Democrats Are Means-Testing Themselves Out of Power

"$1400 for some" is not "$2000 for everyone"

(Image by @GoodPoliticGuy on Twitter)

My most recent post talked about how Democrats were dropping the ball by breaking a campaign promise — $2,000 checks for everyone, immediately — right off the bat, despite the fact that they won a trifecta based on this specific promise. It’s not even that “$2,000 checks” became “technically $2,000 if you count the $600 ‘down payment’ from The Orange Boogeyman,” it’s the fact that roughly 40 million people who got checks last time may be excluded this time around due to Democrats’ desire to provide “targeted” (means-tested) assistance.

Justice Democrats political director Amira Hassan pointed out that if Democrats implement stricter means testing for this new round of stimulus checks, the “down payment” argument is no longer valid.

David Sirota and Andrew Perez at The Daily Poster break it down better than I can:

The Washington PostHuffPost and Bloomberg are reporting that Democrats may limit full $1,400 survival checks to individuals earning less than $50,000 and couples earning less than $100,000. A bipartisan group of senators is also now pushing an amendment to “ensure upper-income taxpayers are not eligible” for checks. At least one Democratic senator, Ron Wyden of Oregon, has said he opposes the new proposed income limits.

Biden’s original proposal would send full checks to individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000 — the same income limits Congress has used for previous rounds of checks.

The proposed changes, which are being discussed in the name of “targeting” payments to those who need it, could affect checks for millions of people who have previously received COVID economic impact payments. 

Under the new terms being debated, about four in ten Americans could be excluded or receive partial checks, according to census data. Roughly 36 percent of U.S. households earn more than $100,000 — and some of the 29 percent of American households earning between $50,000 and $100,000 are single households. 

I’m just going to go on record and say that I really don’t give a shit if Jeff Bezos gets a $2,000 check from the government if it means we all get ours too.

Send Bezos a check. Send one to Bill Gates. Send one to Warren Buffett, and one to Zuck, and to Jamie Dimon, and some NFL team owners and hedge fund jagoffs. What’s cool about rich people getting government checks who don’t need them is that you can claw them back with a simple little thing called “taxes.”

Rich people getting checks isn’t as important as the people drowning in rent and bills and facing eviction getting help right away. While the Biden administration’s cabinet of millionaires and the Democratic-controlled Congress full of millionaires is figuring out how to further means-test life-saving aid, the people they promised $2,000 checks to literally month ago are drowning in poverty.

Aside from the fact that Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House and yet are still determined to decrease the amount of help for people during record unemployment in the middle of a pandemic, Republicans will almost certainly seize on the fact that Democrats violated their chief campaign promise when the 2022 midterms roll around.

In both 2016 and 2020, Democrats refused to run on policy, and instead simply ran on insisting that they weren’t The Orange Boogeyman. This didn’t work in 2016, and only worked in 2020 because we had just lived through four years with The Orange Boogeyman. It looks as if, once again, Democrats are basing their 2022 midterm strategy on the fact that The Other Guys Are Worse:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday began a $500,000 advertising campaign on television and online tying eight House Republicans, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, to Ms. Greene and QAnon, an effort to force them to make a public affirmation about Ms. Greene.

“Congressman Don Bacon,” an ominous-sounding voice intones in the ad targeting the Nebraska Republican, “he stood with Q, not you.”

As of February 5, 2021, Democrats have 641 days to make their case to voters why they should keep their majorities. While President Biden indicated he would pursue a second, more ambitious Covid relief bill, there’s no guarantee he would follow through — especially given that Democrats already backtracked on $2,000 checks. This makes it all the more vital for House Democrats to insist on $2,000 checks once the Senate stimulus bill reaches the House. Twitter user @YesYoureRacist grimly predicted that Democrats’ whiffing on stimulus checks would cost them.

I would personally like to prevent the party of Marjorie Taylor Greene from expanding its ranks in Congress. The best way to prevent that from happening is to just send the damn checks already.