$2000 checks out the door was one of the biggest campaign promises made by Joe Biden during his run. Of course, like most politicians’ promises, he’s since walked it back. $2000 rolled back to $1400 and has been stuck in a holding pattern ever since. At this point, Americans really should’ve been receiving monthly stimulus and relief payments to help stimulate the economy and cover rent, bills, and other expenses for those living paycheck to paycheck.
If we do ever want the economy to reopen fully, Washington needs to be committed to making sure Americans can afford to live that long. Even if corona spares households, financial hardships can be just as deadly and damaging. The solution is not to just drop restrictions and open up businesses, we’re a year into this, savings are depleted. Even with the economy reopened, without the stimulus or the relief, consumers’ pockets are empty.
Stimulus and relief are both necessary; and the difference between the two is important. First, we need relief checks. Relief checks are designed to help cover living costs: bills, rent, loans payments, etc, while Stimulus checks are meant to be spent on elective shopping such as retail, restaurants, etc. With only $1400 set to roll out, that covers neither stimulus or relief for millions of Americans. For most, that $1400 will immediately go to rent, bills, and mortgages; ie immediately into the pockets of landlords and banks and therefore not stimulating the economy.
When the 2022 race comes around, Republicans will not be holding back. Biden going back on one of his biggest campaign promises is perfect cannon fodder for attack ads. If democrats want to hold on to any of the national support they gained in the last election cycle, they’ll need to change course quick. On top of checks not rolling out, Biden has been making big promises regarding vaccines, expecting all American adults to be vaccinated by the end of May.
With only two months to keep this promise, stakes are high. Americans are watching closely, having just dealt with the disastrous handling of COVID by the Trump administration. Voters’ faith in the process relies on seeing the clear differences between the two parties. So far, we’ve seen more of the same. The national mask mandate was really the only change, but was quickly super-seeded by governors in Mississippi and Texas.
Saying you “believe in the science” isn’t going to help us through the pandemic. Most politicians still seem to be stuck in last March where a lot was still uncertain. Now, a year later, we’ve seen the benefits of mask wearing, of stimulus checks, and we’ve seen the consequences of relaxed restrictions, holiday surges, and reopening too soon. We have the means to get through the pandemic, it’s just up to the government, and the Biden administration, to decide if they want us to.