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January 1, Record Cost of Pandemic Still Skyrocketing as Treasury Borrows $3T More



This Day in History | 1961

Alan Shepard became the first American in space when the Freedom 7 spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 5, 1961, aboard a Mercury-Redstone rocket.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Who’s paying for all this? The U.S. Treasure department is getting ready to put a f*ck ton of money on America’s credit card. The $3 trillion on top of the $1.3 trillion it borrowed last year. That’s on top of the $24.9 trillion we already owe.  So imagine you make $200,000 a year. And you owe your credit card company $250,000. Not a good feeling. 

Meanwhile, a jaw-dropping report by the AP and the New York Times that looks at an audit of non-profits found that money was wasted on lavish events and speeches by former NFL star Brett Favre that never happened. 

Today in America, not the Soviet Union, in America in 2020 we are rationing meat, but it’s not because there’s a real shortage it has a lot more to do with the fact that we can’t keep our massive food processing plants safe. 

Finally today, someone should check on Elon Musk. Seriously. He went on a wild Twitter rant last Friday and caused the price of Tesla to plummet. Now he’s put his two LA mansions on the market. Rational, or nah? 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Treasury to Borrow Record-Breaking $3T as Pandemic Costs Skyrocket

(Politico) – The Treasury Department announced today that it will borrow a record-breaking $3 trillion through June to offset the enormous costs of the coronavirus outbreak.

That huge figure — spanning just three months during the second quarter of this year — dwarfs the nearly $1.3 trillion that Treasury borrowed for all of last year.

The massive borrowing increase is “primarily driven” by the pandemic, the agency noted, “including expenditures from new legislation to assist individuals and businesses” and “changes to tax receipts.” Treasury also said it intends to borrow an additional $677 billion in the third quarter of this year through September.

Interest rates are low, making the federal government’s growing debt burden a little more palatable.

Read more here

Money for Welfare Instead Funded Concerts, Lobbyists and Football Games, Audit Finds

(NY Times) – According to a state audit, Mississippi allowed tens of millions of dollars in federal anti-poverty funds to be used in ways that did little or nothing to help the poor.

The state of Mississippi allowed tens of millions of dollars in federal anti-poverty funds to be used in ways that did little or nothing to help the poor, with two nonprofit groups instead using the money on lobbyists, football tickets, religious concerts and fitness programs for state lawmakers, according to a scathing audit released on Monday.

Read more here

Related – Auditor: Favre Received Welfare Money for No-Show Speeches

(AP) — A nonprofit group caught up in an embezzlement scheme in Mississippi used federal welfare money to pay former NFL quarterback Brett Favre $1.1 million for multiple speaking engagements but Favre did not show up for the events, the state auditor said Monday.

Details about payments to Favre are included in an audit of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. State Auditor Shad White said his employees identified $94 million in questionable spending by the agency, including payments for sports activities with no clear connection to helping needy people in one of the poorest states of the U.S.

Find out more about Favre here

U.S. is Failing Food Safety 101; Incidence of Illnesses Still Increasing

(Food Safety News) – Attempts to reduce food poisoning are failing as the U.S. incidence of foodborne illnesses continues to increase. Infections from five of eight pathogens tracked by the CDC are on the rise.

Initial analysis of data comparing the period from 2016-2018 with numbers for 2019 (see table below) shows that the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 targets for reducing foodborne illness will not be met, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bad news could be softened if businesses would adopt proven food safety measures, according to the research team.

“. . . progress in controlling major foodborne pathogens in the United States has stalled,” according to the report. “To better protect the public and achieve forthcoming Healthy People 2030 foodborne disease reduction goals, more widespread implementation of known prevention measures and new strategies that target particular pathogens and serotypes are needed.”

Read more here

Elon Musk’s lavish LA Mansions Listed for Sale Days after He Pledged to ‘Own No House’

(CNBC) – Two of Elon Musk’s Los Angeles mansions appear to be up for sale on property website Zillow for $30 million and $9.5 million.

The listings, which say they’re “for sale by owner,” went live on Sunday just two days after the eccentric billionaire tweeted that he intended to sell almost all of his physical possessions and that he “will own no house.” 

Moments before he made those remarks on Friday, Musk tweeted to his 33.6 million followers that Tesla stock was too high, leading to $14 billion being wiped off the company’s market cap. It’s unclear why he did this. 

Musk’s two luxury properties are both in the exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air. One is a five bedroom ranch and the other is a six bedroom estate. 

A representative for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Learn more and see the properties here

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