US Politics and Economics - They CARES a Lot!

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Here is a thread specifically for the CARES act and other economic stimulus related stuff -- idk maybe no one else cares except me

sarahell, Friday, 27 March 2020 17:39 (two months ago) link

"Establishes that the borrower shall be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan on payroll costs, interest payment on any mortgage incurred prior to February 15, 2020, payment of rent on any lease in force prior to February 15, 2020, and payment on any utility for which service began before February 15, 2020.
Amounts forgiven may not exceed the principal amount of the loan. Eligible payroll costs do not include compensation above $100,000 in wages."

sarahell, Friday, 27 March 2020 17:43 (two months ago) link

what does that mean

akm, Friday, 27 March 2020 17:48 (two months ago) link

^^ this is in re SBA loans. Essentially if a borrower (which could be a self-employed individual) can't repay the loan, the loan can be forgiven for the amounts spent in the first two months of the loan. It is a bit problematic for a self-employed person (the standard Schedule C filer) in that it sounds like it only applies to rent/mortgage interest on business property. The question would be, if you work from home, can you apply it to your housing expense? Do you have to allocate it based on business/personal percentage? ... or are they just saying "Fuck it! It doesn't have to be business property."?

sarahell, Friday, 27 March 2020 17:49 (two months ago) link

Oh and all day Wednesday the online portal to submit loan applications for COVID-19 economic injury -- was down. It went down Tuesday evening as I was uploading documents. They replaced it yesterday with a widget to upload files via Box. Idk.

sarahell, Friday, 27 March 2020 17:51 (two months ago) link

hm. i'm mainly interested bevause I rent a warehouse as a studio (along with a bunch of other people) in Oakland and half of the people who pay the rent are out of work and wondering if we can get our rent deferred. we have a decent enough relationship with our landlady so hopefully, but who knows. I think renting that place out (and the one behind it) is her only real source of income. I suppose we have to ask.

akm, Friday, 27 March 2020 18:16 (two months ago) link

ha i am currently on this Oakland City Council meeting zoom call about an eviction moratorium! It applies to commercial tenants too

sarahell, Friday, 27 March 2020 19:15 (two months ago) link

nice

akm, Friday, 27 March 2020 19:17 (two months ago) link

Basically, the City is banning evictions on the basis of unpaid rent as a result of COVID economics, but they can't really do anything about the fact that tenants will owe back rent to landlords and what happens when they can't pay that "on time" and what does "on time" mean? Oakland is basically like, "Dear Federal Government, State Government and Banks, please give our people money!"

sarahell, Saturday, 28 March 2020 17:42 (two months ago) link

We're still gonna be discovering random stuff in this bill (both good and bad) months from now.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 28 March 2020 17:45 (two months ago) link

Oh definitely. I am sure all the 1% and their lawyers and their accountants are combing through that bill looking for exploitable loopholes and ways to make money / avoid taxes.

sarahell, Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:47 (two months ago) link

The SBA disaster loan portal crashed last week.

Now they have a new loan application system.

sarahell, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 20:35 (two months ago) link

my brain is mushy with details / issues about EIDL loans and PPP loans ... maybe this will be another of my threads where it's just me posting until I got bored / distracted and abandon it

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 17:34 (one month ago) link

regarding unemployment, I get why tacking the federal unemployment onto the existing state infrastructure was done (because Feds building something new in a week or two, given their ineptitude = lol), but given how overloaded individual state unemployment lines/websites are, I'm afraid a lot of people aren't going to even get state unemployment, much less the $600 fed

and those gig workers/contractors have to wait longer for the feds/states to come up with a good system.

genital giant (Neanderthal), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:12 (one month ago) link

California is still figuring out how to implement the self-employed UI benefit system. ... it's a mess.

The PPP loans are also a mess for the self-employed who are supposed to be able to get them based on net earnings from self-employment. However, there isn't official final guidance as to how the "payroll" forgiveness works for self-employed, so the banks who are processing the loans are waiting for that final guidance. There are also issues about how much banks can lend because there are existing rules about that based on the bank's assets. So I'm on a bunch of lists and groups for non-profit finance people as well as accountants, and most of the threads are: "has anyone got any money yet?" "is this bank's system working yet?" "is this bank taking loan applications again?" ... Basically there are a lot of people in industries where they are used to being told what to do with pages and pages of technical guidance about specific situations, and those things currently don't exist, and no one wants to fuck up, so most everything is on hold, waiting for clarification and guidance.

