Are you feeling rescued yet?


Moscow Mitch has finally corralled his Republican parasites enough to allow a little money to trickle out to the public.

“More help is on the way. Moments ago, in consultation with our committees, the four leaders of the Senate and House finalized an agreement. It would be another major rescue package for the American people,” McConnell said. “As our citizens continue battling this coronavirus pandemic this holiday season, they will not be fighting alone.”

Wow. A Major Rescue Package. $900 billion dollars! How much is that for each of us?

The legislation includes stimulus checks for millions of Americans of up to $600 per person. The size of that benefit would be reduced for people who earned more than $75,000 in 2019 and disappear altogether for those who earned more than $99,000. The stimulus checks would provide $600 per adult and child, meaning a family of four would receive $2,400 up to a certain income.

Woo hoo! I qualify for the full $600, which will immediately disappear into a single mortgage payment, which is nice, I guess. I’m sure Bank of America will appreciate getting the money that I got to briefly hold in my hand. Oh, well. It’s nice to get a cookie.

If they were serious about rescue, though, I’d rather see some major structural changes to how the country is run. Like, how are there billionaires? And how did they get richer during the pandemic? Maybe, instead of a one shot sop, we could permanently siphon more of that American wealth out of the pockets of rich jerks and into the wages of the general public?

Comments

  1. lakitha tolbert says

    This is one oft he reasons I’m in full support of some kind of UBI (Universal Basic Income). We need more that a one time payment of up to 2,400 dollars. Maybe if they gave us 1,200 a month or something that might work, but these a**holes are so stingy giving us our money back,that its incredible!

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Going off on a tangent….Parasite # 2 (Boris Johnson) has made a disastrous blunder.
    .
    Boris Johnson has likely exaggerated the effect of the new strain of the virus in an attempt to blame the new strain for the need to have impopular restrictions over Christmas ( instead of them being the wholly predictable result of not starting stricter rules earlier).
    The new strain is more easily spread (70% more), but the major cause of spreading are the “super-spreaders” not the individual strain, and the clinical data has NOT been made available to the public, which suggests the government has chosen to “biggen up” the numbers for political reasons.
    .
    So the news of this putative super-virus has led to hysteria with some people leaving London.
    Even worse, surrounding countries are taking Bojo at his word. They have a bad situation and cannot afford to take any chances, even if they know Bojo is a compulsive liar.
    So now everyone in EU is shutting down travel from Britain.
    Trucks carrying food from France to Britain could end up getting stuck in Britain so many will probably refuse to take the risk of not getting back before the time limit when France will close the border for incoming traffic.
    .
    This was yet another predictable consequence, but this idiot NEVER EVER thinks about the long-term consequences of his actions.
    Britain is getting cut off from the continent even before Brexit. People (but not the government) will suffer. Badly.

  3. kome says

    Love how whatever financial relief Republicans allow the American people to feel is only enough to remind the poor of us how financially fucked our whole situation is rather than providing any real sense of relief. But the amount of taxpayer money they shovel towards major corporations and businesses is enough to keep the CEO and shareholders making bank while they fire workers to compensate for lost revenue.

    The guillotines can’t get here fast enough.

  4. PaulBC says

    Like, how are there billionaires? And how did they get richer during the pandemic?

    You don’t have to be a billionaire. I have the same job with the same salary but an even shorter commute. My expenses are lower (haven’t filled the gas tank in a month). My investments, retirement and otherwise, took a temporary hit in March and bounced way back.

    I feel a little like the guy in King Rat, though I am surrounded by other rats. None of us are starving.

  5. Rich Woods says

    @birgerjohannson #3:

    Britain is getting cut off from the continent even before Brexit. People (but not the government) will suffer. Badly.

    Many of us have been building up a Brexit stockpile for the last fifteen months, not knowing (thanks to government negotiating policy) which of the various deadlines is likely to be the critical one that blocks or delays fresh food imports into the UK and will take three or four weeks to sort out, to restore some semblance of normality (though no doubt with price increases). The supermarket chains have been doing some stockpiling of their own, but the demand for warehouse space has shot through the roof since last year, with manufacturing companies also wanting to stockpile components and then the pandemic response leading to a heavy demand for protective equipment of various grades and respirators, etc. Some supermarkets have struggled to rebuild their stocks after the first lockdown changed purchasing patterns.

    Given that it’s near impossible to stockpile fresh food it makes sense for individuals to stockpile food which will keep, because you know damn well that there’ll be widespread panic buying of everything once the news hits the tabloids that the first dozen* lorries of tomatoes can’t get through from the Netherlands. So, yes, a lot of people (especially poor people) will still suffer, but it’s the die-hard Brexiters who are most likely to suffer thanks to their stubborn belief the that the EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU.

