The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, causing mass disruptions as supply chains are decoupled, businesses shut down, and consumers stay in their homes self-quarantining.
By just about every metric, we seem to be hurtling towards a disastrous recession. It’s still unclear how economically dire the situation will become, but it’s already apparent that major efforts on the part of the federal government will be required to keep American families afloat.
One idea that appears to be rapidly gaining steam is a proposal to give every American a check for $1000, in what would amount to a short-term emergency version of the universal basic income program proposed by Democrats like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
It’s the kind of program that Republicans would take to the streets to protest under normal circumstances, but one which they are voicing tentative support for because they realize letting the situation deteriorate further will harm Trump’s 2020 prospects. Something must be done, so some Republicans are grudgingly lining up to the do the right thing.
Not all Republican lawmakers are on board with the idea though, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has stated that he is more interested in making sure people get their paychecks from their employers than giving them emergency checks from the government. It’s the same hackneyed pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps rhetoric that has characterized the GOP for decades and it rings especially hollow during a crisis such as this.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: "My focus is not giving people a check from the government. My focus is to make sure you get your paycheck from your employer." pic.twitter.com/3eDyh7ick0
— The Hill (@thehill) March 17, 2020
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a woman who displays in spades the kind of basic humanity and empathy that Graham is incapable of displaying, retweeted the video of Graham’s comments and succinctly explained how hypocritical he is.
“Lindsey Graham has received a check from the government every month since 1995,” tweeted AOC, referring to the hefty paycheck he has been pulling from the taxpayer dime since he was first voted into Congress in 1995. In other words, he’s the last person we should be listening to while weighing this proposal.
A $1000 to each American is a good start in fighting the economic fallout of the coronavirus. It could make the difference between some families being able to afford food or medicine. Call your Representatives, call your Senators. Tell them to support this measure.
Lindsey Graham has received a check from the government every month since 1995. https://t.co/LCUVCv63xt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 17, 2020
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.