The EIDL loan thing, where someone the other day said, "they are only giving out $1000 per employee" in contradiction to everything promoted, put in law and guidance ... and now everyone who heard/read that is like "WTF???" and the SBA is kinda walking it back and saying, "uh, we need to get our shit together."

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:22 (one month ago) link

friends in NY were talking about the UI for self-employed people there, and it seemed to involve "faxing" things ...

also, if you are an employer and want an advance on the paid leave credit for employees, they have a form for that ... but you have to fax it to the IRS

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:24 (one month ago) link

I am sure at the time, people in government thought, it would be more efficient to have the banks, the SBA, the state unemployment agencies et al. manage the systems for paying people who now don't have money because of Covid -- but all the other countries that just sent money directly to individual people -- that system is looking pretty effective in comparison rn

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:26 (one month ago) link

Also -- maybe someone here knows more about this -- what about unemployment for people whose jobs are in states other than where they live? Do NJ residents who work in NY file in NJ or NY?

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:28 (one month ago) link

hmm, never thought about that.

genital giant (Neanderthal), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:29 (one month ago) link

re: $1000/employee, I got in an argument with another 'small business owner' because I don't fault the SBA for that really. It was stupidly underfunded - if the SBA said "$10k per applicant until we run out of money" they would have gotten through like 5% of applicants and pitchforks would have been hoisted for that too.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:31 (one month ago) link

it's helping my friend's business, but he fortunately has his family working there and maybe 2-3 other employees, so not many to pay. anybody with even a moderate employee base is gonna struggle w/ that

i was only half-joking when I said bank account balances should be reset and everybody should start with like $50,000 in their bank account and businesses should all start over with capital.

also 1 in every 3 politicians should be bronzed while they're alive

genital giant (Neanderthal), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:33 (one month ago) link

I applied for the EIDL grant on Friday, a fairly straightforward online application. I assume I'll get a pro-rated portion of $10K based on my meager income. One problem I have is that my main work client is doggedly going forward with the niche magazine I produce for her, so I guess I can't apply for independent contractor unemployment? Ad sales are in the toilet and my billing is tied to ad pages -- I'm pretty sure I could make more from unemployment than I'll make working on the tiny magazines we'll have for the next few months.

Flem Fatale (WmC), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:52 (one month ago) link

i'm in a weird spot because i was employed late 2018 to 2019 then a contract employee for a start-up (should have been on their payroll) that technically folded a few weeks before the rona really started to shut things down. so i'm a little worried i'm going to fall through the cracks. so far it looks like i'm going to get a small amount of state unemployment and the 1200 but nothing's come through yet. i applied for eidl or whichever one doesn't go through local lenders, haven't heard anything.

i also started the job search process before rona really hit so i had interviews lined up when things got bad. keeping my fingers crossed for one that i should hear back about this week.

if the stimulus check shows up in my account this week i'm paying bills of course but distantly considering a road trip to nevada to get w33d lol.

i am a horse girl (map), Sunday, 12 April 2020 18:56 (one month ago) link

xp - you can apply and maybe just get reduced benefits? I know you aren't in CA, so maybe the rules are different in your state, but here, people don't have to be completely unemployed in order to collect UI benefits. ... there are also a bunch of people who have a mix of employee income and self-employment income who are kinda like, "Uhhhhh what do i do?"

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:26 (one month ago) link

map: you could apply for a PPP loan as a self-employed person based on your earnings from that startup? It would depend on how much you earned (in terms of whether it's worth it), and whether you think you will get hired somewhere else soon (as an employee). You would probably need to prepare/file your 2019 tax return for that loan program.

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:28 (one month ago) link

thanks for the info!

i am a horse girl (map), Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:30 (one month ago) link

This has kinda been what I have spent the past week doing tbh ... I think in one of the groups I'm in, someone mentioned that there was a bank with branches in UT that was actually doing a good job with PPP loans (as opposed to like 90% of all the other banks)

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:35 (one month ago) link

xp - ditto, thanks sarahell -- I will check and see if reduced benefit is possible. I'm definitely underemployed right now.

