Trump’s Chaotic Leadership Is Delaying Economic Relief
April 7, 2020
Yesterday, Trump claimed his administration’s rollout of its small business loan program was “performing well,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Trump has failed to deliver the quick economic relief he promised Americans. Chaos, vacancies, and a failure in leadership have slowed the disbursement of urgently-needed assistance.
Trump’s latest failure of leadership is his botched management of the coronavirus response package.
Politico: “Massive stimulus packages don’t just need votes. They require expertise, professionalism and skill to execute, and it’s not at all clear that the Trump administration has enough of that to make this program work. We’re already beginning to see signs of problems.”
CNN: “Trump’s coronavirus mismanagement again undercuts his CEO image”
Trump promised his administration would work as fast as possible to get relief to small businesses and their workers, but the chaos that plagues Trump’s administration hampered efforts to get economic aid to Americans.
TRUMP: “We’re also racing to get relief to American workers and small businesses.”
TRUMP: “The SBA and the Treasury are working around the clock, and our banking partners are really incredible. And they’re ensuring that the money gets to small businesses as quickly as possible.”
Bloomberg News: “As it confronts the worst economic disaster since the 2008 financial crisis, the Treasury Department is riddled with vacancies among its political appointments. Of 20 Senate confirmed roles reporting to the secretary, seven aren’t filled, and four are occupied by acting officials.
Bloomberg News: “The lack of leadership and expertise, bank executives say, was on display this week as the department rushed to meet its goal of beginning the small business loan program on Friday.”
Trump and Mnuchin promised the Paycheck Protection Program would provide desperately needed funds immediately, but business owners struggled to even apply for loans.
TRUMP: “It goes out very quickly once the loan application is approved, and the process is very fast.”
MNUCHIN: “You will get the money. You will get it the same day.”
NBC News: “Thousands of applicants, zero loans: Trump’s small businesses lending program is a failure to launch”
New York Times: “Business owners found that applying for the money was harder than they had anticipated. Lenders had received guidance from the Treasury Department only the night before, just hours before they were to start making loans. … For small-business owners, many of whom have run out of cash to pay salaries and rent, time was everything.”
Washington Post: “Small-business owners have reported delays in getting approved for loans without which they will close their doors, while others say they have been denied altogether by their lenders and do not understand why.”
Trump described his administration’s failure to protect the personal data of small business owners as “minor glitches.”
TRUMP: “It has really been performing well. A couple of little glitches, minor glitches that have already been taken care of.”
CBS News: “Business owners say their personal data is being leaked on federal loan site”
CBS News: “Small businesses across the U.S. have reported personal data leaks after applying for a disaster loan from the Small Business Administration. The SBA, whose website was plagued by maintenance shutdowns in late March, did not acknowledge the leaks until Saturday evening.”
The Trump administration promised to get checks into Americans’ hands this week, but many workers may not get their checks for months, and the administration is only causing more confusion with last-minute rule changes.
KUDLOW: “The direct checks will come out probably in two weeks.”
KUDLOW: “I think the individual checks, Raymond, which will be distributed by the IRS I think in a week or two. Let’s say a few short weeks.”
Washington Post: “Officials at the Internal Revenue Service have warned that $1,200 relief checks may not reach many Americans until August or September if they haven’t already given their direct-deposit information to the government.”
Washington Post: “Adding to the confusion were several last-minute changes enacted by federal officials to cornerstones of the relief effort, including a revision to the rules of the small-business loan program hours before it went live and the late cancellation of a requirement that Social Security recipients file a tax form before receiving their relief checks.”