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Updated: Feb 3, 2023

That’s what my Dad used to say. As a boy I hoped that he was wrong, and sometimes I questioned him about it: “What about when the milk company has their annual meeting, and we all go eat free at Chicken Mary’s and watch the films? Or John Deere Days, or Pioneer Seed Meetings?” His reply was, “Figure it out Son, there’s always a cost and somebody always pays.” What’s your opinion? What about the new stimulus checks everybody is excited to see in their bank accounts? Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

So, what’s in the new $900 Billion Stimulus Package?


Individuals having adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 heads of households with income under $112,500 and couples less than $150,000 qualify for $600 per individual or $1200 per couple plus an additional $600 per child age 16 and younger.


Many of us were shocked when last spring the government passed a law that allowed people drawing unemployment to receive and additional $600 per week above what they were already drawing. Just do the math: In Louisiana many draw the maximum weekly amount of $274. Add $600 to that and you are making $847 per week or $21.28 per hour! For Pennsylvania it’s $569 + 600 = $1,169 per week or $29.23 per hour!

Can you imagine trying to convince workers to come back to the job making less for working than for sitting at home? The new law extends the period of unemployment enhancement, but at a lesser amount. Good or bad, I’ll let you decide…


Business who qualified but missed out on the first round of PPP loans are eligible to apply now. SBA has begun accepting applications supposedly as of Monday, January 11, 2021.

Businesses who have already received a PPP loan may now qualify for another round if:

1. 300 or fewer employees.

2. They have already used up the first loan in qualified expenses.

3. Can show their revenue was reduced by 25% in 2020 compared to 2019 as follows:

a. In any one quarter, comparing that quarter of 2020 with the same quarter in 2019.

b. For the entire year by submitting tax returns reflecting that reduction.

c. First draw PPP loans are NOT included in revenue for this comparison.

The SBA is to begin taking applications for second draw PPP loans today, January 15, 2021. The amount of the 2nd round PPP loan will be 2.5 times the average monthly payroll in either 2019 or 2020 (you may choose).

The PPP loan will be forgiven if the proceeds were spent on eligible costs within 24 weeks of the loan disbursement. Eligible costs are defined as:

1. Payroll Expenses (Wages and Health Benefits)

2. Rent

3. Interest

4. Utilities

5. Other expenses that are not clearly defined but may be general in nature and generous such as “expenses to suppliers that are essential at the time of purchase to the current operations.”

The procedure for requesting loan forgiveness has been greatly simplified. Those receiving less than $150,000 in PPP loans can request forgiveness with a one-page form and are not required to submit further documentation, although they must retain the proof in case of audit.

The “can’t have your cake and eat it too” saying is being tested with the PPP loan program. Not only is the SBA forgiving most of the loans, but the forgiven amount is also not taxable income! You use Uncle Sam’s money to pay your payroll expense and you still get to deduct the expense you didn’t pay for! That is unprecedented in my career of tax preparation.


* Aid to schools and childcare facilities.

* Assistance for paying rent to individuals who have lost income. Also extended the ban on evictions. Note: No assistance is provided to the landlords who are holding the bag.

* Additional expansion of food stamps (SNAP program).

* Funding for COVID-19 vaccinations. The vaccinations will be free, although an administration fee may be charged.

* Various other pork fat, too numerous to mention. Of interest:

* $35 million for abstinence programs. Will they work? *

* $15 million to promote democracy and $10 million for gender programs, all in Pakistan. *

* $85.5 million for Cambodia, $135 million to Burma, $130 million to Nepal, $453 million to Ukraine, $700 million to Sudan, $1.3 billion for Egypt to buy Russian military equipment. $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, $1 billion for the Smithsonian and $154 million for the National Gallery of Art. *

* These last items were part of the bill that was passed, but not part of the $900 billion COVID stimulus package. The COVID and the Federal spending bills were combined so that lawmakers had to pass all or none. Now you can understand why President Trump considered vetoing the entire bill and taking the foreign aid programs and giving the American people a bigger check. Opposing parties must come together to be able to pass legislation. They must allow various pet programs they don’t like and often the public has no idea of true cost. Here the popular stimulus checks out shadowed all the other costly aid programs.


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