Flem Fatale (WmC), Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:36 (one month ago) link

Also, I think we are starting to see the "fintech" sector enter the PPP loan market. A bunch of people who are self-employed don't have business bank accounts and so banks have kinda been telling them to fuck off. So my sense is, if you have a "business" relationship with a company like PayPal or something like that ... maybe start looking there as opposed to waiting for the likes of Chase and Bank of America to get to you idk

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:37 (one month ago) link

US Bank and Wells Fargo getting a lot of complaints about not even taking applications

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:38 (one month ago) link

The thing is: this is free money from the government for the loan processors, and their agents. The loans are 100% guaranteed. So, in the bill, it allows for 3rd party agents to apply for loans on behalf of clients and get a percentage of the loan paid to them (basically like real estate people with mortgages) ... in one of the webinars I "attended" the presenter (a CPA) spent a good 5-10 minutes talking about the money-making potential for accountants of being PPP loan agents for their accounting and tax clients.

sarahell, Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:41 (one month ago) link

I've gotten notifications from Square, Quickbooks and Paypal (and maybe Shopify) about trying to get in on the PPP action.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:55 (one month ago) link

Based on one EIDL rumor (gross revenue minus COGS) we'd be able to borrow $110k, which is close to the amount of revenue that's going to be lost for closing 6-8 weeks and god only knows what the 'specialty retail' market is going to look like if/when we get to reopen.

Got my doubts that's a real number, I'm prepared to be fucked in general.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Sunday, 12 April 2020 19:59 (one month ago) link

the Gross Revenue minus COGS = benchmark revenue from which the loan is calculated isn't a rumor, that's the way they are calculating it ... unless the rumor is that they won't actually loan people the amount they are eligible for because there is too little money?

sarahell, Monday, 13 April 2020 14:34 (one month ago) link

A lot of service business people were thoroughly confused about the COGS question ... and were like, "can I put zero?" "I don't know what that is, what do I put there?" ... Yes, zero, is actually what you would put there, and it won't reduce your loan amount.

sarahell, Monday, 13 April 2020 14:36 (one month ago) link

new interim final rule about PPP loans for self-employed people with no employees

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Interim-Final-Rule-Additional-Eligibility-Criteria-and-Requirements-for-Certain-Pledges-of-Loans.pdf

sarahell, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 18:50 (one month ago) link

Oh, I just called it a rumor because I hadn’t seen it confirmed anywhere. If that’s the actual loan amount it might actually save my “career.”

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Tuesday, 14 April 2020 19:21 (one month ago) link

Meanwhile almost everyone who has applied for an EIDL got an email either last night or today saying, "you know how we were gonna give you $10k advances? well, we're limiting that to $1k per employee ... oops! ... have you heard about the PPP loan? Try applying for that!"

sarahell, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 19:37 (one month ago) link

AND the California EDD has a coronavirus benefits page that is basically "coming soon: the benefits promised to out of work self-employed people!" ... meanwhile they are passive-aggressively updating weekly stats of unemployment claims processed for regular workers

sarahell, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 19:40 (one month ago) link

Got the $10k advance today for the EIDL but Chase has done fuck-all with the PPP. Also the SBA didn't contact us at all before the advance but pulled a credit report on Monday.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 05:21 (one month ago) link

Based on what I've heard from other people, the businesses / orgs that have gotten PPP loans so far (including one of my clients that I did all the paperwork for) -- have smaller, regional banks. Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo et al. are taking longer.

We got the PPP loan approval Monday night, I signed and completed the authorization forms like an hour later, and we are waiting on money.

sarahell, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 18:17 (one month ago) link

i'm kicking myself in the face for sinking into sadness rather than filling all this stuff out. Anybody got suggestions of reasonable next steps? or am i well and truly shafted?

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 18 April 2020 21:55 (one month ago) link

Several places are still taking PPP applications in expectation of more funding. PayPal was moving apps quickly when they started, QuickBooks is doing it now as well.

The EIDL is moving so slowly it can’t hurt to do the application, I guess?

