The great heist

Written on March 21, but still relevant. Certain, shall we say, powerful lobbies are determined not to let a manufactured panic go to waste…

1. Here’s a list of what’s been floated, either publicly or privately, for the #CoronavirusCoup. I am told that Pelosi will take whatever McConnell negotiates in the Senate on the corporate side. $50 billion for airlines. $150 billion for anyone Mnuchin wants, likely Boeing.
2. Speeding up of payments to defense contractors. Lifting of Other Transaction Authority caps for the Pentagon to shovel money to defense contractors without restrictions. Transdigm likes to use this one. washingtonpost.com/business/2019/…
3. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezo want “$5 billion in grants or loans to keep commercial space company employees on the job and launch facilities open.” They also want the IRS to give them cash for R&D tax credits.
4. “The hotel industry wants $150 billion. The restaurant industry wants $145 billion. The National Association of Manufacturers wants $1.4 trillion. The International Council of Shopping Centers wants a guarantee of up to $1 trillion.”
Congress is working on a massive coronavirus relief package — it might not be enough for businesses
“The bailout requests are mind-boggling,” said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of advocacy group Better Markets. “And it’s going to be a matter of whose going to win and who’s going to lose.”
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/21/coronavirus-1-trillion-rescue-package-might-not-be-enough-for-businesses.html
5. “Adidas is seeking support for a long-sought provision allowing people to use pretax money to pay for gym memberships and fitness equipment.”
Coronavirus Stimulus Package Spurs a Lobbying Gold Rush
Some industries are in dire need of a bailout. Others see a rare chance to win special breaks at a moment when the fiscal spigots are open.

6. Big meatpackers want expedited visas for seasonal workers. nppc.org/wp-content/upl…
7. Here’s one GOP lobbyist. “Any time there is a crisis and Washington is in the middle of it is an opportunity for guys like me.”
K Street Gets Ready to Feast on Coronavirus Stimulus
More than a trillion dollars is on the table, and terrified lobbyists—and the buckling industries they represent—are gonna want theirs.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/k-street-lobbyists-get-ready-to-feast-on-coronavirus-stimulus
8. Importers are rushing to get rid of duties paid by those found guilty of dumping. app.emarketeer.com/a/plink/row/v1…
9. Beer industry wants $5B. Candy industry wants $500M. And on. And on. And on. There will be more.
Beer industry calls for $5 billion in federal assistance
The Beer Institute and other alcohol beverage producers’ groups wrote to congressional leadership to ask for a stabilization fund of $5 billion to provide cash advances to their businesses in order t…
https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/488541-beer-industry-calls-for-5-billion-in-federal
10. McConnell wants big business to rule. So he is refusing aid to normal people, and the Dems are negotiating with him to try to get unemployment assistance and social welfare. He knows Dems won’t pay attention to corporate bailouts if he takes the public hostage.
11. Pelosi will cave on all of this, because the moderate Democrats want her to govern this way. “We have to do something!” they will say. The only hope is a bipartisan coalition of skeptics, people like @AOC and @MikeforWI coming together to say NO #corporatecoup.
12. We have to support industry in a moment of crisis. But the key here is the conditions, and what is likely to happen by allowing Mnuchin to set the terms of all aid is a consolidation of power in the hands of a few. No more small business. America will be unrecognizable.
13. I put this thread into a blog post.
Stop the Coronavirus Corporate Coup
Hi, Welcome to BIG, a newsletter about the politics of monopoly. This is a special edition. I need you to take this newsletter and repost it, forward it, and contact anyone you know in politics. Here…
https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/stop-the-coronavirus-corporate-coup
14. Take this blog post, repost it, forward it, whatever. We need to stop the opportunistic power grab. Bailouts can wait, we need aid to the people. Rent is coming due at the end of the month, but I can assure you Boeing will be fine for awhile.

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