Jobless, Hungry, Desperate People Want Money, Not Bipartisanship

They owe us $18,200 now and $2,000 a month after

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The already insufficient $1.9 trillion proposal from the Biden administration to address Americans’ immediate material needs due to the Covid-19 pandemic looks like it may be watered down in President Biden’s efforts to reach a bipartisan agreement. 10 Republican senators are proposing an alternative $600 billion plan, indicating they would be willing to help Democrats achieve the 60-vote cloture threshold if he’s willing to go smaller in his pursuit of a bipartisan stimulus bill.

I’ll get to why this is a terrible idea. But the best way might be to just show you something that just happened in Littleton, Colorado.

A few days ago, a carjacker targeted a 63-year-old woman in her minivan while she was in a car wash. Video shows the attacker grabbing her, biting her, and throwing her out before driving away. The carjacker is still at large as of this writing.

I genuinely hope they catch this scumbag and that the lady he attacked is okay. But can we just reflect for a moment how desperate someone has to be to carjack a 2011 Toyota Sienna? While it’s in a carwash? While attacking a driver who is almost Medicare age? Would this have happened if the carjacker had been getting $2,000 monthly checks since March?

(A masked woman shopping in a grocery store. Licensed image: Shutterstock)

Like I wrote in December, the millions of people who are months behind on rent and bills and facing eviction and trying their best to exist on scant unemployment benefits are growing increasingly desperate. Even though shoplifting is on the rise, the most commonly stolen items are basic grocery staples like bread, pasta, baby formula, and diapers. These aren’t items that can be flipped on the street, so it seems safe to say these shoplifters would buy these items instead if they could count on guaranteed monthly $2,000 checks.

Democrats know the country is struggling. They won a trifecta majority for the first time in nearly a decade by promising Americans $2,000 stimulus checks. Before she was Vice President, Kamala Harris co-sponsored a bill with Ed Markey and Bernie Sanders that would have sent $2,000 monthly checks to everyone until the pandemic was over.

This idea is hugely popular — especially in the swing state of Georgia. A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll found that $2,000 checks had a +56 favorability rating, which is way higher than the two Democratic senators and the Democratic president Georgia just elected.

But now, the Democratic Party — including even Bernie Sanders — is gaslighting us into making us think the promise this whole time was a one-time, $1,400 check which would add up to $2,000 after including the $600 from December (@Demswatchdog made a two-minute montage of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Jon Ossoff, and Raphael Warnock all promising $2,000 checks in the lead-up to the Georgia runoffs. I could only stomach 30 seconds of it).

It’s truly mind-boggling to think that Democrats defeated an incumbent Republican president, maintained their House majority, and won a Senate majority all on the promise of giving people free money, and then still managed to fuck that up. This is apparently all in an effort to be “bipartisan” with the same people who rammed through Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement, with a sneer and a hearty “elections have consequences,” just a few months ago.

The insistence on bipartisanship seems to be prodded by sniveling beltway media outlets like Politico. Reporters who are comfortable and privileged enough to treat politics like team sports apparently think Biden should be taken to task for not immediately giving into the demands of the opposition party — whose leaders just instigated an deadly terrorist attack on the Capitol — despite overwhelmingly defeating them in the most recent election.

As of this writing, Politico has yet to ask people who are 10 months behind on rent if they think it’s important for the next Covid relief bill to have bipartisan support.

Thankfully, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer seems ready to abandon bipartisanship if it means watering down Covid relief, saying “the dangers of undershooting our response are far greater than the dangers of overshooting it.”

“We should have learned the lesson, from 2008 and 2009, when Congress was too timid and constrained in its response to the global financial crisis and it took years — years — for the economy to get out of recession,” Schumer said.

Even Governor Jim Justice (R-West Virginia), whose state voted for Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a 39-point margin, made it clear the focus should be on getting as much money as possible to needy people right away.

“We’ve got people who are really hurting, I mean that’s just all there is to it,” Justice told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “My executive assistant came in the other day and said that not far from my home, there was an elderly man who froze to death in his house and everything. Probably couldn’t afford to pay the power bill.”

To his credit, President Biden has indicated his first Covid relief bill would be bipartisan, and that he’d be in favor of a subsequent bill that would be much more robust and be passed with a simple 51-vote majority in the Senate under the reconciliation process. But that requires a) even more time that people like the elderly man in West Virginia don’t have and b) assuming Democrats won’t just lie and gaslight us again like they’re doing with the $1,400 nonsense.

Given the overwhelming level of popular support for $2,000 checks, the fact that Fed chair Jerome Powell has said there’s “no limit” to how big of a stimulus Congress should pursue, and that many other countries have already been providing their citizens with regular monthly payments during the pandemic, there’s no reason we shouldn’t get $2,000 a month, every month, until the pandemic is over, retroactive to March when we all lost our jobs. If we’re counting the $1200 and $600 checks we already got, then Democrats owe us $18,200 now, and $2,000 every month until we’re all vaccinated.