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Carolina Journal Radio No. 882: COVID-19 pandemic prompts questions about government restrictions

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 882: COVID-19 pandemic prompts questions about government restrictions

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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April 13, 2020 8:00 am

As governments across North Carolina and the United States enact new restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, some observers are asking questions and urging caution. John Locke Foundation CEO Amy Cooke discusses the tension between government’s efforts to address a health pandemic and the freedom of action required in a society with a limited, constitutional government. Restaurants and hotels are among the businesses hit hard by government shutdowns linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lynn Minges, president and CEO of the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, assessed the shutdowns’ impact on the hospitality industry during a recent conversation with the John Locke Foundation. Minges also discussed creative ways some restaurants and hotels are responding to changes in their business models. School closings across North Carolina have affected all parents of school-age kids, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson. Johnson discusses how his daughter’s classroom teacher responded in the early days of the school closing. Johnson also offers recommendations for parents looking into ways to help keep their children on track while school buildings remain shut down. Before he tested positive for COVID-19, State Treasurer Dale Folwell already was thinking about the impact of surprise medical billing for North Carolinians. Folwell pointed out the negative impact of surprise billing during a one-on-one conversation with Carolina Journal Radio. The federal government has committed more than $2 trillion in a series of relief packages related to COVID-19. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, examines the potential impact of those packages. Coletti warns about the potential negative impact of driving the federal government deeper into debt.

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From Cherokee to current taxes and the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Muskoka during the next hour will explore some major issues affecting our state before he tested positive for cobra 19 state treasurer Dale Falwell already was issuing warnings about surprise medical billing to hear highlights from a pre-coronavirus conversation on the topic will also tackle other aspects of the pandemic businesses across the state have been hit hard, will explore the impact specifically for North Carolina restaurants and hotels. Parents of school-age children across North Carolina have been affected by school closings to hear reaction from one of those parents. The state superintendent, the federal government already has committed more than $2 trillion to relief package is linked to cobra 19 North Carolina-based budget expert takes a closer look at the federal efforts and we start the program with another angle on cobra 19. This is the Carolina Journal headline the covert, 19 coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt lives across North Carolina. The government is ordered. Most of us to shelter in place is that order justify how would we know how long can this last how long should it last joining Estelle to delve into those questions is the John Locke foundation's CEO Amy cookbook back. Thank you for having me Mitch. So this is a tough time for everyone. We all know that we've got this pandemic were dealing with, and people don't want to create or add to the health crisis but this is really smacking down North Carolina and US economy is absolutely a new.

I think for most people, you know right now were just trying to get through our daily lives. I talked to friends and neighbors and it everybody's Institute trying to do their part shelter in place social distancing a word. Nobody had ever heard of her phrase noted. Everyone heard of a few weeks ago, but I also think that people are starting to look forward. They want to know what wind is it and we want to plan our lives. This sort of shelter in place for how long. It's currently through April 30, but you know you even read reports or hear reports and it will it go longer. I think people really want some kind of timeline, a timeframe, also a little bit more certainty. Clarity I think is probably the best word yet, but it's uncertain you're sheltering in place and basically don't know how long it's gonna last. That makes it much worse than say all right, we know that by X date. Things are going to say the least start to get back to normal. It brings up a good point because were coming into summer right mean weight, but it is summer, believe it or not is right around the corner and you think about do we continue things like vacation plans. I just bumped a meeting out that was space to be 1 April bunted out to June because I'm thinking I'm not even certain about May.

We don't know we bumped it out to June. Is that going to be okay. I am the I am probably I always have rose-colored glasses. I am an eternal optimist and the song that keeps going through my mind. For those who are old enough to remember Maureen McGovern's. There's got to be a morning after I has been said that I have the best taste in the world's worst music which means AM hits of the 60s and 70s, but I keep thinking there's got to be a morning after like so when do we when we get through the storm. When can we start seeing some daylight number one hit in the early 1970 so you remember that song growing up listening to AM radio.

This is a situation where one of the things we look at is what is the government's plan because we other than sheltering a place and continuing to shelter in place. We really haven't heard much of a plan or as as you discussed before an endgame. What, what, what's the endgame start coming out of this I realize that elected officials are grappling with an unprecedented virus right now it in and sitting.

It's a difficult situation. I would also recite a date campaign to be the person to be in that position no matter what. What arose they they were the people who wanted to be there. I'm not saying that they wanted this.

I'm just saying they are our leaders soup two things.

One, you have to deal with right here and now. What's going on right here now also the future would want to contingency plans look like.

Should the epidemic looking North Carolina like it. Does God forbid like it looks like and in New York. So far North Carolina's did a phenomenal job of of not replicating New York, but I think at some point we want to know okay so when we do reopen for business. What does that look like businesses can plan.

Let's say how do we roll it out. Certainly I have to believe that our leaders are starting to think about that and I think it would be it would be something that people that are sheltering in place right now are staying at home that they can hold onto this constant drumbeat of stay-at-home stay at home. You get the Durham mayor showed up at somebody's house, knocked on the door. You're not social distancing that may or may not be true, but give people something to look forward to it. What is the daylight start to look like we're chatting with Amy Cook who is CEO of the John Locke foundation, even though most everything is shut down. If you hear a little bit of background noise. That's because we're chatting from studio beneath where some economic activities going on people banging some hammers and in doing some construction work and that's something we would like to see a lot more of sooner rather than later. Absolutely this is it. There was nothing I guess. It was so. It was eerie is the best way to put it. Remember when 9/11 happened and then the world was so quiet.

There was no economic activity. I think about it, probably in North Carolina with a hurricane and everything all the sudden economic activity just ceases and it is so incredibly quiet.

It's what well will go ahead, you know that the hustle and the bustle in the air and the traffic and the noise and everything else, but actually all of that is annoying as it is is a signal is it's it's a sign of economic activity, said the guys in the gals by the way, seen some gals up there with hardhats on swinging a hammer seeing them work is is encouraging. We want to see that we want people to be back being productive know as we see the endgame come forward. What is it that you're hoping to see that would give you a signal that yes were on the right path or raise a red flag that know this doesn't sound like what we want. I'll take if we can see rollbacks and regulation. If we seek where where we unleash innovators to do what they do best, which is to create jobs, start businesses, making it easier for businesses to get up and up and going on some of the restrictions we've seen on two go products. Let's keep that going because people are can immediately speak you flip a switch and show up in a dining in a restaurant.

Let's keep some of those things in place.

Let's keep instead of reinstituting common laws and hospital beds. Let's take out the certificate of need laws for everything in medicine. Let's keep telemedicine going not just throughout the state, across state lines.

Let's make it easier for parents to choose an online educator. Some parents may look at this and say you know what I actually enjoy homeschooling my children and I found an educator in another state who does a great job. Let's open that up.

This is really the best moment to deregulate and spur innovation that I've seen in my lifetime. In fact, it sounds like this is a good time to reassess much of what we do and ask how many of these things do you do just because we always have in there perhaps could be some different way of doing the same thing. I think you'll start seeing a trend may be on Twitter social media are to serve out there in the lexicon lexicon. Hashtag never needed. Did we ever really need this in the first place, why did we do it we doing it to satisfy a special interest rather than what's best for the general, the general public or for individual freedom, economic freedom, why did we do it we may find that you never really needed it in the first place. Education and healthcare are probably the two primary places where where we will see it. What we know that as this process moves forward. One person is going to be monitoring very closely. Is Amy Cook. She is CEO of the July foundation text doing sphincterotomy will have more North Carolina journal radio in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign up@carolinajournal.com you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month.

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It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko got the COBIT 19 pandemic has disrupted every business, restaurants and hotels certainly felt the blow when Mencius is president and CEO of the North Carolina restaurant and lodging Association. She recently discussed the impact with the John Locke foundation today across North Carolina. There is no place in the entire state where an individual can go into a dining facility and be served and eat.

