Sunday, May 24, 2020

Last Call For Tales From The Trump Depression, Con't

Minnesota and Connecticut weighed in at 8%, merely "the worst of the Great Recession years". The US as a whole was at 14.7%, nearly 50% worse than the height of the 2007-2008 meltdown's 9.9%.

Michigan is at 22.7%, and Nevada is at 28.2%.  These are catastrophic numbers.

We've seen another 10 million plus unemployment claims since May 1 nationwide, and will almost certainly see another 2 million plus on Thursday.

We will be above 20% when May's numbers hit in less than two weeks.

This could have been prevented.  Here in Kentucky, because the GOP refuses to help, the state now faces a $600 million shortfall and massive austerity cuts will be coming by the end of next month unless the Senate GOP gets off their asses.

Gov. Andy Beshear must slash $457 million from Kentucky’s General Fund and $161 million from its Road Fund for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, a panel of economists said Friday.

The Consensus Forecasting Group said the state’s economy has been wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown of most businesses. With income, corporate, sales and gas tax collection falling, state government faces lean times in the immediate future.

The roughly $11 billion General Fund pays for most state services, including education, health care, environmental protection and public safety. The Consensus Forecasting Group initially considered a plan calling for $377 million in General Fund losses but rejected that because it wasn’t pessimistic enough given current economic conditions.

The General Assembly will need to return to Frankfort for “a short, targeted special session” to help write a budget reduction plan for the Road Fund, Beshear told reporters Friday evening. He did not give a specific time frame.

Any state revenue shortfall greater than 5 percent in the General Fund or Road Fund “shall require action by the General Assembly,” according to state law. Under the numbers released Friday, the Road Fund would shrink by 10.4 percent, while the General Fund would shrink by 4 percent.

“We’ve had initial conversations with (legislative) leadership,” Beshear said. “We’ll want to talk with them again, make sure we have it all hammered out. Make sure we do it in as short of a time as possible.”
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Oh, and from now on, everything is going through the State Department, and not Health and Human Services.  Because pandemics are apparently now diplomatic and political problems, not health ones.

Aides to President Donald Trump are considering a plan to shift the government’s global response to future infectious disease outbreaks to a new unit inside the State Department, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

The proposal, discussed during a National Security Council deputies committee meeting on Thursday, already has set off a turf battle between the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID officials were surprised and perplexed by the idea, which could lead them to lose control of significant funds and authorities.

People familiar with the issue say Dr. Deborah Birx, a top official handling the administration’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, is likely to wind up in charge of the new unit if it becomes a reality. The proposal also could, to some degree, establish an alternative mechanism to some of the work done by the World Health Organization, whose U.S. funding Trump has threatened to permanently end.

The overall effort, first reported by the media platform Devex, is described as the President’s Response to Outbreaks, or PRO.

Donald Trump chose this.

And this is only the beginning, folks.
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