Watchdog Offers Recommendations Amid “Stimulus” Talks

Watchdog Offers Recommendations Amid “Stimulus” Talks

For Immediate Release
March 17, 2020
Contact: Grace Morgan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged the Trump administration and Congress to pursue sensible solutions in mitigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Politico, the administration’s initial “stimulus” proposal included, “more than $50 billion for the airline industry, $250 billion for small-business support and $500 billion for a payroll tax holiday.” Now, news outlets are reporting that the total size of the package could eclipse $1 trillion. 

TPA offered suggestions to help American households and businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • Implementing a payroll tax holiday, an idea currently being considered by the Trump administration. This would allow struggling workers and businesses an opportunity to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.
  • Allowing businesses forced to close or pare back operations (i.e. airline companies, restaurants) due to government mandates a reprieve from regulatory takings via temporary, interest-free loans provided by the Treasury. 
  • A one-time means-tested payment to struggling individuals and households. This transfer would cap out at $1,000 for an individual earning $35,000 and $3,000 for a family of four earning $70,000, with other, varying amounts depending on household size. 
  • Permitting self-employed workers access to unemployment insurance (UI) systems across the fifty states, including the territories such as Puerto Rico. These workers would be on-boarded after attesting to state UI agencies that they have lost a majority of work income since the start of the pandemic. 
  • Expanding Health Savings Accounts and permitting the use of pre-tax dollars to be used for purchasing over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen without a prescription. 

TPA also offered ideas on oversight measure of the funds spent, by:

  • Establishing a dedicated Inspector General office to monitor the disbursement of all benefits in “stimulus” legislation. This new office would ensure that waste, fraud, and abuse is minimized as a historic amount of grants to individuals and loans to businesses are awarded. 
  • Creating a transparency website to document to the public all loans disbursed to businesses as a result of emergency measures. 

Williams concluded, “individuals and businesses are facing an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. The government must be able to help in a time of need without offering a blank check. Oversight must be a key element of any relief package.”