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Trump Urges GOP Senators To Cut Aid For Unemployed

In a private lunch with Republican senators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Donald Trump voiced his opposition to continuing the $600 weekly increase to unemployment insurance Congress passed to help workers who lost jobs thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Post reported.

Trump is following the lead of Senate Republicans, who have been opposed to the payments since Congress first passed them in March. All but two GOP senators voted to strip the $600 weekly unemployment insurance boost from the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, though their effort failed.

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House GOP Leader: 'I Don't See Need' For More Aid To Jobless

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday said he didn't support more coronavirus relief, saying that he doesn't think it's needed at the moment.

"I don't see the need right now," McCarthy told reporters Tuesday, following a meeting on Capitol Hill with Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

McCarthy's comment mirrors that of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said recently that he feels no "urgency" to pass more aid.The GOP's rejection of more coronavirus aid comes as more than 36 million Americans have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell predicted that the unemployment rate could hit 25 percent, higher than the peak of the Great Depression.

Powell said the job losses have hit the neediest Americans the hardest, with 40 percent of the losses coming from those who make $40,000 a year or less.

Polls also show that even the GOP base wants to see more coronavirus aid, with 73 percent of those voters saying that coronavirus aid should be a "top priority" for Congress, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll from earlier in May.

In fact, that poll found that "economic stimulus for COVID-19" is the top priority for all voters, second only to controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

House Democrats, for their part, passed a $3 trillion stimulus package last week that included more direct payments to Americans, among other relief efforts.

However, Donald Trump has vowed to veto the legislation, giving the bill almost no chance of becoming law.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Danziger: Banana Republicans

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at

Worker Bonuses Fell Sharply As Corporations Reaped Tax-Cut Billions

After a flurry of press releases last year touting all the bonuses that would come when Republicans passed their tax scam, it turns out corporations scaled back on worker bonuses in 2019, and drastically. But they’re still reaping the benefits of the GOP tax scam, according to a Tuesday Wall Street Journal report.

Compared to this time last year, worker bonuses have dropped by a stunning 24 percent, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The drop is the largest decrease on record, dating back to 2005.

Since the tax scam was signed into law in December 2017, Trump and Republicans have highlighted anecdotal evidence from corporate press releases to promote its greatness. In January 2018, for example, the Trump administration praised Walmart for giving out bonuses, even as the company was closing more than 60 stores.

But now the bonuses “appear to largely have been a one-time windfall,” and “were a short-term jolt rather than a sustained change,” reported the Journal.

Even the hoopla surrounding bonuses turned out to be more noise than substance. In the end, the average bonus for workers in 2018 amounted to one penny more than the average bonus in 2017, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

Meanwhile, a recent report from the Congressional Research Service showed the tax scam did little to improve the overall economy or workers’ wages. “There is no indication of a surge in wages in 2018 either compared to history or relative to GDP growth,” the report states.

But the lower corporate tax rate Republicans doled out to big business is continuing whether or not corporations hand out bonuses.

In 2018, corporations paid $91 billion less to the U.S. Treasury than the previous year. In fact, corporations paid only seven percent in taxes on their profits, the lowest effective tax rate in more than 70 years, according to Yahoo News.

Some corporations, like Amazon, Netflix, and IBM either paid no taxes or received a rebate.

And some corporations are raking in profits while laying off Americans across the country.

In one egregious example, Walmart was handed a $2 billion tax break, then turned around and slashed more than 550 jobs in North Carolina.

AT&T cut 23,000 jobs despite getting a $21 billion windfall from Republicans.

“Once again, we’re faced with more evidence that the GOP tax law was a scam cooked up by conservatives in Congress to protect the interests of the wealthy at the expense of American workers,” Dana Bye, campaign director of the Tax March, told Shareblue. “We will not allow these atrocities to become our new normal.”

Republicans wrote a tax law to benefit corporations while leaving families out in the cold. And the law is working exactly as intended.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Donald Trump meets with then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill as they promoted Republican tax cut in 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts