Rarely has a word been subject to so much misuse in recent years as “stimulus.” The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 27, represents an apex of this language malpractice. The stated purpose of this $2.2 trillion “stimulus plan” is to boost our economy in the wake of virus-induced mass layoffs and business closings. But the implicit purpose is paying people not to work. One of the law’s key features, Section 4022, a residential landlord bailout, effectively does that. And it may prove very expensive.
Fear of COVID-19 has triggered an economic downturn potentially rivaling that of the Great Depression. With “social distancing” now the gold standard for staying healthy, especially in venues where people congregate (e.g., restaurants, theaters), employers, prodded by state mandates and federal guidelines, are closing shop or severely restricting hours. A staggering 22 … Read More ➡