Empty Cupboards. Image Credit Peter O'Connor License By CC

Preventing the Greatest Depression Ever: Congress, Act Now!

Right now, there are proposals on the table to bail out some companies and provide Americans with emergency funds.

However, fine tuning of the Coronavirus relief bill that would assist us all is keeping any progress from happening.

Our Congress should definitely decouple the two concepts of corporate help and aid for ordinary citizens.

The help for the American people, the “one-time bridge payment,” should be passed post-haste.

Empty Cupboards. Image Credit Peter O'Connor License By CC

Empty Cupboards. Image Credit Peter O’Connor License By CC

Then, fine tuning of the corporate-aimed bill can continue, without holding up crucial aid for families and individuals.

Of course, there are other issues. Congress wants to provide us with personal funds, much like an Emergency Basic Income, only if we have filed a tax return in 2018.

And, if we have no tax liability, what we will receive will be halved. This does not make sense.

Some families are so impoverished, they do not even submit tax returns, as they earn less than the minimum filing level.

As for others, perhaps they donate generously or for whatever other reason, just do not have a tax liability.

It could be because of other losses, in 2018 and prior.

But these Americans still have to put food on their tables.

Lastly, it’s been said that the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) cannot possibly process everyone’s applications for relief in any manner than might remotely be called quick.

The answer? Don’t rely on tax returns, and don’t involve the I.R.S. at all.

If you can prove you’re an American citizen, and can provide a driver’s license or other identification, that should be sufficient.

How do we cap the help, then, for people making “too much?”

What is too much? Presently, the limits proposed are far too low.

Over one-third of Americans live “hand-to-mouth,” as in paycheck-to-paycheck (2014 figures, including, high-net-worth individuals, as per Brookings Institution survey) and 40% of Americans cannot deal with an emergency that would cost over 400 dollars, 27% of which would need to borrow the money or sell something to cover costs, and 12% would not be able to cover such an unexpected expense. (As noted in a Federal Reserve study reporting on the economic well-being of American households dated May 24, 2019)

A 2019 Brookings Institution study concluded that two-thirds of government workers during the last furlough lacked savings to cover even a single pay period, two weeks.

We need the money now. True, rent and other expenses can be deferred, postponed to a later date, but that does not guarantee that everyone will be able to make it.

Pass the bill now to prevent the Greatest Depression Ever, and to maintain social stability.

We should be made to sign a sworn statement certifying that we do not have over a certain amount of funds in the bank and cash-on-hand, or earn over a certain limit.

Make the penalty for incorrect information higher than the usual fine for entering false data on governmental forms, and we will foster honesty.

President Trump requested that the act does not permit companies receiving assistance to buy back stock to increase profits, however, as worded presently, this might not be prevented.

Regardless of whether this facet of the bill is approved or not, Americans need help, and soon.

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