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Saturday, 18 April 2020 22:03 (one month ago) link

My Quickbooks PPP application took about 30 seconds because they had all my info.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Saturday, 18 April 2020 22:04 (one month ago) link

The non-profit i work for (I am one of two employees) just got our EIDL loan - $2k - and they didn't send me any email or anything, no clue we got the money until I saw the bank deposit. PPP came on the 16th.

sarahell, Wednesday, 22 April 2020 16:22 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

The second round of PPP loans is coming through to businesses -- last week and this week, I'm hearing people saying they are getting the money -- it also seems like a lot of people don't understand the rules for loan forgiveness, which aren't that complicated, but still I get the sense that they weren't explained to applicants.

sarahell, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 17:28 (three weeks ago) link

Chase never got past (supposedly) submitting to the SBA, Quickbooks didn't seem to get even that far.

Paypal got it submitted and funded inside of 24 hours.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 17:50 (three weeks ago) link

no one could have known how difficult massive, hyper-accelerated cash benefits programs could be in the hands of an admin whose motto is "just grift baybee"

inveterate practitioner of antisocial distancing (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:00 (three weeks ago) link

eh, having a bit of an inside view on this, it's more like having a stupid boss who overpromises results but doesn't do any of the work themself and who has no clue how anything works, and then shifts blame to the subordinates for not delivering on time.

sarahell, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:47 (three weeks ago) link

like, when dude became president he wanted to change the tax code so that people/businesses could expense the cost of an entire building. ... like, uh, no ... meanwhile the SBA, the IRS, all the states, the banking industry, and all the people working on the tech side have to create this new benefits system in an exceptionally short period of time. ... So they generate these forms, but have barely any time to test them with all the different scenarios applicants will have.

Here a couple real examples:
1. the PPP application asks for % of ownership of the business. A significant number of applicants are non-profits ... there are no owners. How do you deal with that on the process side as well as the tech side?
2. a business where one of the significant ownership % is owned by a trust. The owners are supposed to enter their tax ID#s and dates of birth -- what is the date of birth of a trust? What if the trust has more than one "owner" ...?

sarahell, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:55 (three weeks ago) link

The SBA wasn’t designed for millions of small businesses to apply for multiple programs at once, Congress underfunded both the PPP and EIDL.

I don’t think it would have been much smoother under Obama - not that Republicans would have supported the PPP or EIDL anyway if it was 2014.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:58 (three weeks ago) link

i just applied for a business account at my local bank, which is required to apply. I feel like such a fuck-up with this whole process.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 19:03 (three weeks ago) link

definitely the administration that designed and implemented an income-based subsidized health insurance system would not have done any better than an administration that hasn't done any significant national social program ... there is no evidence whatsoever of a greater degree of organization, competence, and realistic communications in the Obama administration, sorry you are being ridiculous

sarahell, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 19:04 (three weeks ago) link

The launch of healthcare.gov was in no way problematic IIRC

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 19:09 (three weeks ago) link

Which did not come within weeks of the ACA’s passage.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 19:11 (three weeks ago) link

what I'm saying is, at least they had done something at a large scale that they could, you know, learn lessons from?

sarahell, Wednesday, 6 May 2020 20:50 (three weeks ago) link

Apps for these programs started within days of passage. Nothing about the ACA resembles that situation, the SBA didn’t have 10x the staffing they do today, the legislation would have had the same loopholes to let billionaires in on the PPP and there’s really no evidence the Obama people learned anything over the course of eight years.

Obama could have gotten the $1200 checks out quicker, absolutely.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 6 May 2020 22:18 (three weeks ago) link

Apps for these programs started within days of passage.

like the EIDL app that was "down for maintenance" for two days and then ... oops, we've decided we're gonna revamp the system and everyone has to reapply?

the legislation would have had the same loopholes to let billionaires in on the PPP

uh the loopholes weren't really about "billionaires" ... they "accidentally" allowed publicly traded companies (billionaire status not required) and companies that got to count as small businesses because they were in the special class of restaurants and hotels where they allowed them to count each location as a separate business (again, not related to extremely wealthy individuals) -- it's mainly an issue of larger enterprises with greater resources in terms of both relationships with banks/lenders and in terms of knowledgeable staff/consultants who were quickly able to put applications together. This "access" issue also shows up in the disparity between whites and POC businesses getting funding, and I was actually pleasantly surprised that in the second round of funding there was money earmarked for CDFIs.

But if you want to argue based on some lowest common denominator podcast talking points rather than how things actually work ... go for it.

sarahell, Thursday, 7 May 2020 03:56 (three weeks ago) link

I'm arguing based on being someone who's called the SBA three days a week for the past six weeks because this is of existential importance to me but, you know, go off king. Leftist podcasts are known for their discussion of small business financing.

like the EIDL app that was "down for maintenance" for two days and then ... oops, we've decided we're gonna revamp the system and everyone has to reapply?