We are operating on very limited on a limited basis where X can still get takeout delivery and curbside service. In some locations nationally has changed things for industry and where it's it's pretty dramatic.

I think on spinach in a hotel sign were beginning to just feel the impact of all this over Sandy hotels cheese to close others are operating on such limited occupancy that they are really on life support is trying to get by. Most of the men laid off staff and it is really heartbreaking to hear the stories of hotel owners and operators as well as restaurant owners and operators repetition. Particularly difficult is to hear the stories of the workforce.

Mencius offered some numbers, hospitality industry is huge.

We comprise about 13% of our state's workforce in North Carolina.

18,000 service establishments. We have 1800 lodging establishments that is 18,000 service establishments.

All are really shut down today and that's about 500,000 workers at least 75% of that is probably an employee that federal relief is forthcoming. But there is a hitch.

They're very complicated hard to understand us and a lot why my time just trying to understand what they mean and and even when they pass.

There is a delay in the time that that that law becomes law and the time that is actually implemented rules made in guidance documents in place by folks like the US Department of labor the Internal Revenue Service and others, and so we continue to seek clarity on what these programs really mean and what impact they will have on North Carolina workers as well as businesses just how bad is the situation for North Carolina restaurants and hotels will say that our industries and Carol today with restaurants essentially closed down statewide and hotels essentially closed down statewide is having a devastating impact not only on that is 20,000 businesses that were abruptly changed but also on the workers 550,000 that is the majority which find themselves unemployed so that is devastating. We seen the cancellation of sporting events and concerts and all kinds of public performances.

All of those big grapes had planned to be in our state cancel and NMR continue to say cancel because we just don't know when that end is in sight.

Know what that means is I made these folks have empty books. Empty dance cards right now and not concerning the two businesses are used to having business on their books for some. Extended time also concerns the fact that workers are now working from home and so we don't have business travelers or using our hotels for that purpose and are not eating out and in restaurant meals are not eating out lunches as they did when they work full time and I really think we RCN, synonymy of effect on restaurants and hotels across the state. Answer the question is know when we emerge, how we emerge will emerge. No doubt our hospitality industry is strong and so when this pandemic is behind us, we will be poised and ready to build and grow in concert again.

But until that happens, it's fair to say that we're in were hurting were pretty sad shape. That's when Mencius head of the North Carolina restaurant and lodging Association. She spoke recently to the John Locke foundation will this pandemic kill off some businesses in the hospitality industry. We are seeing. Unfortunately the end of some restaurants and some hotels as they may fall into foreclosure. People generally think that just because a hotel or restaurant is flagged with a big brand name behind them that they are corporately owned, but that is not true across North Carolina. Details are owned by small businesses.

Small business owners, work with them. I see them every day and they just don't have the cash to maintain media down and I don't get discriminates by size or location.

Many of them will close in, and may not come back alone.

Leslie comes very quickly and is about owned restaurants.

They are not there. Their cash-strapped premise. The biggest concern that we hear from them.

Even some of my larger members are telling me that they just don't have money to pay their bills and they're not paying the bills right now is facing a foreclosure leasing knife that he faced addiction on there's no relief from that. They have utility bills to the restaurants that are operating today with delivery and takeout curbside are literally using the cash that comes into pay their workers know whether bills are being paid so that is a concern they need cash today in order to sustain and some of those that have shattered an already closed will not come back. We will be different. We cannot sure some businesses are finding ways to stay afloat. I have been just so heartwarming and impressed by the creativity and resilience of many restaurateurs across the state, as they have pivoted and changed from the service that they know and deliver every day to a different model. Many of them are doing creative things like no lasagna traced it to be taken out there changing their menus or doing things that can take home and finish off themselves. In some cases, summer offering things like groceries in their restaurants today so you can literally take home a bag of potatoes that there be an extremely creative but it is a new day today a new way of operating is not a sustainable model it's life support to keep some of these lights on some these businesses operating even though it's in a limited fashion and keep some of our workforce together. What do businesses need to keep going. First and foremost businesses are cash strapped. One of them told me this morning that she is today.

