In response to Mr. Dewar’s letter to the editor on April 12, I found it interesting that he found Mr. DiStefano’s letter to be lacking in critical information when presenting the Democratic side of the stimulus bill. Mr. Dewar condemned the Democrats for adding pork and finding an issue with Ms. Pelosi on vacation while the Senate was working on the bill. Was not Mr. Trump holding rallies and playing golf while the pandemic was festering?
Republicans like Mr. Dewar pulled out a time-tested strategy; find frivolous provisions of your opponent and bring it up over and over again to make the other side unreasonable. In this case it was the Kennedy Center in Washington, postal pensions, lobbyist restrictions and other issues that are not in the Republican world view. To any viewer of Fox News, they were told this over a dozen times.
There is truth that the Democratic proposal contained priorities that were not related to the pandemic, but the Republicans succeeded in conveying the impression that only Democrats were adding pork to the bill.
The fact is that the Republicans got plenty of pork in the bill to favor influential industries.
There was a windfall for real estate investors allowing them to use losses in real estate to minimize their tax liability on profits in investments in the stock market. There was $17 billion for businesses critical to national security, a favor to Boeing, really. $25 billion in loans and grants to the airline industry.
Whatever happened to all those profits for charging people extra for baggage and an aisle seat?
Regulatory changes sought by the banking industry. A tax code tweak for business to extend the 2017 tax cut for years in the future taking away the sunset clause; help for manufacturers of innovative sunscreen technology; a six-month extension of funding for abstinence-only education and a gift to private colleges to not refund tuition if a student dropped out because of the coronavirus.
There were also benefits to the cruise industry that flag their ships in the Caribbean to avoid paying taxes to the United States.
We must give credit to the Republicans who were looking out for the workers; they agreed to an extension of employee unemployment benefits and yet, in spite of this giveback, the lines at the food banks continue to grow.
Mr. Dewar, anyone who was under the impression that only Democrats sought to insert non-germane items like the Kennedy Center is sadly mistaken.
Richard H. Koblin