Yes. A nationwide disaster putting millions of small businesses in the pool for loan applications was unprecedented and the process for the EIDL and PPP launched in days from the majority of the country declaring an emergency en masse.

healthcare.gov launched three years after the ACA passed and it was still a complete clusterfuck. Still is, in many ways.

uh the loopholes weren't really about "billionaires" ... they "accidentally" allowed publicly traded companies [...] it's mainly an issue of larger enterprises with greater resources in terms of both relationships with banks/lenders and in terms of knowledgeable staff/consultants who were quickly able to put applications together.

I don't know what point you think you're making here? This would have been, as I said, no different under Obama - Congressional Democrats played just as much of a role in drafting the legislation as the Trump White House.

There's zero reason to believe that the last six weeks of SBA hell would have been any different under Obama - this is the one part of the whole pandemic that doesn't fall directly on Trump's head and the SBA has handled it all far more successfully than I think most should have expected.

I've got a loan application in with a People Fund setup regionally and it's been vastly more of a PITA than the EIDL or PPP have been.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Thursday, 7 May 2020 04:46 (three weeks ago) link

There's zero reason to believe that the last six weeks of SBA hell would have been any different under Obama - this is the one part of the whole pandemic that doesn't fall directly on Trump's head

the part where the Trump administration assured people that they would get funded RIGHT AWAY when, in fact, it took a lot longer (see also: stimulus checks) -- I feel like it's not a stretch to say, that can be blamed on Trump?

sarahell, Thursday, 7 May 2020 15:21 (three weeks ago) link

No, it's not - the advance grant of $10k in three days was part of the legislation co-written by the Democrats and was not funded to allow that to actually happen for all the millions of applicants. It wasn't just Trump saying funds would come RIGHT AWAY it was the Democrats as well.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Thursday, 7 May 2020 16:51 (three weeks ago) link

I take it the "re-opening" of the country is now allowing people to move goalposts now? Because that's what you're doing

sarahell, Thursday, 7 May 2020 18:55 (three weeks ago) link

What?

Here's what I said that you apparently took issue with:
"I don’t think it would have been much smoother under Obama - not that Republicans would have supported the PPP or EIDL anyway if it was 2014."

That's it. "Wouldn't have been much smoother." Not "Trump is doing a flawless job." The Democrats have played just as much of a role in the PPP and EIDL legislation as Trump or the Republicans. The one vaguely similar experience we had with a rollout of millions of applications for a program under Obama was just as much of a disaster, with three years to build the program and not in the midst of a pandemic.

"Obama was smart and good" doesn't mean the SBA would have magically been able to handle an unprecedented avalanche of applications in days.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Thursday, 7 May 2020 23:10 (three weeks ago) link

ayoooooo my PPP loan went through! Used Paypal to get it, took less than a week!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 14 May 2020 23:13 (two weeks ago) link

To name the ayes: Bennet, Blum., Booker, Cardin, Carper, Casey, Coons, Cortez M., Duckworth, Feinstein, Gillibr., Harris, Hassan, Jones, Kaine, King, Klobuchar, Leahy, Manchin, Menendez, Murphy, Peters, Reed, Rosen, Schumer, Shaheen, Sinema, Smith, Stabe., Van H., Whiteh., Warner https://t.co/Btul3MoPG4

— Taniel (@Taniel) May 15, 2020

porlockian solicitor (Karl Malone), Friday, 15 May 2020 03:47 (two weeks ago) link

Both my senators Wyden and Merkley voted against. No complaints against them on that score.

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 15 May 2020 03:52 (two weeks ago) link

both of mine voted for it -- no surprise -- probably there's plenty of tech $$ to be made by California companies.

sarahell, Saturday, 16 May 2020 22:08 (two weeks ago) link

also -- I learned last weekend while talking to my parents on Mother's Day (they live in California) that they both voted for Klobuchar in the primary -- it was like discovering the existence of a rare insect in my own backyard. ... My mom has the pro-privacy instincts of a libertarian, so idk if she's gonna be so happy with Klobuchar after this.

sarahell, Saturday, 16 May 2020 22:11 (two weeks ago) link


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