Opinion: PPP loans linked to Steve Gaynor and Aaron Lieberman show our hypocrisy: We agree with government bailouts for the rich, but frown on aid for the poor.
The rich really love government grants – and Steve Gaynor and Aaron Lieberman prove it.
They are not the only or greatest beneficiaries of Uncle Sam’s generosity to well-heeled Americans throughout history.
But in their quest to become governor of Arizona, Gaynor and Lieberman give us a glimpse once again of how the well-to-do are all too happy to receive handouts while America generally frowns on the poor who ask for handouts. government aid.
Watch how government bailouts erase the political divide between elites.
Gaynor’s business got $1.6 million
Gaynor, a Republican, is CEO of B&D Litho California, a commercial printing company. He’s so wealthy that he’s committed $5 million in contributions and loans to his Arizona gubernatorial campaign.
And that’s not counting the roughly $2.6 million he spent on his failed 2018 bid to become Arizona’s secretary of state.
Still, Gaynor’s company received nearly $1.6 million from the Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was designed to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But an early round of rewards largely benefited large corporations, with just 28% of total cash financing loans under $150,000, according to an analysis of 2020 data by The Washington Post.
Gaynor’s company only has to repay about half of the $1.6 million it received in 2020 and 2021, according to The Arizona Republic and other reports.
Companies co-founded by Lieberman got $2.4 million
Meanwhile, two early childhood education companies that Lieberman co-founded have received more than $2.4 million from a 2020 PPP document, according to the same news reports.
Lieberman, a former state representative from posh Paradise Valley, is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. He lent $150,000 of his own money to this quest.
Lieberman left the day-to-day operations of those companies in 2015, but still sits on the board providing oversight.
Both Lieberman and Gaynor reportedly explained that the federal PPP helped them save dozens of jobs, just as it was designed to do.
The federal government under Trump and later under President Biden poured out billions of dollars to save businesses — rightly or not — and to help ordinary Americans make ends meet during the pandemic.
We like handouts for the rich, but not for the poor
Gaynor and Lieberman did nothing illegal. Their respective companies simply happily accepted federal government subsidies, as so many others have done — now and in the past — from airlines to automakers to banks.
Executives like them — however distant Lieberman may be from his co-founded companies — almost always end up getting rich, with disposable income to do whatever they want, including investing a lot of money in political aspirations.
What’s embarrassing is that hardly anyone blinks when the rich use federal government money at every opportunity in the name of progress or to save a few jobs.
But heaven forbid if the less fortunate need additional help from the government, including increased unemployment benefits, childcare, health insurance or food stamps.
Yes, the middle class and the poor have also received tons of help during the pandemic.
But helping the less fortunate, who usually have a harder time bouncing back, almost always becomes a political war while the rich, ironically, stay rich or get richer.
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