love to see the Dems pass it then tie the repeal up in the courts.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Jaymann »

Alefroth wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:58 pm I'd love to see the Dems pass it then tie the repeal up in the courts.
It's a horrible idea, but I wouldn't mind seeing Fuckerberg sweat it out.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Truth

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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Are people in KY just not suffering? I don't get it. I feel like at any other time in history, someone like Mitch would be dragged out of his house and torn limb-from-limb by the populace. Instead, the entire GOP holds him up as their paragon of governance and allows him to run roughshod over democracy for the entire United States.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Daehawk »

KY just re elected him. Cant expect much from a state with the same initials as sexual lube.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by gbasden »

Smoove_B wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:19 pm Are people in KY just not suffering? I don't get it. I feel like at any other time in history, someone like Mitch would be dragged out of his house and torn limb-from-limb by the populace. Instead, the entire GOP holds him up as their paragon of governance and allows him to run roughshod over democracy for the entire United States.
As long as he hurts liberals and brown people his constituents don't care if they are suffering, apparently.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Image
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Smoove_B wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:19 pmAre people in KY just not suffering? I don't get it. I feel like at any other time in history, someone like Mitch would be dragged out of his house and torn limb-from-limb by the populace. Instead, the entire GOP holds him up as their paragon of governance and allows him to run roughshod over democracy for the entire United States.
Bernie went all bomb thrower here since 10 of the 25 poorest counties in the whole country are in KY. Kentucky just overwhelmingly returned McConnell to office. In the end, despite all the talk about McConnell angling to be party leader over Trump...Mitch packaged this all up to acknowledge that Loeffler and Purdue have the best chance of victory when they can claim alignment with Trump.

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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Blackhawk »

I woke up this morning to a notification of deposit - my stimulus payment arrived. $600, again skipping both of my kids, 17 and 19. Because they based 'child' on the Child Tax Credit, 17 year olds aren't counted as either adults or minors, so they don't get a check. My eldest, at 19, was claimed as a dependent last year, so he falls into the other gap - adult dependents. It's the gap that prevents a majority of college students from receiving it, too. The democrats tried to change it so that they didn't base their definitions on the tax code, but the GOP blocked it. And yet I still have to pay for food, clothing, utilities, and everything else for both of them.

We'll survive it. We still have two incomes, so it isn't like we're going to starve, but it still aggravating that as broke as we are, and as in debt as we've become over the past few years, we've already lost $2200 this year (two sets of stimulus checks that have skipped the kids) compared to everyone around us. $2200 is enough to have a significant impact for us.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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And I got a stimulus payment on the first day. I will return it (there is a procedure) as I sure don't need it.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Default wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:37 pm And I got a stimulus payment on the first day. I will return it (there is a procedure) as I sure don't need it.
Is t better to return it or just donate it? I'm sure you can do more good with it than the federal government. $600 buys a lot of food for folks. It only buys a small part of a hellfire missile.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Default wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:37 pm And I got a stimulus payment on the first day. I will return it (there is a procedure) as I sure don't need it.
Instead, why not donate it to someone who does? Sure, the US Treasury needs it, but they won't be as grateful as your local soup kitchen (for example). Plus, tax deduction. :twisted:
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by stessier »

Kraken wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:41 pm Plus, tax deduction.
Is that still a thing for people? With the new standard deduction, there's no way i'd ever be able to deduct anything I could actually afford to part with.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

OK, no deduction. Suggestion still stands.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Skinypupy »

Kraken wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:41 pm
Default wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:37 pm And I got a stimulus payment on the first day. I will return it (there is a procedure) as I sure don't need it.
Instead, why not donate it to someone who does? Sure, the US Treasury needs it, but they won't be as grateful as your local soup kitchen (for example). Plus, tax deduction. :twisted:
We got our stimulus payment this morning. Far more than I would have ever guessed, $3k for some damn reason.

I’m incredibly fortunate that we don’t need it, so we’ll be splitting it between the Utah Food Bank and the downtown SLC homeless shelter. Feels like that’ll do more good than handing it back to the Treasury.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Isgrimnur »

$600 x 5 people = $3k.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Skinypupy »

Isgrimnur wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:22 pm $600 x 5 people = $3k.
Thanks, I didn’t realize we got it for the kids too.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Kraken wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:41 pm
Default wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:37 pm And I got a stimulus payment on the first day. I will return it (there is a procedure) as I sure don't need it.
Instead, why not donate it to someone who does? Sure, the US Treasury needs it, but they won't be as grateful as your local soup kitchen (for example). Plus, tax deduction. :twisted:
My house got paid off this year (yay overwork)and I have no deductions to speak of.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Default »

According to the IRS:

When returning a direct deposit or a paper check that was cashed or deposited taxpayers should:

Mail a personal check, money order, etc., to the appropriate IRS location.
Make the check or money order payable to U.S. Treasury and write 2020 EIP, and the taxpayer identification number, Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number of the person whose name is on the check.
Include a brief explanation of why they are returning the Economic Impact Payment.

