A New Bill, Another Slap In The Face

Blog#54- 12/23/20

Richard Davis

The elite American ruling class, aka Congress, has once again proven that they do not understand or respect the hardship that a majority of Americans are experiencing. They are also making it clear that they are only willing to offer crumbs to a starving population.

The most recent stimulus package that just passed after months of political posturing is a slap in the face to most Americans. It provides a one-time check of $600 to people whose income is below $75,000. The people who crafted this legislation have no idea what $600 buys in the real world. I suspect most of them never shop for their own necessities, never clean their own houses and could not tell you what a gallon of milk, a gallon of heating oil or a package of toilet paper costs.

They hide behind the excuse of necessary political compromise. We elected them to work for us and not hide behind a corrupt and rotten political system. We elected some of them because we thought they might be able to bring significant numbers of other politicians with them as they rise above politics as usual. But that has proven to be impossible.

And it gets worse. According to a description of the stimulus bill in the Washington Post, “Congress will extend unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week. The benefit could kick in as early as Dec. 27 and run at least through March 14. An unemployment benefits program for contract and gig workers, which is set to expire at the end of the year, would be extended, too. Some 20.6 million people are still on some form of unemployment aid, though officials say that number is inflated by duplicate claims and issues tied to backlogs in state unemployment systems. Weekly jobless claims have been back on the rise in recent weeks as families head into the holiday season.”

By providing unemployed people with a $300 a week supplement to their unemployment insurance congress makes Scrooge look like a saint. Talk about being divorced from reality. They will likely never be punished for their inhumane acts and voters tend to be stupid enough not to make a connection between the person who treats them like a sub-human creature and the politician looking for their vote.

Democrats and Republicans in Washington played their usual games as eight million more Americans were forced into poverty and businesses and municipalities began to bleed red ink. The Washington Post also notes that, “The bill lacks new money for state and local governments. Democrats had initially pushed for $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments. Mayors and governors have been sounding alarms over budget shortfalls and the hard choices they may be forced to make without help from Washington. States that rely heavily on the tourism or energy industries are among those that have been hit hardest and are warning of tax increases, public-sector layoffs or spending cuts to public programs.”

I can’t help but be outraged watching politicians being the first to get the COVID vaccine while states struggle to find a way to get a promised vaccine supply so they can give it to frontline workers whose lives are at risk. They think they are using their public spectacle to provide a leadership example to Americans who may be reluctant to get the vaccine. It should only take one or two high profile people to publicly be vaccinated to get that message across.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the lack of meaningful support for struggling Americans but Mitch McConnell’s ideologically driven power lust is responsible for much of the delay in the stimulus bill and the near total disregard for the lives of at-risk Americans.

We haven’t had a functional President for months and it is not clear how Biden will be able to make things better for this country as long as he has to fight with McConnell and his cabal at every turn.

If there ever was a time for an American revolution this is it. But the American people are at one of their lowest emotional and economic points in decades and they are losing the strength to fight back because they see so few signs of hope. The new stimulus bill sends a clear message that the lives of the majority of Americans are not worth much.

Comments | 6

  • And then comes Trump...

    Trump’s quick announcement last night saying the spending bill was full of unnecessary pork and was skimpy on payments to Americans was fascinating. It was both very Trump-like and not very Trump-like at the same time. It’s practically Sanders-esque. It’s really worth watching the 5 minutes or so.

    It’ll be interesting to see how friends who couldn’t stand the sight or sound of him for the last 4 years will react. Will they refuse the extra ‘Trump $1,400’? Doubtful. : ) But Trump, in this instance, is standing up for Americans the way Richard writes that other politicians are not. AOC and other lefties jumped at Trump’s suggestion.

    I’m happy he put a pause on the bill for other reasons. Buried inside were some really terrible copyright reforms and streaming penalties that members of Congress were trying to sneak through. Perhaps they will be taken out in the next version.

    • Trump asking for more

      Trump not signing the bill has nothing to do with money for Americans. He found a way to mess up the holidays for all of the Washington politicians and make their lives more difficult. He will also brag about how he cares about poor Americans but the 79 million people whose brains still work know that is a lie. This is about revenge and gaining the upper hand. Nothing more.

  • Even a Broken Clock...

    You all know the old saying, but in case you don’t, I’ll include it here: Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    That was the thought I had when I learned The Orange One wanted to halt the stimulus bill, and is demanding a bigger check get distributed. “Wait, THAT GUY wants people like me to have more money?!”

    Of course, this doesn’t mean he’s right, or strategic, or has what passes for his “heart” in the right place.

    But it sure is curious.

  • tick tick kerplunk

    I’m not sure I agree that his motive was to mess up holidays for politicians (or how saying $600 should be increased to $2k is revenge….), but do agree about broken clocks. The very next day he refuses to sign the Defense bill unless the open internet is destroyed by repealing CDA Section 230 entirely. Section 230 is what allows sites to moderate some content without being liable for all of it. Without section 230, sites can either moderate each and every submission individually, do no moderation and allow the worst of the worst to take over, or just shut down.

    As much as I disliked Bush II and Cheney, there was one day when GW said something along the lines of “Americans should get more exercise.” It was the one time I found myself not disagreeing with him. : )

  • Oh well

    Well, he signed the stimulus bill. The GOP held firm and said NO to extra money for Americans. Hurrah! Thanks for protecting me form extra cash. Phew! That was close.

    So, enjoy the extra $600 if you qualify. If we count from last July, that’s $100 a month! About $3 a day! Good thing rents are only $100 a month… er… um… well…. not really. At least no one has any other monthly expenses… er… um, well… not really. Good thing there aren’t late fees piling up for anyone…

    And look forward to some more lawsuits for using the internet. Copyright law changes have been snuck in to this bill, as have changes to rules about streaming media… changes that benefit big corporations and not any of us. The chances of any of us being sued for sharing things that aren’t 100% original on the internet just went way up.


    Wish Trump had held firm and GOP had caved. We’d be better off for it.

  • Strange times

    Now Sanders plans to filibuster unless the Senate agrees to bump things to $2k, and Trump is supporting him in this effort. The House already passed an amendment to bump things to $2k.

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