Feds Forgive Wealthy Celebs' Massive, Tax-Funded COVID PPP Loans

P. Gardner Goldsmith | August 22, 2022
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Americans with memories that last longer than a TikTok post might recall some important milestones in the circus-like history of political fearmongering and self-congratulations over COVID19.

If they think back to July, and they may have read my piece about it, they’ll recall that the St. Louis Fed reported  that 75 percent of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans never reached the “workers” whom politicians told us they were “helping” - the PPP, of course, being an $800 BILLION portion of the 2 TRILLION March 2020 “CARES” Act. The act was heralded by then-President Donald Trump, most of the D.C. establishment, and many in the dinosaur media as “help” for the U.S. economy when, of course, politicians all over the nation were levering off of Trump's unconstitutional March 13 "Emergency Declaration" to impose anti-constitutional lockdowns and mandates, and all of which perpetuated COVID19 stats-manipulation and fearmongering.

Folks might also recall that in December of 2020, there were reports telling us that multi-millionaire celeb quarterback Tom Brady’s sports performance nutrition company received $960,855 in PPP loans.

They might remember that in July of 2020, a Florida man was accused of taking nearly $4 million in PPP loans and…buying a Lamborghini.

They might also recall that, though many D.C. politicians claimed the PPP “loans” were for small businesses with 500 or fewer employees to receive up to $10 million in “forgivable loans,” most of the same politicians tilted the “loan” money-chute towards large corporations by allowing corporations with divisions or sub-corporations of 500 or fewer employees to receive the loans, one atop another, atop another…

And they might remember Forbes reporting in September of 2020 that 88 percent of corporations receiving this PPP redistribution of wealth welfarism…well, they never paid it back.

Now comes new insult, added to injury, reminding us to keep our eye on principle, even as we feel the sting of the insult.

Martha Ross rites for East Bay Times that, as the headline of their story states:

“Kanye West, Tom Brady, Jared Kushner, Reese Witherspoon, other celebs had millions in PPP loans forgiven”

Yep. Because, of course, the “loans” never really were “loans.” They were handouts, forgivable from the start.

Oh, and lest we forget some of the glitterati out west, the sub-head of the piece notes:

“Businesses associated with Khloe Kardashian, Jay-Z and Paul Pelosi also were let off the hook in paying back loans meant to help small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic”

One can assume that Paul Pelosi’s business is not a driving instruction firm.

Related: Report: 75 Percent of the $800 Billion In PPP Cash Never Reached Workers | MRCTV

Ross offers an example of the “paycheck protection” snatched from our paychecks and handed to others:

“Rapper and fashion mogul (Kanye) West received millions in PPP loans in 2020 for his Yeezy fashion line not long after declaring himself a billionaire, signing a 10-year collaboration with Gap, and going public with plans to build a 52,000-square-foot mansion on his ranch in Wyoming, the Daily Beast reported in July 2020.

His Yeezy LLC borrowed $2,363,585, with $1,772,689 being spent on payroll for 106-member staff, the Daily Mail said. While the status of this loan is “not disclosed,” the Daily Mail said a Yeezy subsidiary borrowed $15,625 for one employee and all but $147 was forgiven.”

Tom Brady’s company, TB12, received nearly a million dollars, but:

“Not only did Brady’s company not return the loan, it asked to not pay it back. The full amount of the loan, plus interest of nearly $12,000, was fully forgiven, the Daily Mail said.”

And Jared Kushner?

“Kushner’s family was granted three PPP loans for various businesses, while he helped lead his father-in-law’s response to the pandemic, according to the Daily Mail.

The Kushner family’s newspaper publisher, Observer Holdings, LLC, was approved in the first round of loans on April 27, 2020, the Daily Mail said. The company received a $800,407 loan, which was used to save 41 jobs. The loan, including interest, was forgiven in full.”

How sweet…

“The Kushner family hotel business, Princeton Forrestal, LLC, received a $1,569,977 loan in April 2020. The loan, including interest, was forgiven, the Daily Mail said  Esplanade Livingston, LLC, which owns the land housing the Kushner’s family’s Westminster Hotel in New Jersey, received a $630,735 loan to pay 56 employees. The entire loan also was forgiven.”

Don’t expect a “Thank You” note from Jared in the mail, dear reader.

And don’t expect one from Nancy Pelosi’s hubby, Paul:

“Paul Pelosi is another politically connected figure who has a business that benefitted from PPP forgiveness. Paul Pelosi has an 8.1percent share in EDI Associates, a North Bay-based restaurant business that took out two PPP loans, the Daily Mail said. Its loans for $711,708 and $996,392 both were forgiven.”

But, even as one sees this infuriating news, and even as one things about the smug, self-righteous way many people like Paul Pelosi and his wife behave, we can remind ourselves that these are just the surface level to a deeper problem. As I noted for MRCTV in July, not one penny of the “loans” was constitutional, and no one can argue that there is any morality in taking money from us to pay others, be the payment in “loans” or “forgivable loans” that are sheer wealth movements away from us to others.

The superficial level is angering. But the next level down, the Constitutional level, is more important than any “rich and connected got served again” frustration. Even if the money had gone to “poor” (however one wants to define that) people, the Constitution doesn’t allow it.

And the deepest level, the moral level, forbids it being done through the force of the state.

As Thomas Paine wrote in “The Crisis,” published in December of 1776, these are the times that try men’s souls.

Related: Man Buys Lamborghini After Allegedly Fraudulently Receiving Nearly $4M In COVID Relief Funds | MRCTV