Taxpayers should visit Economic Impact Payment Information Center on IRS.gov for information on how to return or request a replacement EIP debt card.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LordMortis »

Got my deposit. Let's just say it was not close to $600. I'm OK with that. I hope the phase out from me provides some small relief to those who need it. I know they need more.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by YellowKing »

We got ours as well, and my son overheard us talking and asked why we got more than $600. I explained that because we had kids, that upped the total amount.

<gears churning>

Son: "So...that means $600 of that is mine to buy an iPad with..." :lol:

Nice try, kid.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by coopasonic »

Got mine Monday as well, not counting $600 each for the kids, it was enough to cover a fast food dinner for the whole family!
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LordMortis »

coopasonic wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:50 pm Got mine Monday as well, not counting $600 each for the kids, it was enough to cover a fast food dinner for the whole family!
Mine was enough for a fine dining experience for one or a cheap date for two if you don't drink.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

The IRS's "Where's my check?" site says they're mailing me a paper check tomorrow. Rather than deposit it in the same checking account they used last spring, and which I've had for 33 years, and which I use every year to pay/get refunds from the IRS. Okayyyy.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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No check again for me, which I'm personally okay with.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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US employers cut 140,000 jobs in December, according to the latest jobs report. Women accounted for all the losses, losing 156,000 jobs, while men gained 16,000.
Go ahead and read that again. We have a problem. To be clear, these are net numbers. Of course men lost jobs, but on the whole there was a 16K gain.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Study linking COVID-19 and Economic outcomes:
Contrary to the idea of a trade-off, we see that countries which suffered the most severe economic downturns – like Peru, Spain and the UK – are generally among the countries with the highest COVID-19 death rate.

And the reverse is also true: countries where the economic impact has been modest – like Taiwan, South Korea, and Lithuania – have also managed to keep the death rate low.

...

Clearly, many factors have affected the COVID-19 death rate and the shock to the economy beyond the policy decisions made by each government about how to control the spread of the virus. And the full impacts of the pandemic are yet to be seen.


But among countries with available GDP data, we do not see any evidence of a trade-off between protecting people’s health and protecting the economy. Rather the relationship we see between the health and economic impacts of the pandemic goes in the opposite direction. As well as saving lives, countries controlling the outbreak effectively may have adopted the best economic strategy too.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Relief incoming:
President-elect Joe Biden will outline his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.

The package includes $1,400 direct stimulus checks, which would supplement the $600 checks Congress passed late last year. Biden also proposes an additional $160 billion for a national vaccine program, including $20 billion for distribution, and an additional $50 billion for expanded testing.
Related:
The plan also calls on Congress to invest $170 billion in K-12 schools and higher education, including $130 billion for schools to safely reopen. He proposes raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, as well as providing billions for child care assistance, federal nutrition programs, rental assistance and tribal governments' pandemic response. The package also includes $350 billion in emergency funding for state and local governments.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

That's good news but the debt is making me sweaty.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:58 pm That's good news but the debt is making me sweaty.
Why?
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Re: The Viral Economy

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LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:58 pm That's good news but the debt is making me sweaty.
I suspect that the tax shoe will be the next to drop.
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The Viral Economy

Post by Zarathud »

I just wrote an analysis of Biden’s tax proposals for the firm. Secret take-away: Biden gets TWO budget reconciliation bills in 2021 because McConnell has been an ass rejecting any deal with House Democrats.

Budget reconciliation lets the Senate bypass a filibuster and pass on 51 votes (Democratic 50 + the VP tie-breaker.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

malchior wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:36 pm
LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:58 pm That's good news but the debt is making me sweaty.
Why?
Many economists are saying that spending that takes us to Italy’s levels are fine because interest rates will stay extremely low forever,” says Brian Riedl, a budget specialist at the conservative Manhattan Institute. “But the U.S. is taking a gigantic risk by piling on all of this debt. And even the optimistic assumptions about where rates are heading means that interest will swamp the budget, not next year, but in the decades ahead.”


