President Trump needs to take a Clint Eastwood-like stand and bluntly tell the dozens of major American companies that have greedily — and possibly illegally — wolfed down 70% of the money allocated to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) that they have to refund the money, in full, by this coming Monday morning or face legal criminal prosecution for larceny.
No kidding around.
These corporate behemoths knew that they were raiding a cookie jar not intended for them, but they edged out the Mom and Pop stores for whom the program is designed, forcing Congress to appropriate an additiona $319 billion in funding.
While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin decried the actions of these huge companies at the Tuesday media briefing he suggested that his Department would "give them the benefit of the doubt" and presume that they just didn’t know that they weren’t eligible. Baloney.
Are we to believe that these well lawyered companies just didn’t read the fine print?
I don’t think so.
$243 billion of the $349 billion lent out under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has gone to major publicly traded companies, who were not supposed to get the loans.
For example, DMC Global got a loan of $6.7 million despite having a market cap of $405 million, allowing it to raise capital easily on normal private markets.
Other companies getting loans included Shake Shack (that said they are giving it back) and Fiesta Restaurants (who own Pollo Tropical fast food outlets).
Democrats like to claim that President Trump is beholden to his large corporate donors and will cite this misallocation of funds as a perfect example.
The president needs to nip their attacks in the bud by demanding, loudly and publicly, that they give the money back by Monday — or else.
Dick Morris is former presidential advisor and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris's Reports — More Here.
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