There are a lot of really good things happening in America right now in response to the Chinese coronavirus crisis. We could highlight a laundry list of altruistic and kind acts that our fellow Americans are undertaking to help us get through this – from auto plants whose engineers are suddenly crafting ventilators from scratch to truck drivers who are saying, “Logs, schmogs” and pulling extra hours to haul the loads to the grocery stores. People are helping their elderly neighbors by shopping for them.
There’s a lot of good things happening in America. But April 1 is about to be a day of reckoning for America – and none of the people in Congress are talking about it. They’re so out of touch that they don’t even see what’s coming. Well, here’s what’s coming.
I was just at the grocery store this afternoon when it hit me. Forgive me if I’m late getting to the party and you’ve already figured this out. As I looked around the shopping center around the grocery store, I noticed the obvious absence of cars in front of all the other shops.
Three clothing stores, a shoe store, a fitness center, a nail salon, a hair salon, a hot tub retailer, and so on, and none of them had cars in front of them. Those businesses are all shut down and their employees are all at home right now, with no paycheck coming on April 1st. Maybe not even by May 1st.
A landlord in Houston posted a question on Twitter that has gone viral this week. He owns an apartment building with 32 units in it. He received a letter signed by all 32 tenants alerting him that they are not going to be paying rent on April 1, or in the foreseeable future until they’re allowed to go back to work. The apartment building is that landlord’s sole source of income. There’s no way he’s going to be able to pay his mortgage for the building on April 1st.
When you look around at all of the retail shops that are closed right now, how many of them won’t be able to pay their leases on April 1? How many tenants and landlords won’t be able to make their payments on April 1? We have no idea.
Cheesecake Factory has announced that it won’t be paying the rent on any of its leases on April 1. How many more major retailers will there be? It’s impossible to guess, but Cheesecake Factory won’t be the last.
Some 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment after the first week of shutdowns was imposed on them. The bottom line is that we are about to see so many individuals and retailers fail to pay their mortgages on April 1 that the banks are going to be in major trouble overnight.
Congress is patting itself on the back right now for “saving” America from coronavirus. Yet the pork-stuffed, Pelosi-negotiated bill hasn’t even taken into consideration what’s about to happen. The bill was a disaster.
President Trump said his administration was going to “go big” with a rescue package, but Pelosi successfully derailed the whole thing. Republicans in the Senate helped.
Pelosi asked for $300 million for refugee resettlement funds – you know, to help foreigners. Republicans in the Senate must have felt that wasn’t enough foreign aid, because they tacked on another $50 million for refugees. Remember that on April 2 if your bank fails.
Pelosi asked for $50 billion for elementary and secondary schools. The Senate compromised and gave her $30 billion – not that education funding was related to the Chinese virus in any way.
$88 million for the Peace Corps, $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Arts, $150 million for the National Endowment of the Arts, $50 million for the Institute of Museums and Libraries, $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting… they managed to find money for all those things and the Senate passed the bill 96 to 0.
President Trump initially offered Americans two assistance checks to help weather the economic impacts of the shutdown – one on April 8 and a second on May 18. Nancy Pelosi took the country hostage and whittled that down to a single check that will arrive sometime in April…possibly May – who knows when? Way too late for April 1st.
I’m normally pretty good at making predictions when it comes to elections or outcomes of Russian collusion investigations. But as for what will happen when millions of individuals, small businesses and large companies default on their rent after the first of April… I don’t have a clue. Whatever happens, it won’t be good. Be ready for anything, because I have a feeling the rubble is about to bounce.