About half $1 million in taxes so she knows that those taxes are due.

But what we like to say is a deferment of those taxes by 30 days 60 days 90 days until his taxes are due. That would get her money today in her pocket to operate the continued operation so that she could delay that tax and then when the money comes the federally comes she can remit his taxes were not asking for taxes. This is not a thing that's really a cost estate much money, but we just a person payments and that's really what we think could help today. Regulatory changes help the situation. Mencius cited one example. Many of our restaurants to drop a large amount of their revenue from alcohol sales. For example, are questioning why they can't sell mixed drinks on a takeout base and right now there is. That's not allowed by law and North Carolina were seen some states around the nation. Relax those laws there is interest in getting a mixed drink and being able to take it home and consume enter no contentment in a park or somewhere remotely away from people in a safe sort of distancing sort of way regulation were change that would certainly be an inflexible revenue for restaurants. What's the long term outlook for North Carolina's restaurants and hotels longer. This continues the greater the peril.

Many of these businesses face they maybe in a cobble together enough to survive for 30 days, 60 days becomes much more complicated and 90 almost insurmountable unless there are some some fun some way for them to pay dearly leases on their their restaurant equipment and so they are not able to make those places and safety based addiction foreclosure may face the fact that many of their restaurant supply. No equipment may be taken away may have all kinds of payments due in there. They worry that you make as payments and and so a lot of them are deferring to have to defer payments all kinds of vendors and it is only a certain amount of time they can continue to do that until late just can't come back from the longer this drags out more and more critical it becomes particular to extremely small independent restaurant owners and operators. That's when Mencius's president and CEO of the North Carolina restaurant and lodging Association.

She offered the John Locke foundation. A recent update on the covert, 19 pandemic's impact on the state hospitality in the spring quarter with North Carolina journal radio. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina conservative.com it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement and North Carolina conservative.com. You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting input takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James Dean Martin, Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council.

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My daughter's teacher got there first grade class together using a video chat and it meant a lot to the group of first-graders who themselves are working through what all this means emotionally to them knowing her teacher. My guess is it's probably the first time she's ever you zoom but she's become very familiar with it and she's done that very quickly and I great work is happening all across our entire state schools across North Carolina are adapting to changes like the coronavirus Johnson offered advice for parents as well. My message to parents. If you haven't already, now is the time to start a routine with your child.

We cannot treat this as a long break your child does not have to master calculus at home but help keep them engaged in their learning.

Wake up at a reasonable time every morning. Work on remote learning and read and write for a few hours every day go outside social distancing does not mean you can't get fresh air and go to bed at a reasonable time. Set a schedule and stick to it. That is exactly what my wife and I are doing with our seven-year-old daughter for remote learning will be getting a lot of options from teachers and we've even established a website with all kinds of resources but every chance I have gone including now I've highlighted one resource in particular that my own daughter is using and it has amazing resources for remote learning for every student in every grade from our early learners to career exploration and personal finance lessons for high school students is completely free. It's called con Academy and spelled KH Etienne Academy.org con Academy.org it's one of the most advanced remote learning tools and it's free. Johnson thanked teachers and parents for their response to the school shut down in front of you today our state leaders who are also parents. Parents of children who range in ages from young learners all the way to college graduates. We understand how difficult this is and we are grateful for the work and the sacrifice that educators and families are all making in these unprecedented times. That's state Superintendent of Public instruction Mark Johnson speaking during a recent news briefing about the covert, 19 pandemic will return with more Carolina journal radio where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes and@johnlocke.org/podcast Locke is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right light. Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time double down with us. Listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to headlock@johnlocke.org/podcast or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation will connect Carolina journal radio why Michiko got facing an unexpected health emergencies bad enough, it gets worse. If you end up facing an unexpected bill connected with your medical treatment, sometimes adding up to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars one person who's focusing attention on surprise medical billing is North Carolina's state treasurer Dale Falwell who joins Estelle walk back to the program will thank you for having me and I'm sorry it's on the subject that I mows important to your listeners because everyone I talked to has their own horror story about medical billing. Yet this is something you had to deal with yourself to holds about how you had first-hand experience with this well last year. Like many of the North Carolinians on state health plan for my annual physical and I live in Winston-Salem and came home for five weeks after I received the physical and my wife was located. Bill for $10 just $10 and she said you know what this is for now so I haven't had a medical attention this year except for this physical and so she starts to investigate just for $10 no match and wind up calling the billing department of the hospital and the hospital said will was for Dr. visit almost certain certain day at a certain time a certain place and the personal speaker and in my wife looked at the counter she said with us the time and the place that he had his annual physical. I said yes ma'am is correct and she said will, we are have a bill for the physical what is this phone for and the person said will somewhere in the conversation of the doctor's office.

