Republicans Refuse to Assist State and Local Governments. Why?

Parks are closed and sales tax revenue has plummeted at cities and states around the country.Kevin Drum

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It looks like the small business lending program has worked out pretty well after all:

A new lending program for small businesses maxed out Thursday morning and stopped accepting claims, but a bitterly divided Congress looked unlikely to address that growing problem as the nation plunged into unemployment levels not seen since the Great Depression. The Small Business Administration said on its website that the agency “is unable to accept new applications…based on available appropriations funding.”

Naturally the result of this is an insanely stupid fight between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans want to add more funding to the program and Democrats are fine with that. But they also want a big chunk of money for state and local governments, which, for some reason, Republicans oppose. But why? Why are Republicans against assistance for state and local governments that have suffered huge revenue shortfalls during the coronavirus lockdown?

It’s a mystery. Republicans have long been opposed to bailouts for state governments, apparently believing that recessions are a good opportunity to punish them for profligate spending. Or something. I honestly don’t know. But whatever the reason, you’d think a massive pandemic would change their thinking a bit. But it hasn’t.

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