The CARES Act tries to ease Americans’ worries while COVID-19 exposes fractures in the United States economy. But here’s $1,200.

The stimulus package reveals the U.S. has a long way to go

The+CARES+Act+was+created+to+ease+Americans%E2%80%99+worries+during+times+of+crisis%2C+but+the+COVID-19+pandemic+crisis+has+revealed+alarming+fractures+in+the+United+States+economy.+%28photos+courtesy+of+pixabay.com%29

The CARES Act was created to ease Americans’ worries during times of crisis, but the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has revealed alarming fractures in the United States economy. (photos courtesy of pixabay.com)

Clifton Bullock, Staff Writer

The detrimental residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to reckon with reality: people are hurting. Not since maybe the Great Recession has the global economy been in such disarray. And because of this, the United States government has apparently gone out of their way to try and save the economy by throwing money at the problem—another great American problem solving method. 

It comes by way of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

The CARES Act, though well intentioned, again shows the hypocrisy of capitalism. The bill,  consisting of the $2 trillion stimulus package, was signed into law by a Republican president from a political party who loves the idea of being fiscally conservative even when reality shows they are only fiscally conservative in theory and rhetoric, not practice. 

This stimulus package was a way to inject life into a crashed market when the Dow Jones and the Standard & Poor went red, flatlined and dove to take the shape of the state of Maryland. There is absolutely zero compassion in capitalism. 

Of the $2 trillion, let’s identify how much is really coming to the people and how much is being injected back into the government and used at their discretion. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ outline, $160 billion was alloted to “state, local, and tribal governments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Another $45 billion is also designated to the same levels of government as a Disaster Relief Fund. 

There are multiple agencies within the federal government that have received stimulus incentives off the backs of the same hard working Americans that pay taxes with every paycheck; federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Transit Agency. 

How does the federal government find a way to essentially bail itself out by injecting billions of American taxpayer’s dollars into federal agencies without questions asked? 

Bear with me as I make my point here. I will get to the $1,200 stimulus checks in a moment but there are just a few more issues that need to be addressed regarding the federal government and pecuniary. 

The CARES Act is supposed to add more time, up to four months, to unemployment benefits which is a great thing for the people who are hurting. In the same breath, the dog and pony show of a Senate led by Mitch McConnell has the gall to suggest states file for bankruptcy instead of the federal government bailing them out. Hi pot, meet kettle. 

Did I forget to mention that Native American tribes have yet to receive their $8 billion? It’s not a total surprise considering history. The biggest surprise here is there is a Bureau of Indian Affairs in the year 2020 assisting the distribution of federal funds. But I digress. 

Now, here is the good part of the stimulus package you were waiting for: $500 billion were allotted to businesses, cities and states. No, you read that correctly, the money bundled to help businesses is also allocated for cities and states as well. The Washington Post noted that $349 billion were for small businesses as a part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which promptly ran out of funds before the Congress had to reopen its purse to increase

Are there safeguards put in place to make sure this money goes to those who need it? Is there any oversight?

Apparently not, because if that were the case, businesses with large endowments like Ruth Chris’s Steak House, Shake Shack and the Los Angeles Lakers would not have received money from the PPP to begin with. As black and minority owned businesses struggle to gain access to the $60 billion set aside for minority and underserved borrowers, large companies have had an easier time getting money they shouldn’t even qualify for. 

Maybe the assertion “there is absolutely zero compassion in capitalism” should be recanted. Shake Shack and the Lakers returned the funds. It’s just a shame they had an easier time getting funds on accident than Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington DC had getting on purpose. 

The distribution of $1,200 per person with an extra $500 per child was a great gesture by the government to give a little hope to people who have lost jobs throughout the country but these people lost more than jobs; they lost security. The feeling of security isn’t recovered by a quick stimulation of the economy when there are no guarantees that the economy can sustain itself or sustain the consumer’s confidence. 

The $1,200 per person and the now $2.3 trillion stimulus only shows how fragile the basis of the American economy is. In a nation where for generations, insolvent people have been told to pull up their bootstraps, it appears that applies only to the straps of the citizens who pay taxes, not those who continue to raise the ceiling. 

By the way, can Flint, Michigan get a stimulus package? You can’t wash your hands with dirty water.