America is now well into its fifth month of the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown response. It has been four months since the initial round of stimulus which was designed to help American and small businesses alike weather the Covid storm. Since then there has been no further aid provided to the population as a whole.
For much of June and most of July, Democrats or Republicans made no real attempts to even try and talk with each other about more aid to Americans. They went on summer break and are scheduled to go on break again in August.
In the meantime, Americans are suffering. Over 145,000 lives have been lost. Over four million have been inflicted with Covid-19 and the physical effects and damage to each person’s body is undetermined at this time.
Americans have had their small businesses shut down for months. A majority will never reopen. These mom and pop stores and retail shops, a life blood of America, will take from years to decades to be replaced.
Mom and pop restaurants have been closed, or forced into drive up service only, if they have curb side access. Over 60% of the closed restaurants have already announced that they will not reopen. Of the 40% that do reopen, maybe 50% will end up closing again forever.
Families savings are gone. Lives destroyed. 25% of the population fear that they will not be able to make rent or mortgage payments over the next two months.
4.1 million homes are already in forbearance. Millions others face the same in the coming months. And once in forbearance, unless servicers cooperate, homes will be foreclosed on.
Putting food on the table is becoming more and more difficult for families. Food banks are in greater demand than ever.
Bankruptcies are up, filed in order to keep consumer debt from crushing families so that they can try to keep their homes and put food on the table.
30 million people are on unemployment getting regular benefits plus the $600 per week stimulus. The stimulus ends this week, so life gets even tougher for these people. Meanwhile Congress continues to play games with the Republicans leading the way.
For the $600 stimulus, Democrats want to reinstate it to the end of the year. Republicans protest and only want to provide from $100-$200 per week. Why? Because many people are getting more on unemployment than working and therefore it is claimed that there is no incentive for them to go back to work.
What Republicans fail to acknowledge is that most of those who are getting more on unemployment with the stimulus than when working are low income earners. They are people who work in the services industry as restaurant employees, hotel workers, personal care industries,retail store workers, etc. They are hard working people who are the backbone of the country.
These people would much rather be working than not. It is not their fault that they are now unemployed with little likelihood that they will not have jobs to return to, but instead will have to try and gain skills and employment in industries far removed from what they were doing.
As well, there is another group of people that are on the other side of the spectrum. These are people in high cost areas of the country like California, Washington, New York, Boston and other cities and states. The $600 unemployment stimulus money either barely provides them to keep up with their money debt and expenses, or else they fall still farther behind.
If Congress approves only $100 or $200 per week additional unemployment stimulus, large segments of the population will be subjugated to greater hardship than they are facing even now. but the hardships do not stop with just this portion of the population.
The $600 per week provides over $70 billion per month in economic stimulus to all parts of the economy. Those stores and restaurants that have been able to reopen as well as those who never closed have shared the benefit of the stimulus by being able to keep the doors open. Reduce the stimulus to $100-$200 per week, and Congress is sentencing most of these other businesses to failure as well as harming the people who are dependent upon this money for their own survival.
Oh, yes, I can hear you now. “We can’t keep doing this. This will add to the National Debt!” To that I say “horse pucky.” You don’t care each year when it comes time to prepare a new budget for the country. In fact, you ignore the debt so that you can fund your own special programs and keep getting reelected to office. So that argument does not fly.
The truth is that the debt will never be paid off! And you know it. Nor does it need to be paid off as long as the debt service on the debt can be paid.
What is important now is that Congress step up and do what is right for all Americans. Congress must enact;
- Realistic relief programs that will allow businesses to reopen and meet expenses until they can become self sufficient and thrive again.
- Provide low interest rate loans to failed businesses so they can reopen.
- Suspend regulations that make it difficult for businesses to reopen.
- Reinstate the $600 unemployment stimulus so that the unemployed will be able to meet their obligations.
- Provide more than just another one time payment of $1200 to each person in America. Plan on issuing three or more so that the money can go to ensuring that Americans can support the new businesses.
It is not about the money any longer. It is about providing Americans with the ability and the resources to spend money that will restart the economy. It is about getting the money into the hands of the people who will spend the money on what they need which will restart the economy.
Most of all, it is about you, Congress, getting off your butts and working together like you cared about your fellow Americans and not just getting reelected.
You are able to come together if you try. You did so after 9-11, when America was frightened from the threat of a repeat terrorist attack. What we are facing is far more severe than 9-11. Now is the time to step up and come together for the sake of your fellow Americans. So……
STEP UP AND WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF AMERICA AND AMERICANS! IT IS LONG PAST THE TIME TO DO SO!
As always, my thanks go out to Mark and the other Moderators for allowing me to write and post for SpartaReport. It is a great honor to be a participant here.
And as always in closing, remember…
LIFE IS GOOD! (No matter how badly politicians screw things up.)