After crafting their COVID giveaways and losing $200 billion, Democrats blame Trump

There's nothing faster than a Democrat when it comes to shoveling money.

And there's nothing faster than a money-shoveling Democrat to lay the blame for the associated problems with that on President Trump.

That brings us to the latest report out that COVID relief funds were misspent, wasted, or stolen, to the tune of $200 billion.

According to the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than $200 billion may have been stolen from two large COVID-19 relief initiatives, according to new estimates from a federal watchdog investigating federally funded programs that helped small businesses survive the worst public health crisis in more than a hundred years.

The numbers issued Tuesday by the U.S. Small Business Administration inspector general are much greater than the office's previous projections and underscore how vulnerable the Paycheck Protection and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs were to fraudsters, particularly during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

The inspector general's report said "at least 17 percent of all COVID-EIDL and PPP funds were disbursed to potentially fraudulent actors." The fraud estimate for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is more than $136 billion, which represents 33 percent of the total money spent on that program, according to the report. The Paycheck Protection fraud estimate is $64 billion, the inspector general said.

This seems to be a more updated and precise report on the extent of COVID losses in the wake of the pandemic.  I wrote about an earlier estimate, here.  Regardless of whether the higher or lower amount is close to reality, the amount is so colossal, so unfathomable, that it can only raise questions as to how it could happen.  In the earlier AP story on the COVID fraud, dated June 11, the cited problem seems to have been the failure of the Small Business Administration to check with the Treasury Department's "Do Not Pay" list of known fraudsters...and they got paid.

As Reason magazine's Eric Boehm noted in his analysis of it:

One of the lasting lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic should be that there's an implicit trade-off between the velocity of emergency spending and the ability to limit fraud. Even under the best of circumstances, the federal government struggles to ensure that only qualified individuals and businesses receive public dollars: Taxpayers lose around $100 billion every year due to Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

In a rushed panic, and with unprecedented amounts of cash being thrown around, it was always going to be an impossible task to meaningfully police who got what.

Now the race is on to do what Democrats do even better than shovel out money: blame Trump.

Here's the COVID funds administrator, Gene Sperling, explaining it all out to the AP:

Gene Sperling, a senior White House official overseeing pandemic relief spending, said in a interview Tuesday that 86% of the fraud, or potential fraud, in the emergency loan programs happened during the first nine months of the pandemic when President Donald Trump was in office.

"$200 billion is a very big number, but this, again, should be remembered as potential fraud," Sperling said. "We think the amount of likely or actual fraud is significantly less, significantly under $100 billion, perhaps around $40 billion."

But he added, "whichever it is, it's unacceptably high."

In other words, Trump did it, it was all Trump's fault, and Joe Biden did it, but way less.

That calls to mind just how that ridiculous summary might be broken down.

COVID relief funds were originally passed in April 2020 by a Democrat-led House under speaker Nancy Pelosi, who's no stranger to federal spending.

According to Wikipedia, Democrats assembled that package together and forced President Trump to sign it, whether he liked it or not.

Here's a sample of who wanted what as the bill was being passed:

On March 25, Pelosi said that "many of the provisions in there have been greatly improved because of negotiation," and hoped to pass the bill by unanimous consent.

Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, attempted to maneuver for a roll-call vote, but the quorum present did not support the idea. Massie's threat to demand a recorded vote nonetheless "compelled dozens, if not hundreds, of lawmakers to return to Capitol Hill from their home districts, navigating across interstates and through airports at a time when public health officials have urged Americans to avoid nonessential travel and gathering in large groups". Massie's actions received bipartisan criticism. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, a Democrat, tweeted "Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an a------. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity," a message which was shared by Donald Trump on Twitter. Republican Representative Peter T. King called Massie's actions "disgraceful" and "irresponsible". Despite the criticism Massie continued to defend his actions, claiming that the act was full of pork barrel spending and that very little of the total money would actually go to citizens. The House passed the bill on March 27 by a near-unanimous, unrecorded voice vote.

Democrats stuffed the spending bill full of money, and a lone Republican, Rep. Thomas Massey, desperately tried to keep some measure of accountability, for which he was scored by Democrats.

Now Trump is being blamed for signing the bill, despite the fact that Democrats crafted it to their own specifications.

The net result has been not just loss of the taxpayer money, but the inflation that has since followed, all the result of federal money-printing to pay the fraudsters and others.  The AP even notes that the cash shovel-out has driven up property prices in some parts and forced some to sell at losses in others.  What a gift.

These things happen because Democrats don't care if federal money is wasted; there's always more where it comes from, whether the money presses or the taxman.

Now they're blaming Trump, while at the same time lamenting the losses that happened, as if they actually cared about government waste. 

They care about government waste only if Trump can be blamed for it.  And in the meantime, they just keep spending and spending.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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