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Social Justice Requirements Could Politicize Investments in CARES Act | Opinion

In the CARES Act, Congress created a number of programs to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. They haven’t gone particularly well, but the next phase of the federal government’s plan has an entirely new potential for actual harm. The Paycheck Protection Program depended on banks to administer the program, which in many cases seemed to route loans to their best, largest customers rather than to the struggling small businesses for which the program was intended. The Small Business Administration has directly administered the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and it’s gone even worse. Loan advances that were promised within days of application still, in many cases, have not arrived, and it’s nearly impossible for applicants to check on the status of their applications. And of course, there is the enhanced unemployment insurance program, in which many workers are bringing in more income through unemployment than they did through employment. The additional $600 per week that Congress guaranteed unemployed workers is now widely seen as a costly mistake. But Congress also gave the Federal Reserve $500 billion through the CARES Act, with $454 billion to be used at the Fed’s discretion. The Fed is, in turn, […]

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