Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: March 9, 2020

10 03 2020

The Proposed Payroll Tax Relief – This is NOT a Good Idea

Trump is proposing a payroll tax relief to help people.  Right now, your payroll tax is 6.2%, which means for every $100 you make, you are paying $6.20.   Barclay’s economist Michael Gapen said that it would likely be something that Obama did by reducing the payroll tax to 4.2%, which means for every $100 you make, you would only pay $4.20, which only gives you $2.00 extra per $100 you make.  If you only make $1000 a month, you would get $20.00 a month extra.  If milk cost $5.00 a gallon (it’s cheaper usually but just to give you an idea), you could buy 4 extra gallon of milk a month, or maybe one prescription medication if your copay is $20.00.  Breadcrumbs for the poor if they are still employed when this happens. 

But here is the kicker-in-your-ass:  “A temporary cut in the payroll tax can help workers who are still drawing a paycheck, but if you’re idled due to the virus and don’t have paid leave, it doesn’t help you,” he said. 

If you start hearing THIS is the plan they are going to choose to offer to the masses, you get on the phone and call your senators and representatives immediately.  Other economists are recommending that Congress that for the short-term to aid those affected by the virus, they could help defray the health care costs of those infected and also reducing the Social Security payroll tax for all workers.  That might have been a good idea though before they decided to allow corporations to pay zero taxes and now the GOP are back on their policy of cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.  But once again, if they decide to reduce the Social Security payroll tax for all workers, it assumes you are working which you might not be if you lose your job because 1) the business had to cut back or went under because people were too scared to go out in public and spend money and 2) you haven’t been asked to self-quarantine you and/or your family.  If you are a gig worker, like an Uber or Lyft driver you wouldn’t qualify for this program either.  If you are retired, this won’t help you either because you don’t get a paycheck anymore. 

But let’s also remember that through the GOP tax bill, in 2019 anyone making $30,000 or under will have had your wages taxed at a higher rate, which might be a big surprise to you when you file your tax return and your amount was less than last year.  Don’t worry people making $40,000 or under in 2021, you’ll have to pay more taxes on your income in 2021 which you’ll discover when you file those taxes April 2022.  And remember how many corporations who supposedly got a tax break that said they would pay 15% of their profits only paid….ZERO.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention submitted a plan that they wanted to recommend that the elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of COVID-19.   White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed.  An official with direct knowledge of the plan who then spoke to the news.  This is the reason why they wanted all statements to go through them so they could decide what is told to the public and what is not.  Instead, they suggested that certain people should consider not traveling, but have stopped short of the guidance sought by the CDC.  And they wonder why they are having a crisis in credibility which spills over to the stock market.  It makes you wonder what else they are not telling us. 


As of 1:13 a.m. ET on March 10, 2020, 114,100 people were confirmed positive worldwide with 4020 people having died; all but 884 people died from the mainland China totals.  It is affecting 102 countries now. 

Some excellent news from China, though.  For the third day in a row their number of newly positive testing has diminished.  Between March 9 and March 10, there were only 19 new cases.  Italy has now taken the number 2 spot which had been held by South Korea. 

In sad news, Germany is reporting their first 2 deaths and Canada their first death.

New countries on our list today are Albania, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cyprus, and Mongolia. 

All countries are still reporting new positive testing (but these countries have remained the same in the last 24 hours, which again, does not necessarily mean that they have hit their peak but rather they either don’t have enough kits or are waiting for results or have logistical issues that is not allowing them to test:   Afghanistan, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greece, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, U.A.E., Ukraine, Vatican City, Vietnam, West Bank & Gaza. 

The United States, as of 1:13 a.m. on March 10, 2020, had 729 confirmed cases with sadly 26 deaths.