We could tell which believer your husband asked the doctor something the doctor asked her husband something that was outside the scope of a physical and we have the art we have the ability to charge people for a separate office visit when someone ask a question outside of normal physical and what I've learned since then is there's always strange words that there's no way the average person person would know what they meant that people are supposed to Bob and whatever you do don't don't don't deviate from those words because if you do, you could be discharge for separate office visit while you're being charged for another office visit. At the same time same place with the same dark and you mentioned an important piece of this which is no normal person would know not to do this is only if you really have studied this in our expert on the the ways of medical billing is exactly and most people just pay the $10 and move on with her life but since Ma my wife knows that we been fighting this this cartel like billing in the state health plan for last two years. Should she decide to investigate this opportunity not only to applaud Herbert upload all the state employees and retirees, the answer to these questions, right wrist in their hands and in that you get that by being a consumer of healthcare were trying to make it easier so that people can can can know exactly what the consumer for healthcare. But what I forgot, failed to mention it wasn't just $10 is about $300 charge to the state health plan.

That's the key component and when you look at what eight your page race and this is a big article that was in the New York Times couple years ago for public service workers what your pay raise what eight your cost-of-living adjustment is these issues associated with runaway healthcare cost.

We are chatting with state treasurer Dale Falwell, you mentioned that the you had you let this go would've been an extra $10 charge to you $300 charge.

The health plan. Multiply this by many, many people and you're talking about a lot of billing that doesn't need to take place right this between healthcare of the prescription drugs on the pension were spending about $750 million every 30 days every 30 every 30 days of treasurer's office for healthcare and pharmaceutical benefits for all citizens, just for those on the state health plan. So this is a very serious concern and you know anytime you want to solve a problem. First thing I do stop digging. And secondly is little bit like a night handbasket is one. By the time this one is one inquiry about a $10 charge per visit and that's all we been trying to do the treasurer's office last three years is to push the power down the consumer you know tomorrow for people my age. Mitch is a synthesis of the food line Thursday a senior citizen to Harris Teeter. You know people know how to consume if you give them the tools to do so, and this is a this is a situation and thereby uses the word nonpartisan.

Let me tell you if you watch every minute of the Democratic residential debates as I have an and you hear the present United States is saying about this.

Every person running for presidency. The United States is talking about the necessity for transparent healthcare and it probably ties back in the movie.

Don't quote him to the most legendary investor for lifetime one buffet who employs hundreds of thousands of people who said that rising healthcare cost of the tapeworm on the US economy. You mentioned that as treasurer you been working on this issue remind us about the initiatives that you're working on to try to make sure that we get increased transparency and fighting things like surprise Bill well what we've been trying to do is to go to the clear pricing project and I think your listeners have seen this before viewers.

