About those Covid-19 Stimulus Checks, Mr. President...
... the help will be welcome, but remember: we are NOT dumb chattel
It was six weeks ago that the news came forth that organizers of campaign rallies in support of President Trump in African American communities were allegedly handing out cash to people in attendance.
As an African American, I find the “alleged” acts to be particularly disturbing.
I resent the “alleged” attempt at bribery and I especially resent the idea that American Descendants of Slaves are still considered a chattel. Not since 1865 has anyone OPENLY tried to buy us with cash in a matter of national import.
That was not done at the president's direct order, and he COULD have acquitted himself of the stain of trying to buy votes in the African American community by condemning those among his supporters who were allegedly doing that.
But no. He has seen an equal opportunity way to do this same move LEGALLY, from coast to coast, owing to the economic effects of Covid-19.
President Trump and his administration are strongly proposing sending every American a check in April, and in May.
Don't get me wrong. This is not, on its own merits, a bad thing. A lot of people are out of work or out of much of their work because of the crisis.
The entire San Francisco Bay Area is under a shelter-in-place order. A lot of us could use that money.
In addition, Main Street is still mad over Wall Street getting bailed out while Main Street was left out in the last big financial crisis in 2008.
President Trump is smart enough not to repeat the mistakes of the past. It's an election year, after all.
But therein lies the problem.
If you are reading this, I hope I can safely say we are not for sale.
I hope I can safely say we know better than to be taken in by this con.
There are levels to this con, as one might expect when dealing with master con artists.
The Constitution enjoins the federal government to do those things that are necessary for the common defense and welfare of the nation's people. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's “New Deal” during the Great Depression and George W. Bush/Barack H. Obama's stimulus packages in 2008 during the Great Recession are well-known presidential responses to that duty.
Duty. The president is sworn to uphold the Constitution, remember? It is his duty to take care of the common defense and welfare of the people.
Ask any veteran of the Armed Services – yes, we should always thank them for their service, but they don't expect constant applause and praise for doing their sworn duty. To do what you are supposed to do to maintain whatever responsibility you have does not come with a standing ovation – nor do mature people require that. It is an HONOR, all by itself, to have the power and privilege to serve, and to be trusted to do so.
One would think the Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces would agree with that. One would hope so. One would hope he would not be expecting re-election based on carrying out his reasonable Constitutional duties on this occasion with reasonable competency, after struggling to attain that reasonable competency for a good while as the Covid-19 crisis was still in its infancy.
But here's the second thing. Check amounts are running in the media from $1,000 to $4,500 – nothing is settled at the time of this writing.
But no matter how much it is, you know that if you are a tax-paying U.S. citizen or resident, that is your money being given back to you, right?
Where do you think the government gets the money from to do the stuff it does?
And why would we even pay taxes except to fund it doing stuff? I mean, we may not like all the stuff our government does, but we fund it to do it, out of every paycheck or out of every bit of business taxes, especially from small local businesses that are not incorporated. Small businesses don't get the breaks the corporations do.
All that campaign talk from Republicans about “taxpayer dollars” – they don't have a problem giving our dollars to give welfare to corporations in the forms of stimulus that they get, so it is ironic to see the head of the party breaking the mold and talking about giving money back to the people.
But I hope I can say that we are not going to be bribed with our very own money.
Oh, by the way, speaking of our own money coming back from the government: it's still not quite a gift. What is handed out today may come right out of our tax returns next year – several people who received stimulus checks for their activities on the non-corporate level are reporting that is EXACTLY what happened the last time the federal government did something like this.
In all things, we had better read the fine print and find out: are these checks a RETURN of our money to us, no strings attached, or a LOAN of our own money back to us?
Now I know – or at least I hope – that we are not dumb enough to be bought out for the next election with a LOAN of our own money!
Again, don't get me wrong: on its merits, the federal government giving the people's money back to them is not a bad thing. We need it now. And, although I am not a supporter of President Trump, I am glad to see him working in a bi-partisan matter on this and keeping those who do not want the people to have anything at bay.
But I, and my vote, are still not for sale. It is not 1865. I am not a dumb chattel.
I hope you, dear reader, are not either.