cft

Americans Were Robbed. Again.

The unforgiving, forgiveness loans to keep Americans on the payroll of small businesses.


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Corinne Davis

3 years ago | 3 min read

The unforgiving, forgiveness loans to keep Americans on the payroll of small businesses.

The paycheck protection program (PPP) loans introduced by Congress via the CARES Act, was intended to subsidize the payroll of the companies with 500 employees or less, and any funds remaining could go towards rent, mortgages, and utilities.

The small businesses could apply through their bank and if they followed the PPP guidelines the loans would become government grants. Financial institutions administering the $525 billion in loans, earned 5% on $350,000 or less, 3% on $350,000 to $2 million, 1% on $2 million or more, and 1% interest on the loans ineligible for forgiveness.

On the first-come, first-serve basis, some small businesses were able to access the funds, but the banks’ tiered fee structure led to favoring larger loans, inadequate background checks, systemic racism in lending practices, and at least $4 billion in fraudulent payments.

When the federal government was asked to reveal the recipients and the loan amounts, it stated the information was confidential, but the intense public scrutiny demanding transparency prompted the government to release some data in July.

As officials review the financial documents they are uncovering applications with missing information, bogus businesses, companies receiving multiple loans, and many more issues.

Banks claim the urgency in processing the funds hindered thorough eligibility checks, but after Americans caught wind of their profit margins and discriminatory practices the financial providers offered to divvy the proceeds to the minority owned businesses and sole proprietors they had overlooked, denied, or ignored.

An internet search for PPP loans delivers an assortment of stories on the misuses of the funding, and the numerous unqualified recipients who applied and received the funds.

As charges are brought against some of the fraudsters, the search continues for the unaccounted $4 billion, and an investigation on how the funds were spent by the business owners is underway, but these are the consequences of a bigger issue.

The objective of the PPP was to provide Americans with their employers’ wages during the Covid shutdown, yet the federal government decided funneling $525 billion through the banking system, trickling it down to the business owners, and hopefully reaching the people was the best procedure.

There are more than a few problems with this program, but focusing on the approach the government used to disseminate essential funds for Americans is the foundation of the catastrophe.

It’s a hard slap to the face of every American because the government didn’t just throw money at every Tom, Dick, and Harry before getting it to the hungry Americans across the US, it reinforced the neoliberalist, trickle-down ideology would not be undermined; at all costs.

The millions accrued by the banks for acting as an intermediary, further sticks it to the Americans; who pays this bill? Americans will have to pry funding out of the government’s cold, dead fingers because directly providing for the people isn’t on their list of to do’s.

With 99.9% of all business activity small to medium sized enterprises, their closure directly impacts the economy and the majority of people, but the larger corporations weathering the storm will buy them up; say goodbye to mom and pop’s, hello sterile hell, and thank you to Jeff Bezos and the like for saving us. “The invisible hand” isn’t invisible, it’s the government’s hand ensuring their corporate donors win again.

Millions of small business have permanently closed or are on the brink of closing, and Americans are defending capitalism like their life depends on it, but this isn’t even capitalism. Confirming the plutocracy of the United States is Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. While showcasing her “handmaid’s tale” dystopia, the media has failed to report on the 76% of the worker’s rights cases she ruled in favor of the corporations.

Fortunately, Americans would not accept this bold financial heist and the media picked up the stories, but the underlying corruption is embedded within the government.

This isn’t rocket science, the Australian government directly paid Australians via its program; Jobkeeper, but the US government can’t seem to find a solution or more blatantly, won’t deviate from the trickle-down that fails to trickle.

The goal of a business is to make a profit and that’s what they will do, and no one, especially not the government, is dumb enough to believe otherwise. The PPP loans went exactly where they were meant to go; to the businesses with ties to Wall Street, Congress, and the president.

Are we angry enough yet?

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Corinne Davis

An American expat with Australian citizenship, and a global curiosity for society, environment, & economics.


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