With congressional leaders at an impasse over the next relief package — “Nancy Pelosi wants to extend the $600-a-week benefits, while Mitch McConnell wants to give people just enough to starve,” Noah joked — Trump signed a string of executive orders over the weekend. In name, the orders were touted as extending unemployment benefits, curbing evictions, providing student loan relief and suspending payroll taxes; in practice, however, they’re far vaguer, practically ineffective, and both Democrats and some Republicans have argued they’re straight-up unconstitutional.
Despite those qualifiers, Noah noted Trump deserved some credit for recognizing that “Congress is so gridlocked that they can make even him look good. Because it doesn’t matter if his executive orders are illegal or toothless or completely unworkable, he understands that even the appearance of doing something is better than the appearance of going on recess in the middle of a recession — which is what Congress is doing!”
Noah even gave it up for some of the core ideas of Trump’s executive orders, such as banning evictions, even though the host joked, “I’m pretty sure that Trump only wants that because he thinks it means he can’t get kicked out of the White House.” But Noah added that Trump’s attempt to freeze payroll taxes will either lead to Americans being hit with a huge bill when they’re unfrozen or force big cuts to Social Security, which payroll taxes fund.
“In many ways, Trump’s executive orders are like those coupons you get where it says the good news in big letters, ‘Free Value Meal!,’” Noah joked. “But then on the bottom in small print, it says, ‘Offer only valid in Alaska between two and four in the morning and if Jerry is working, then you have to share your fries with him.’”