    About 10,000 lorries bring goods into the UK every single day. Full or empty, they also have to be able to get back out of the UK in order to pick up the next day’s imports.

  6. davidc1 says

    @3 Is that why all them Londoners are heading to Yorkshire ?
    That johnson ,what a twat faced git he really is ,and as i am always
    saying ,i scoop things out of my cats litter tray that would do a better job
    of running the country .
    Has anyone called for a public inquiry into this govt’s handling of the pandemic,
    they could ask a few questions about the way they have spaffed millions of pounds to
    their mates for PPE contacts ,and millions more for crap Track and trace Apps .

  7. Who Cares says

    birgerjohansson(#3) wrote:

    Trucks carrying food from France to Britain could end up getting stuck in Britain so many will probably refuse to take the risk of not getting back before the time limit when France will close the border for incoming traffic.

    It is not just food, companies transporting non perishable goods and the extra containers that have been dumped in France & Belgium and the Netherlands due to traffic jams in the British ports (another side effect of Brexit), have had their drivers call the office and telling them they’d rather go on strike then go to GB for exactly this fear of not being able to get back. Others called their drivers back pro actively.

  8. numerobis says

    Akira MacKenzie: about 200-300. They’re in the $2.50 to $3.50 range each, no sales tax if you buy at least 6, and probably you can get a volume discount if you buy it all at once.

  9. PaulBC says

    Brioche? As a card carrying liberal, I thought I was supposed to spend it on avocado toast.

    (Never mind. Marie Antoinette reference, right?)

  10. PaulBC says

    I’m a little confused. Last time, most of my check was phased out, but my kids got the full amount, so I transferred it into their bank accounts. This time, I think my son will not get one, because he turned 17. (Read it somewhere.) But are the dependent checks now $600, actually higher than last time?

    There’s literally no reason to send me a relief check (which is the correct term if Americans weren’t such fucking idiots). I have been gainfully employed the whole time. I do not resent people getting this if they need it, and if would have done a hell of a lot of good to pay restaurant owners and employees to stay shut, but I guess that ship as already sailed.

    Needless to say, it won’t function as “stimulus” either. You might as well be sending your tax dollars to Ebenezer Scrooge.

  11. davidc1 says

    @7 Yeah ,container ship are parked up waiting to get in to Lowestoft ,will no one think of all those Model Makers (me included ) waiting to get their hands on the new Airfix 1/72 Bristol Beaufort ,will no one think of them ?
    @7 Bollox to the die hard britshitters ,don’t see why they are going to suffer anymore that the rest of us .

  12. whheydt says

    Re: lakitha @ #2…
    Last Spring, the Democrats proposed sending $2000 per month to each person, from March through however the pandemic lasted. You can tell how far that got with the Republicans…especially Moscow Mitch.

  13. whheydt says

    All the articles I’ve seen on the “package” have said that the last thing that led to agreement was a “compromise” on the Fed’s ability to do loans. While all the articles go into details about how much money is going where, none of them have said what the “compromise” is. What’s being hidden?

  14. Pierce R. Butler says

    whheydt @ # 16: … what the “compromise” is.

    Among other things,

    … Republicans had to give up a COVID-19 liability shield McConnell wanted, which would have prevented employees from having any recourse against their employers for putting them in unsafe conditions where they contracted COVID-19. … Democrats, for their part, had to give up a package of aid for state and local governments they had wanted.

  15. blf says

    whheydt@16, From Al Jazeera, US Congress seals deal to provide $900bn in COVID aid: “The bill would allow Federal Reserve emergency lending programmes to expire on December 31 for businesses and state and local governments, which Republicans said were an unnecessary government interference in private business. But it does not prevent similar programmes from being created.”

    So teh thugs got their wish not to continue the current programmes, and the dummies got theirs to not have the Fed’s hands preemptively tied.

  16. wzrd1 says

    @birgerjohansson, the full genome is being sequenced as we speak. A couple of mutations on the spike protein have been detected and models suggest that the new configuration of the spike protein is 70% more infective. No testing on live organisms has been conducted yet.
    The US Army has a sample and is setting up testing in the lab to see if it’s more infectious and if the virus is mutating toward evading the vaccine, which is thought to be unlikely due to a lack of selection pressure at this time.

    In other news, martial law was proposed during a contentious cabinet meeting. That notion was shelved when the military reminded all that last month, all were notified, military wide, that the military has no interest or obligation to interfere in election matters.
    And that no less than Abraham Lincoln was told by the SCOTUS that martial law is prohibited as long as the courts are capable of holding sessions.
    Yeah, that mountain ain’t gonna budge.

