On Tuesday, our local congressman, David McKinley, retweeted the following from the GOP and the White House:
I had read that the Paycheck Protection Program had favored large businesses over small ones and that many small businesses had been shut out by banks who clearly favored their own clients. But wow, what a great program! It's a government program reaching those who most need it. Or that, at least, is how Trump and McKinley want us to respond to the program. A closer look yields a much different response.
The first McKinley tweet tells us that “1 million out of the first $1.6 million went to businesses with 10 employees or less.” But wait a minute, the program gave out a total of $349 billion (with a b). If you do the math (subtracting 1.6 million from $349 billion), the obvious question becomes “what happened with the remaining $348,998,400,000?” We don’t know: despite pressure from Democrats and the media, the government has still not released who received what amount.
Look at McKinley’s second tweet. It appears to be new information, but it is the same information as the first only it's stated differently. 1 million divided by 1.6 million yields the 62.5% figure. Again, the $1.6 million is a very, very small percentage of the amount spent. (If I did the math correctly, the amount cited is less than one-half of one percent of the overall total.) As I noted above, the government has revealed nothing about how the money was spent in the 99.5% of the program that was not in the first wave.
What we do know
The Associated Press, Fortune, and CNBC, among others, have done some investigating and found that many of the program's recipients did not fit the "mom and pop"or small business label that the Trump administration attached to them. For instance, the CNBC link headlines:
Here are the largest public companies taking payroll loans meant for small businesses
It then presents the following chart (from Morgan Stanley’s findings):
Congressman McKinley: how is this helping America’s small businesses? And if this is such a good program, why don't you pressure the Trump administration to list the recipients and the dollar amount they received? That way, skeptics such as myself can see what a great job the Trump administration has done.