...

Before President Trump signed the new, $900 billion stimulus package, the Congressional Budget Office reckoned that the 2021 deficit would total $1.8 trillion. Riedl forecasts that the Trump measure, plus additional aid promised by Biden, will push the 2021 shortfall to at least $3 trillion. So in just two years, the U.S. debt will mushroom from $16.8 trillion to a minimum of $23.3 trillion, a jump of $6.5 trillion or almost 40% in just 24 months.
This is extremely dangerous territory.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Zarathud »

The time to have been fiscally conscious was in 2017 or 2013 when the economy was better.
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“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:15 pm
malchior wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:36 pm
LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:58 pm That's good news but the debt is making me sweaty.
Why?
Many economists are saying that spending that takes us to Italy’s levels are fine because interest rates will stay extremely low forever,” says Brian Riedl, a budget specialist at the conservative Manhattan Institute. “But the U.S. is taking a gigantic risk by piling on all of this debt. And even the optimistic assumptions about where rates are heading means that interest will swamp the budget, not next year, but in the decades ahead.”


...

Before President Trump signed the new, $900 billion stimulus package, the Congressional Budget Office reckoned that the 2021 deficit would total $1.8 trillion. Riedl forecasts that the Trump measure, plus additional aid promised by Biden, will push the 2021 shortfall to at least $3 trillion. So in just two years, the U.S. debt will mushroom from $16.8 trillion to a minimum of $23.3 trillion, a jump of $6.5 trillion or almost 40% in just 24 months.
This is extremely dangerous territory.
We're not even close to Japanese debt to GDP levels. Not that they are doing great but they give us an example of the flexibility available to leading economies when you sell your sovereign debt in your own currency (and mostly to yourself). The market is essentially offering us effective negative interest rates right now. It is reasonable to cushion the economic blow until the crisis passes. In that vein, I don't think we are anywhere close to extremely dangerous levels. Are we going to have to change course reasonably soon (within a decade)? Definitely.

Edit: Just to throw a little shade at that Fortune article. From the start it had an agenda. Comparing us to Italy is a really weak comparison. Italty doesn't have much control over their currency. And then goes on to compare Italy to Germany on bond rates. That is like comparing NJ and Texas bond rates. It is messy at best.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Zarathud wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:26 pm The time to have been fiscally conscious was in 2017 or 2013 when the economy was better.
Yeah, we're in an unprecedented crisis, and things are not going well on Main Street.

First, we need to shut this virus down before it can evolve vaccine resistance, which is a real risk if we vaccinate too slowly.

Second, healthy economic growth is a bottom-up prospect. Money pumped into people's pockets -- especially the neediest -- will work its way up to the wealthy soon enough, and it will do some good in the process. If we can knock out covid quickly, you're going to see a service-sector boom like none other. Americans want to travel and party, and the top quintile has money to burn.

Third, the scary deficit projections don't include the tax hikes that are surely on the horizon. The wealthy have done extremely well during the pandemic and are poised to do even better.

Kill the virus and reopen the service sector now, and address the debt amidst a rising economy.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LordMortis »

Zarathud wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:26 pm The time to have been fiscally conscious was in 2017 or 2013 when the economy was better.
Yes, please. Either fiscally conscious or actually build the infrastructure we have been paying lip-service to. From 2011 until 2019, that should have been our only two options, and has been anything but.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

LordMortis wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:22 am
Zarathud wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:26 pm The time to have been fiscally conscious was in 2017 or 2013 when the economy was better.
Yes, please. Either fiscally conscious or actually build the infrastructure we have been paying lip-service to. From 2011 until 2019, that should have been our only two options, and has been anything but.
Especially since we built a high-level of infrastructure "debt" from years and years of deferring maintenance of existing infrastructure. The ASCE gave the United States a D+ in 2017. With Trump's calls for "infrastructure week" a constant punchline, the 5-year update next year is probably going to be similar if not worse.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

malchior wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:35 pm Are we going to have to change course reasonably soon (within a decade)? Definitely.
We might not have a decade. China is aggressively attacking the dollar. Interest rates are bound to rise over 10 years. And as we all know, reigning in deficit is hard enough. Chopping off debt? Not going to happen. It's $1.9T we're going to be stuck with. Can we kick the can long enough until we're all dead and don't have to deal with it? Probably. But hat's not sustainable fiscal policy.
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