More importantly, this is the pricelist that was sent to me by you and see healthcare when I asked him what I was getting from $300 million a respect for that with them at 2018 that for those who are just listening and not seeing it. What your see you showing me is a budget pages that are completely black, show anything.

This is supposed to be the master charge list of you and see healthcare hundred 46 pages that are completely blacked out and as you said earlier, what were trying to do is were trying to take advantage of buying power. You reference couple times to help lamb to put this in context. There is many people almost as many people in the state health plan. They work for these three companies combined Berkshire Hathaway owned by Warren Buffett, J.P. Morgan Rumbaugh, Jamie Dimon and Amazon Rumbaugh Jeff basis.

If you add up the number of people domestically work for those three companies in the United States. That's about the size of the state health plan and there's no reason on behalf of those teachers and those troopers, those that teach those that protect them as well. Serve that we should be getting the benefit of that buying power for the benefit of those people who teach, protect and serve as were speaking right now where do things stand with this transparency, effort, and what needs to happen. Where were Sam's nationally is is a set earlier every person running for the presidency. United States is talking about this. I think of Sen. Elizabeth Warren said recently that in the last debate that there are 37 million people in this country who went to the doctor and got a prescription that they could not afford to fill, so it's not just Sen. Warren, but it's so center of former VP Biden Sen. Saunders present Trump and so, what's happening is is that you know those folks retarded by this whole national level forward trying to do is keep the public purse of North Carolina is were trying to operationalize this and just for your listeners to bring them up to speed. Last year we offered the major hospitals in the state hundred percent profit nearly 100% profit no these are nonprofits we offered him 100% profit and they said no thank you. And so were we do what we do have specific to your question is we have 25,000 providers of healthcare said yes someone is going to continue to work on these issues is our state treasurer Dale Falwell. Thanks much for joining with thank you for the part that you played in getting this message out 11 more on Carolina journal radio just really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Mott foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of the past decade here in North Carolina. So while others talk or complain or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the envy of every other state research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you are.

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We are the John Locke foundation, Qubec, Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca the covert, 19 pandemic is generated multiple relief packages from the federal government that includes the $2 trillion tears act joining style to assess the federal pandemic relief efforts is Joseph Colletti he's senior fellow at the John Locke foundation a joke. We know that you spend most of your time looking at dollars and sense and the howl of these government programs work at the state level. This time you're focusing your attention on what's happened on Capitol Hill. See some reasons for red flags or alarms any time that you start spreading, you start talking about staying in trillions of dollars. There's concern. The latest bill is $2 trillion the deficit before any of this was $1 trillion, and so you're tripling the amount of the deficit for the federal government already on top of that there is already talk of 1/4 bill to help cushion the blow to the economy from the virus and the quarantine and the Federal Reserve has been taking extraordinary steps as well. And so the massive expansion and Luigi's in dollars or my favorite economists writing in the Wall Street Journal recently actually scald the cares actually one of the greatest acts of centralization and one of the greatest threats to capitalism as we've seen it in looking at this, there are some elements of course that have to be done. If you're going to have a relief effort because we know folks are hurting. As you look at these bills. How much of them seem to be addressing the issues that ought to be addressed and how much of it seems to be well not quite sure what this is supposed to spend a lot of money in the middle of one of these. It gets harder to see where where the where the line falls, but there's a lot of gray area lot and a lot of what of a pretty dark rate but most important pieces of the three bills that have been passed.

The first bill was pretty much entirely focused on covert balance was $6 billion for development of a vaccine to $3 billion for states and local governments to be able to respond to the second bill started to drift into some things that you questioned right paid family paid family leave.

Not a bad idea. But how do you implement that in the role of government in that instead of just making that an additional cost on businesses and how how long does that stay afterwards and so that one is starts good questionable but Medicaid spent Medicaid in that bill was increase the minute the federal Medicaid match was increased by 6% and so that's a good thing for states because that's for the vulnerable people in the population. That's where a lot of spending is good happen in the latest bill to $377 billion aimed at small and midsize businesses which are mostly loans and forgivable loans if they can keep if they keep employment.

