There are no heroes in the political impasse to extend pandemic relief to workers and small business owners who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to survive due to Covid-19.
Both Republicans and Democrats for months have been using the suffering of the American people to position themselves in the upcoming Presidential election.
The Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a nonpartisan but left-leaning research institute based in Washington, DC, recently observed that frontline workers and small businesses are suffering disproportionately in the pandemic.
The Center notes business is booming for large corporations, like Amazon, Apple and Google, and the S&P 500 is up more than 5 %. Yet, 30 to 40 million people may be at risk of eviction, food insecurity is rising (especially in households with children) and growing numbers of people are suffering mental health challenges.
Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution, supposedly issued the dismissive comment, “Let them eat cake,” during a 1789 famine after being informed that peasants were starving. The staple food of the French diet was then bread. The phrase is often uttered to denounce the upper class’ callous disregard for the suffering of the poor.
President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that pandemic relief talks would end until after the election because Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi was not negotiating in good faith. Pelosi, who has tied pandemic relief to partisan immigration and border issues, claims it’s all Trump’s fault. Trump then said he was looking at possible stand-alone bills that would be acceptable to both sides.
“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” tweeted Trump.
On Wednesday, Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were discussing the prospects of a stand-alone bill for airline relief to avoid massive layoffs of airline personnel.