COVID-19 stimulus bill is a bailout for corporations and crumbs for the average American

A fake promise under the mask. (Jernej Furman/flickr)

Rushing to stores to stock up on the essentials like toilet paper and hand-sanitizer creating artificial shortages, and exposing the mentality of  greedy people who were willing to exploit this health crisis for potential profits. While many Americans were doing a dry run for the end of the world, the Senate pulled off another great robbery disguised as relief for the average American.

The U.S. Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act CARES on March 27. The bill is meant to provide approximately $2 trillion in relief for American families and businesses struggling with economic hardship related to layoffs and closing of non essential businesses due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Each adult tax payer in the U.S. making under about $80,000 will receive $1,200 direct payment and an additional $500 per child. The problem is for many people dealing with layoffs and furloughs, this $1,200 is not going to be enough, especially when no one can give a solid date of when things will go back to normal. With the prospect of 25-30% unemployment and a possible economic depression on the horizon, it’s clear that once again that average Americans and small businesses will struggle to stay above water while the Federal Government bails out big businesses. 

A 2018 report from the Federal Reserve Board shows that four out of 10 Americans can’t afford an unexpected $400 emergency. With mass layoffs and furloughs all over the United States right now, that hypothetical emergency is now a reality. 

In the next fiscal quarter the U.S. faces unemployment levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Many Americans are out of a job right now at home, stressing out and wondering how they’re going to make ends meet through and after this crisis. They’re wondering how to come up with rent, their utilities, their car payments and child care. 

Since 4 out of 10 Americans can’t afford an unexpected emergency that’s $400, then it’s unfathomable to figure out how they’re going to get on $1,200 over the course of several months having to pay for things like rent and electricity. Let’s say they miraculously do this, how are they supposed to eat that month? A one time payment of $1,200 is not going to be anywhere in the ballpark of enough. 

“I think about one-third of this is going to go to my rent, the stimulus will barely cover my bills for April,” said Keri Spring, Laguna Hill resident, hairdresser and single mother of four. “After that I really hope unemployment will be enough.”  

It appears though that there is something much more important. Our precious corporations. With $500 billion dollars going to businesses on the brink of failure such as Boeing who hasn’t been doing very well especially after their most recent crash in Iran this year in which killed 167 people. 

Small businesses are being left to fend for themselves as the Small Business Loan Relief Program has run out of money as of last Thursday. Mogdy Seeam owner of Spring Boutique in the Dana Point Harbor is uncertain about the future of his business.

“When I closed down the store because it was non-essential I didn’t think it would take this long,” says Seeam. “I don’t feel like the loan from the government will help me, but I’m worried if this situation doesn’t change for a while I may have to close down.” 

Liam Callary owner of Generation 9 MMA in Aliso Viejo says his mixed martial arts business is suffering greatly, 

“I don’t think I’m going to be open when this is over. I haven’t been around very long and I wasn’t making much money to begin with,” says Callary. “Once everyone starting social distancing martial arts businesses were some of the first to close. Sadly this just wasn’t the right time to try to start this business and I’m not sure when it will be the right time.” 

You don’t hear this from big CEOs who have actually run their companies so poorly that they need a bailout every couple of years. When the stock market does well big businesses do well, when it does poorly the average American gets screwed. 

Before the tax cuts passed during the Trump administration they promised as it had been promised so many times before that this money would trickle down to the average American. Instead, we saw corporate stock buy-backs at record numbers. This time it’s under the guise of keeping the crumbling American economy afloat. Big business will consolidate and eat up smaller businesses making record profits. It’s clear that when it comes to the average struggling American, lawmakers are willing to give them just enough money to keep the economy from collapsing outright, but not a penny more.