COVID Relief, Russian Hacking, Election Challenges, Barr Resigns

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On this week’s show, the last of 2020, Mike and Kristin discuss the current state of the COVID relief package, which seems to have stalled out in Congress – though the outlook is favorable for the week ahead. They also weigh in on the recent Russian hacking story, as well as moving one step further towards a Biden presidency and the resignation of Attorney General Bill Barr.

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2 thoughts on “COVID Relief, Russian Hacking, Election Challenges, Barr Resigns”

  1. RE: Jan 2, 2021 podcast – 4 points

    1) To Jay: All the pundits were skeptical the vaccine would be rolled out (as quickly as it was) under regulations that were then relaxed. Had sound vaccine development protocols remained in place, the vaccine would not have been made available to the general public for another year or more. The results of relaxing these regulations will reveal themselves, good and bad, overtime with regard to both pandemic control and economic impacts.

    2) To Mike: Really, you’re only going to support stimulus grants to individuals receiving unemployment??? This could only be an appropriate gate-keeping qualification if you presume UC is administered uniformly, fairly and efficiently throughout the nation. It is not. I do not disagree that there should be a benchmark or threshold to limit or prevent these payments to people who “don’t need” them, but using UC for this purpose will not reach all the people who need the help NOW.

    3) RE: vaccine rollout, Mike made excellent points. However, it is a cop-out to state that the timing of distribution between the end of December and New Year celebrations contributed to the delay. These holidays take place on the same dates every year; they should have and could have been accounted for in planning the rollout, had any meaningful planning taken place.

    4) Why is anyone ignoring the fact that we (US employers) ALREADY require certain employees to have tests and vaccinations to obtain and retain employment? See TB and working in long-term care.

    Thank you for your always substantive discussions.
    Diana in south central WI

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I take your point on unemployment insurance being the sole means of relief to individuals. Your suggestion is a reasonable one, and I could support an approach that included $600 per week for UI and added on direct payments with lower top income restrictions. (Maybe something like $50,000 instead of the current $75,000.) I’d also like to see greatly expanded Medicaid, but that’s something I’d be for regardless of COVID.

      I’m certainly not ignoring the fact that employers can already mandate certain tests and vaccinations. As I mentioned on the show, I think that’s something they absolutely should do. – Mike

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