“Authorities spending is a HUGE drawback,” the conservative video website PragerU tweeted in September 2019. “We should reinvest in Individuals by giving them a hand up, not handouts,” the group wrote in one other tweet that November with a video of then-Secretary of Housing and City Growth Ben Carson discussing rehabilitation for incarcerated folks titled, “Individuals Want A Hand Up, Not Handouts.”

However final 12 months, right-wing teams which have lengthy opposed the idea of elevated authorities spending on “handouts” had been the recipients of greater than $1.7 million in Paycheck Safety Program loans whereas seeing vital will increase in contributions or internet property, in accordance with new analysis from the federal government watchdog group Accountable.US. Final April, the Small Enterprise Administration launched the $349 billion emergency mortgage program to assist small companies struggling on the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

PPP loans to Prager College Basis, the Ayn Rand Institute, and Individuals for Tax Reform Basis had been all made public final summer season. However not too long ago launched 990 kinds for 2020 present that every teams noticed vital will increase in contributions or internet income on the identical time they acquired a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} in authorities subsidies.

“Proper-wing teams that wave their finger at federal aid spending for native governments and dealing households by no means appear to thoughts when it advantages them,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, mentioned in a press release. “The identical individuals who’ve made careers out of bashing authorities packages had been among the many first in line for taxpayer-funded help throughout the COVID-19 disaster — assist supposed for struggling mom-and-pop companies. Their hypocrisy is trumped solely by their shamelessness. If these teams had been critical about their very own purported rules, they’d return that cash to the taxpayers.”

On the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic final 12 months, not lengthy earlier than Prager College Basis acquired a PPP mortgage, Dennis Prager was already at work downplaying the severity of the virus. Movies posted all through the pandemic by the conservative video website PragerU, which Prager co-founded in 2011, alleged that there was an “orchestrated assault” towards the experimental use of hydroxychloroquine, and that the loss of life toll from Covid-19 has been inflated. The group’s YouTube web page has 2.9 million subscribers, and it mentioned its movies had been seen greater than 1 billion instances in 2019.

Prager College Basis, which hosts PragerU, acquired greater than $704,000 in PPP loans the identical 12 months that it noticed a 55 p.c, $12.3 million enhance in contributions from 2019, and a $15 million enhance in internet price over the identical interval. The nonprofit group, based in 2009, has lengthy criticized the idea of presidency spending and “handouts.” In October, PragerU printed a video titled “The Bankrupting of America,” which criticized former President Donald Trump’s approval of “a large enhance in authorities spending” throughout the pandemic, in addition to extra spending by President Joe Biden.

The Ayn Rand Institute acquired greater than $713,000 in PPP loans final spring. The group’s mission is “to create a tradition whose guiding rules are purpose, rational self-interest, individualism and laissez-faire capitalism—a tradition through which people are free to pursue their very own happiness.”

Final Could, ARI posted a weblog explaining why it was OK to simply accept authorities assist regardless of Rand’s well-known place towards such packages. “The CARES Act has created an ethical dilemma for these Individuals who worth freedom,” they wrote. “The pandemic has price them their jobs, their financial savings, their companies. And so they blame a major a part of this loss on the federal government. However as a result of they oppose authorities handouts, they fear that accepting CARES cash can be a breach of integrity. On the Ayn Rand Institute, we’re devoted to philosophic precept. And since we’re, we are going to take any aid cash supplied us. We’ll take it unapologetically, as a result of the precept right here is: justice.”

ARI reported $7.6 million in contributions final 12 months, a 19 p.c enhance from 2019. The group reported $1.2 million in positive factors final 12 months, up from losses of $790,000 in 2019.

Individuals for Tax Reform Basis, the nonprofit wing of Individuals for Tax Reform, acquired greater than $290,000 in PPP aid final spring. The group mentioned the mortgage helped the corporate keep away from layoffs, writing that it’s “a legally and financially separate analysis and academic 501(c)3” that “was badly damage by the federal government shutdown.” ATRF’s internet property elevated final 12 months by 36 p.c or $4.6 million, chopping its 2019 deficit of $17.5 million to $12.9 million. Individuals for Tax Reform and its basis had been based in 1985 by Republican Grover Norquist at former President Ronald Reagan’s request, to oppose all tax will increase.

Regardless of its acknowledged goals, billions of {dollars} in Paycheck Safety Program loans went to rich enterprise house owners and never the mother and pop retailers they had been designed to assist. A number of such small companies had been denied outright or acquired much less cash than they requested for. The PPP program was additionally accused of shutting out Black small enterprise house owners.

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