The Daily Beast

How the Swamp Swallowed Your Coronavirus Relief

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As America’s economy was crumbling amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the first quarter of this year, the lobbying business in Washington, D.C., was booming.

Fiscal crises are a potential goldmine for firms whose business it is to secure their clients bailouts and giveaways from the federal government because Congress is compelled to allocate astronomical amounts of money in response and very few people pay close attention to how it’s spent. As Congress was negotiating what would end up being a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package in March, corporations and special interests were loading up on K Street influence-peddlers to work every angle to tuck something lucrative into the bill. Their pricey retainers were not paid in vain.

Most Americans associate the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest economic stimulus bill in American history, with the $1,200 lump sum they received, plus $500 more for each child. What few people realize is that while hard-hit working class and poor Americans received this critical payout, which totaled less than $300 billion, rich Americans got over $250 billion in tax breaks from the legislation.

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