I didn’t say anything back in March 2020 about stimulus checks. They were a very fast solution to a serious problem. I think it was utterly appalling that there were so many issues getting people those checks…. but that is a different problem.
I was very unhappy that the criteria was based on 2019 taxes – someone could have made $200,000 in 2019 but got laid off on March 13th. They just got screwed.
It took me awhile to figure out why a second round of stimulus checks made my teeth itchy. Then one day when someone posted about landlords “should just have to suck it up” without that stimulus, some things began clicking into place.
I realize what privilege I am speaking from that I say I don’t need a stimulus check. My husband and I have been able to transition to work-from-home. I limited my grocery trips to one hour once a week at one store to minimize my risk. We don’t see friends, we only see my family because my parents help watch our toddler.
Ok, so recognizing the benefits of a stimulus check to someone NOT in my position, what on earth might I be thinking.
I want better.
I want unemployment expanded, every person on unemployment automatically offered/eligible for SNAP and Medicaid. They need the stimulus.
I want school lunch programs rolled out to support learning-at-home. I want parents who need to scale back hours or stop working in order to keep their kids home safe to be supported. THEY can have “stimulus” out the wazoo.
I want every doctor, nurse, and orderly in every ER in the country to have 100% student loan forgiveness. Give them the equivalent of the damn GI bill.
I want N95 masks sold at cost to every grocery store, home improvement/repair (we have had to go to Home Depot a few times because – HOME OWNERSHIP), nursing home staff, daycare worker, and truly essential workers.
I want restaurants given help to stay in business through this. I want leisure businesses like nail salons, massage places, gyms, and -yes even- movie theaters. Hotels and vacation lodges and even airlines.
ART. Artists need to be supported. Theaters are closed. The Atlanta Ballet company gets MOST of their annual revenue from the Nutcracker every year – they need help. The Shakespeare tavern here in Atlanta deserves help. The High Museum of Art. The Atlanta Aquarium. Bands, comedians…. The list goes on and on. I am MORE than willing to give tax dollars to supporting these artists (hell, even artists I don’t particularly care about) so their art is still there when we CAN return to their venues.
I don’t want just random money thrown at the problem in some wild hope that something might get better. I want real action plans. I want targeted assistance. I want a real plan.
I know 2020 was an election year and every House rep was running – so I have some sympathy for them having to essentially work a second job on top of congressional duties…. But with over 400 representatives, that work could have been divided and conquered.
I think we should all ask for better.