That's great thing. Some of the caveats and there are that businesses can't, not not only can they not use that money to go to to buy back stock, but they also can't use that money to pay dividends, and big Ben can't. If the receiving of federal loans they can't use the can't then oppose unionization of their workers, which were starting to see efforts of that at Amazon and it is the carton not balancing their money for families and that in individuals. The tax credits and I'm sure we'll talk more about that, but that's it that's it that's positive.

The unemployment compensation. The increased on unemployment. Condensation is a good thing but the amount of it is potentially dangerous because they've the federal bill, the cares act increases Medicaid spent diving on employment insurance payments by the federal government $600 a week and so when you take a look at somebody who's earning the be $15 an hour. That's a monthly that's what they earned in the month and so you add that on top of the state unemployment benefits, which are to continue, and you end up with a person potentially getting $900 a month from unemployment hundred dollars a week dollars a week from an employment thank you which is which is 50% more than they could earn if they were getting $15 before taxes and said that it meant that's leading to his and when people are talking about the fourth, the fourth covert bill they're talking about potentially putting wage subsidies in there to offset the fact that they've increased unemployment benefits elections was things like that start to become worrisome and then you have the money for the Kennedy Center and for other and for larger companies that bed to start to look like giveaways instead of sediment focused on this when you have $2 trillion, you're going to have that's that's gonna fall in their we are chatting with Joe Colletti who is a senior fellow at the John Locke foundation because this is being passed in the middle of a crisis when people want to to see government do things to help those who are suffering.

How much danger is there that a lot of the packages going to end up being things that are someone's wish list rather than something targeted to the actual problem, but fortunately Congress was better than they could have been better than than the house wanted to be the proposed house.

Basically one of the Democratic Party's wish list was a 1400 page bill. This one ended up being 800 pages, but it was basically how we put in legislation everything bad that that the Democrats have always wanted greener deal. Elements of the pro-proactive which was to to to make it easier to unionize was in there. It was there yet. Was it was it was kitchen sink and so the what was passed is is large and larger than it should be. Hopefully there's there's continued strength of the longer this goes on in the law and the more spending that is desired from Washington that the greatest danger becomes as you look at what is already been passed or what could be passed in the future.

Are there some things that you see that you say okay if governments can do more do this. Yeah the main things on that side are the how do you keep businesses alive.

This is liquidity crunch for every company because we because so much as been shut down much of the shutdown. A lot of it has been voluntary by companies because they recognize the danger that that that being open can pose and just to make it easier for everybody. But how do they continue paying their other their employees how do you maintain if you're if you're gonna take care of the renter renter what you do with the landlord.

If if the bank is the one that's holding off for you do with them and so the how do you keep people solvent through all of this. Weather payments to individuals payments to companies to keep people employed and not have to rebuild their company after went when things start to pick up again. That's for.

That's where the government should be focused. How do you keep people solvent through all of this in the brief time that we have left. What's the danger if government does more and just ends up spending a lot of money that we don't have the danger is the first priority with with everything is is health and but we have so much money are you going into Badin and we see private development happening already.

The second danger is, is the what happens to the economy. The third danger is that if the federal government responds too much and inputs and puts more regulations on recently seen part of the benefit of this of the response has been reducing regulations and reducing barriers to innovation into meet the needs of what's going on and and the fear is that if they spent if the federal government spends too much and puts too many strings on what they're spending than the near locking down the economy and making it harder to recover, which is the which is most important thing and then the other. The other part that that worries me being over budget person who's always focused on on dollars is with with a $3 trillion deficit this year and potentially more with the Federal Reserve's at balance sheet increasing by nearly doubling from 2 to 8 or $9 trillion. That's a lot that has to be unwound.

Joseph Colletti's senior fellow at the John Locke foundation. He focuses as you can tell on budget and fiscal issues.

Joe thinks of much thank you much.

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