At $6 trillion and counting, the scale of the federal government’s COVID-19 spending is truly unprecedented. In exchange for spending that much, an astounding $42,000 per federal taxpayer, politicians promised their programs could save the day. But a new analysis shows that the most expensive federal stimulus, the Paycheck Protection Program, woefully failed to help minority communities and those who needed it most.
Here’s the background.
The $828 billion program was designed to give “loans” (that usually didn’t need to be paid back) to small businesses struggling to stay afloat amid government-mandated shutdowns of their businesses and the ensuing economic downturn. It was quickly exploited by well-connected large corporations and then later ravaged by runaway fraud. Research from one economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimated that the program cost taxpayers a whopping $224,000 per job protected.
Now, we know it was plagued by rampant racial disparities, too.
“[An] analysis of more than 5 million PPP