Only $600 Dollars Will Go To Some Americans From The $900 Billion Financial Aid Package
Democrats and Republicans announced that they’ve arrived at an agreement for another round of Covid-19 pandemic aid for Americans on Sunday. The $900 billion economic relief package will include a combination of direct payments to people, enhanced unemployment benefits and funds for businesses.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said about the bipartisan financial aid package, “This agreement is far from perfect, but it will deliver emergency relief to a nation in the throes of a genuine emergency.” His counterpart, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader said, “We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time,” and “More help is on the way.”
Here’s an overview of the where the money is going:
- Stimulus checks will be given out to millions of Americans. This includes $600 per adult and child. A family of four would receive $2,400. There is a catch. The monetary benefit is reduced for people who earned over $75,000 in 2019. Those who had earnings greater than $99,000 won’t receive a check at all.
- The legislation calls for an additional enhanced $300 to weekly unemployment benefits for 11 weeks commencing December 27.
- A temporary pandemic-era unemployment benefits program for contract and gig-economy type workers will be extended for 11 more weeks.
- $284 billion will be allocated for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the form of small business loans.
- $25 billion is earmarked for rental assistance and an extension of a federal eviction moratorium.
- Airlines will receive $15 billion for payroll support.
- The bill calls for $82 billion allocated to education providers such as schools and colleges.
- $10 billion for child care assistance.
- $13 billion in increased child and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
- The bill gives $7 billion to bolster broadband access to help Americans connect remotely during the pandemic.
- Billions of dollars to assist with the coronavirus vaccine distribution, testing and contract tracing efforts and health care workers.
- A tax credit to support employers offering paid sick leave.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions. Last time the PPP was announced, large corporations, wealthy well-connected powerful people and unscrupulous characters captured the lion’s share of the funds. Who will be monitoring the small business loan program to ensure that everything is executed fairly?
Why are the taxpayers funding failing airlines with multi billion dollars after they’ve made so many self-inflicted injuries including ill-fated stock buybacks and lucrative pay packages to their CEOs and top executives? Shouldn’t we, the taxpayers, at least receive equity in the companies for our largess?
Doesn’t $600 seem like a slap in the face to the average American who endured the brunt of the disease and it’s consequences while billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Elon Musk and others profited handsomely during the pandemic?
Amazon served a great service during the shutdown, however, they richly benefited due to our politicians’ edicts to shut down so-called non-essential businesses and told us to stay at home. This enabled online companies to capture the consumer and reap windfalls in profits and skyrocketing stock prices. Wouldn’t it seem fair and reasonable to tax these companies and use these funds to add to the $600 amount?
If you live in highly expensive cities like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and San Francisco a salary of $75,000 or $99,000 doesn’t go too far because of the high tax rates, exorbitant housing costs and living expenses. Why should these people be shut out from receiving any financial help?
While the relief funds are welcomed, it feels as if the everyday American won’t really receive the needed benefits to make it through this neverending pandemic.
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Originally published at https://www.forbes.com.