  17. Jazzlet says

    @davidc1, yeah someone is trying to force the holding of a public enquiry on the fast track that happened to involve knowing a Tory MP rather than any relevant experience, might have been the Good Law project? Honestly I can’t remember it’s all too fucking depressing.

  18. says

    Just so we’re clear: there are just over 330 million Americans. Call it 331 million, to be on the safe side. 331 million people times $600 per person (assuming absolutely everybody gets the maximum benefit, which they won’t) is under $199 billion. But this is a $900 billion spending bill. So the rich get approximately 3 and a half times what the rest of us do, at a minimum. And the Democrats aren’t lining up to shut down the government over this, despite having rubber-stamped Trump’s military budget increases for 4 years, because… apparently they want to make sure everybody understands that Democrats don’t actually serve any function whatsoever in Congress, they’re a filler, like sawdust, and you could replace them all with mannequins in thousand-dollar outfits.

    What a surprise! I totally did not see this coming! It was not at all foreshadowed when Harris refused to vote for the measure to cut the military budget by 10% to pay for social services a few months back! The choice of the budget-hawk asshole Biden over Sanders did not at all indicate a victory of venal, spineless, banal evil over principle at all.

  19. outis says

    @2 lakitha tolbert: interesting point.
    The quickest calculation possible: there’s more or less 125 million households in the US, give each one a somewhat measly 10,000 $/year, that makes 1,25 trillion. This amount is close to military expenditure (that’s less than one tril, but close enough) and would be 6% of annual GDP. Of course, many households wouldn’t actually need it, so you could give more to those in dire straits and/or reduce the total amount.
    It makes some sense! Hardship relieved on a national scale, people at least partially freed from crushing economic constraints.
    Any thoughts?

  20. John Morales says

    Vicar @23, yet another dribble, eh?

    331 million people times $600 per person (assuming absolutely everybody gets the maximum benefit, which they won’t) is under $199 billion. But this is a $900 billion spending bill. So the rich get approximately 3 and a half times what the rest of us do, at a minimum. And the Democrats aren’t lining up to shut down the government over this [blah]

    Your unhinged advocacy and its spurious basis are duly noted.

  21. Rob Grigjanis says

    outis @24: Regarding UBI: Studies and test programs have been done over the years, with conservatives doing all they can to stop them – giving money to poor people is anathema to conservatives; they only give it to the rich. But enough data has been collected to suggest it’s a sound idea, and not just financially.

    Canada ran one such test program in the 70s; Mincome.

    The last Liberal Ontario government was running a similar experiment recently. During the election campaign, Doug Ford (Conservative) promised he wouldn’t cancel it if he won. Guess what happened when he won.

    The joke is that UBI would almost certainly cut down on government bureaucracy, which conservatives are always rattling on about.

    Another topic which exposes modern conservatism as morally and intellectually bankrupt. And fucking stupid.

  22. PaulBC says

    RobG@28

    The joke is that UBI would almost certainly cut down on government bureaucracy, which conservatives are always rattling on about.

    There is a consistent ideological stance, but they don’t spell it out, since it’s clearly unpopular:

    Government bureaucracy needs to get the hell out of the way of the sufficiently privileged, who should be allowed to pillage the environment, exploit labor, exploit consumers, manipulate financial markets etc. That is simply a matter of business. They should also be able to keep every penny of financial gain from these activities. By virtue of their great wealth and status (which they clearly earned) they have won the right to be left alone and entrusted to make the right choices.

    The peons, of course, really do need to be kept in line. If you start giving them money without any threat of taking it away, they will no longer be exploitable. The typical leftwing stance is that exploitation is driven by a profit motive and the capitalists are the bad guys. But I think it’s a lot more primitive. They deserve to be exploited because of their low status, whether that leads to profits or not. So society must be organized in such a way that those of low status are reduced to accepting any conditions offered by those with privilege. A UBI pretty obviously throws a wrench into that plan.

    Taken to extremes, you don’t necessarily even need government bureaucracy to keep the peons in line. This can all be outsourced to private interests. They may have their own internal bureaucracy, but that is also acceptable. What’s unacceptable is a public sector that meddles in the affairs of those who through their “hard work”, “enterprise”, or perhaps just the clever choice to be born into wealth have bought their way out of any public oversight.

    I’m sure I’m oversimplifying something, but I have trouble coming up with any other framework for Republicans that explains as much (aside from my suspicion that they are reptiloid aliens in cheap rubber masks which has the advantage of being stated more simply).

    (This should not be taken as an endorsement of my own party, but there is still a significant difference in motivation, mainly that they do not wish to destroy the public sector outright.)

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