A NEW BILL, ANOTHER SLAP IN THE FACE
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.