Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi addressing the American people.

The latest federal stimulus package, or how Congress gives more to the ultra-wealthy while trying to appear that they actually give a shit about the American people. 

By Alan J. Yeck

As I write this, the discussions are taking place in Washington as whether to give a $600 stimulus check or a $2,000 stimulus check. To me, as a citizen, at this point the dollar amount is the least of our concerns. We have a government that has spent the last nine months doing absolutely nothing other than campaign rhetoric and arguing with each other as many Americans continue to suffer. It doesn’t matter what political side you may fall on because there is no victory for the people.

The latest 5,593 page federal relief stimulus package was delivered to Congress just before they voted on it. This gave lawmakers a very, very short amount of time to read the equivalent of Stephen King’s “IT” five times over (which at least in his story evil is defeated), which means it is unlikely they read it at all. This $2.3 trillion package, of which only $900 billion is in response to the pandemic is shameful. SHAMEFUL. It  includes a whole treasure chest for those with the most treasure already. 

Senator Mitch McConnell leads Senate in checking with their boss on stimulus plan.

Some citizens are on the edge of ruin and $600, or $2,000 will do absolutely nothing to save them. Others do not need the money but they’re sending it anyway. This is their brilliant plan? Nine months to come up with this – ready, shoot, aim. The government has the capability to dig deeper into the data and target the aid to make the biggest impact. To identify our fellow citizens that need the most help is certainly possible, unless you’re our government today. Good job, Nancy. Good job, Mitch. Now let’s celebrate the holidays.

There has always been dysfunction with our political leaders but it was never a job requirement until the last few decades. My late uncle, John Malloy, told me about growing up in Chicago in the 1930s. Politicians were corrupt then – kickbacks for contracts, payoffs for votes…but the people had public parks, and swimming pools and  libraries… everyone knew the politicians were taking a little extra on the side but they took care of the people. Today, they take it all and the people are abandoned. That was 30 years ago when he told me that and it’s only gotten worse.

We have been conditioned to believe that ‘the lesser of two evils,’ and/or ‘better than nothing,’ are legitimate, acceptable positions. We have been told these lies for so long that we’ve started to believe them but the ‘lesser of two evils’ is still evil and less, and something that is ‘better than nothing’ is not actually better.

We, me and you, pay around $4 billion a year for congress operating expenses and this is what we get in return. Zero leadership, zero ethics, zero compassion, zero understanding. Nine months to put together a real plan using real data and this is the best they could do for us? Shame on them all. 

References

MacMillan, Douglas, Peter Whoriskey, and Jonathan O’Connell. 2020. America’s biggest companies are flourishing during the pandemic and putting thousands of people out of work. December 16. Accessed December 28, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/business/50-biggest-companies-coronavirus-layoffs/.