The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill is on its way to relieve a battered and bruised nation that has weathered unimaginable catastrophes during a year of unprecedented anguish, stemming from a global pandemic that has so far killed over 500K Americans, and left millions of households stricken with ills of financial instability.
Back when COVID-19 seemed like a temporary setback that would be defeated by the fall of 2020, the first historic relief bill was issued in March 2020, and it included the cushion of a weekly addition of $600 to the regulated amount for unemployment benefits, as the incentive to keep out-of-work Americans somewhat secured and ready to rejoin the workforce.
But as we know, by the time that booster of $600 had run its course in July, the nation was still in the throes of a deadly virus that was cruelly raging with no end in sight.
And yet, while it was abundantly clear that the so-called “booming economy” that the traitorous Trump administration had touted as its banner for the 2020 presidential election season was dissolving into a pool of increasing joblessness as crippled companies waved the flag of defeat — there was no emergency strategy brought forth by the GOP and Democrats.
Instead, Steve Munchin, former Treasury Secretary who is worth a whopping $300 million, and his fellow cowardly Republicans had the audacity to shame the needy for daring to rely on the extra $600, as the resource that barely held back threats of homelessness, ensuring desperate American families can eat three meals a day.
Imagine accommodating the absolute fright of a national health crisis that forces a mandated lockdown and abruptly steals away the ability to be financially independent. And instead of the swift rescue of the federal government that provides the necessary resources to prevent the worst case scenario until normalcy returns — the much-needed aid is drastically reduced.
Since COVID-19 became our cumbersome reality, Republican leaders have consistently downplayed the terror that jobless Americans face, navigating a threatening landscape of staying alive in the middle of a national health crisis , while dealing with the staggering blow of indefinite unemployment, as monthly bills stack up, including rent and utilities.
It took until the end of 2020 for the release of a second Relief Bill, that was worth about $900 billion with a portion allotted to another stimulus check for the lesser amount of &600, and an extra $300 added to unemployment benefits, which is half the amount that was previously designated with the first COVID relief package.
By the time the Trump administration had successfully passed the second stimulus package, unemployment benefits had officially expired, and you have to remember that this was during the holiday season, an ordinarily stressful period, even without the suffocating pressures of juggling a global pandemic and financial hardships.
The months and months of combative negotiations between two warring parties, containing pampered and privileged politicians on both sides who were more invested in ambitious pursuits than the valiant quest to save sinking American households from fracturing beyond repair, definitely took its toll on an ailing economy hopelessly clinging to a non-existent lifeline.
President Biden ran on the promise that his newly-minted administration would be duly committed to the task of repairing the serious damage that COVID-19 has wrought on millions of Americans, who’ve been suffering the terrible consequences of what they couldn’t have anticipated.
It seems that Biden’s working class background permanently shaped his outlook, allowing him to summon the empathy of relating to the frightening concept of losing everything without notice, and being forced to become a recipient of whatever the state and federal agencies can disperse.
What a national health crisis has revealed, after a rollercoaster ride that lasted a year and counting is prolifically astounding in the worst way possible.
Before COVID-19 hit the United States, most working Americans were using overtime pay to compensate for the incurable virus of wage stagnation.
While corporate CEOs like JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon gift themselves million dollar bonuses on top of their already robust annual salaries, the junior employees of these mega-institutions have to contend with paltry paychecks that don’t match accumulated years of consistent output.
Back in 2019, when gathering together at a Senate hearing didn’t require masks and social distancing or the safer option of Zoom, Congresswoman Katie Porter memorably grilled Jamie Dimon over his damning complicity, when it comes to the gluttony of his ultra-wealthy bank, that’s demonstrated through the ultra-low starting salaries of bank tellers.
Vulnerable working Americans who don’t make enough money to save for a rainy day or even worse, a typhoon year were absolutely going to be the ones to demand an elaborate rescue plan that would attempt to keep stumbling households from falling flat without hope of rebuilding.
Unfortunately, the recklessness of the federal government has made it clear that being in the unenviable position of not having unlimited resources to maintain the lifestyle that won’t buckle from the ire of a global pandemic is a death sentence.
Sending off approved historic relief packages to populations that can’t afford anything less is one thing, but what about the dismal state-of-affairs of the job market, that’s still being unfairly hostile to job seekers who are even more helpless than ever were before?
As someone who absolutely hated the torturous process of job hunting pre-COVID, the current climate is beyond excruciating, thanks to the overbearingness of emboldened employers, who are unwilling to offer decent starting salaries or hourly pay, due to the over-saturation of hungry candidates who will accept just about anything to survive their lives.
What happens when government aid and state assistance run out, and the still too high number of unemployed households are left to plunge deeper into helplessness and hopelessness?
America is revered around the world for the riches and invaluable resources that know no bounds, and yet hardworking citizens who faithfully played their roles to maintain the health and viability of a shiny economy were mercilessly forced to discover their worthlessness during a season of indescribable trauma.
We know now that relying on the federal government for lifesaving measures is basically a death sentence, even when the world is ending.
History has already spoken, and America the ugly will not be forgiven.