President Trump signed an Executive Order on Saturday that he says will help the American people who are being placed in limbo because the House and Senate cannot agree on a stimulus bill. Let’s look at his Executive Order.
The executive order continues with expanded unemployment benefits at $400 a month. Under the CARES Act Americans were receiving $600 a month. During negotiations, Democrats and Republicans were arguing about this number with Republicans wanting to only give $200 in expanded unemployment benefits and Democrats wanting to continue the $600 payments. So this seems like a compromise. Here’s the problem. The federal government is only giving $300 a month in expanded unemployment aid, while the states are being forced to give that additional $100. Many states are already stretched bare with paying for COVID testing, state unemployment, and other issues that this ask seems ridiculous. Oh, and Trump is funding this by taking money from FEMA during hurricane season.
Trump’s executive order leaves the banning of evictions up to the Director of Health and Human Services saying:
“The secretary of Health and Human Services and the director of CDC shall consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from one state or possession into any other state or possession,”the White House’s memo regarding evictions
Student loans held by the Department of Education are deferred until December 31st with payments scheduled to restart January 1st 2021.
Here’s the biggest problem, President Trump’s payroll tax “holiday.” Here’s how it works: people who make between $4,000 and $100,000 bi-weekly will have a “holiday” on their payroll taxes. This “holiday” will begin in September and end December 31st This means that they will take home more money in each paycheck, but because this isn’t a payroll tax forgiveness, you will have to pay all of that back to the government. That means a HUGE tax bill when many Americans will be looking forward to refunds.
Here is the problem: PAYROLL TAXES FUND SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans wanted a payroll tax holiday. It’s an election year and cutting the funding to Social Security and Medicare looks ridiculous. Social Security is already underfunded, and popular with voters.
This Executive order is overreaching and unconstitutional, but who knows if any Senator or House member will have the nerve to sue the President. What I truly hope is they are taking their time to actually work on a stimulus bill that will actually help Americans and not create more headaches and a bill in April.