7
   

Ending Pandemic Aid Created A Disaster

 
 
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2022 06:33 am
Ending Pandemic Aid Created A Disaster
BY ANDREW PEREZ, NICK BYRON CAMPBELL

New government data show that after the government terminated pandemic relief programs, millions more Americans began struggling to survive.

In all, roughly four in ten Americans say they are having difficulty paying their bills — a nearly 50 percent increase since last spring, according to a Lever review of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

As the suffering has increased, Washington policymakers, Beltway economists, and corporate media personalities have started pressing an austerity agenda, demanding even more pain in the name of taming inflation — even though data suggest inflation is largely being driven by corporate profiteering and supply chain blockages rather than wages or consumer spending.

The new numbers bolster those pressing President Joe Biden to fulfill his campaign promises to expand Social Security and cancel student debt. They show that such direct aid almost immediately improves Americans’ economic prospects.

Indeed, the number of Americans experiencing financial difficulties dropped substantially in the first half of 2021, thanks to pandemic relief measures that added $300-weekly federal unemployment benefits, sent out two stimulus checks totaling $2,000, and expanded the child tax credit to provide most American parents with payments of $250 or $300 per month per kid.

Benefits Were Cut Off
While the federal pandemic aid has ended, inflation has drastically increased. As a result, since last April, there has been a staggering 49 percent increase in the number of Americans reporting that it’s very or somewhat difficult to pay typical household expenses.

Matters appear to be getting substantially worse now — and rapidly. The percentage of Americans reporting financial stress jumped more than 13 percent between May and June. This figure is the highest it’s been since the Census Bureau started asking this question in August 2020.

The overall increase in financial hardship can be clearly traced to the end of pandemic aid programs. Most Republican-led states moved to cut off the federal unemployment benefits last spring, and Congress allowed the expanded unemployment programs to expire last September.

In December, Congress let the expanded child tax credit expire, too. They’ve also stopped sending out stimulus checks.

To make matters worse, inflation has accelerated since the federal aid was cut off, and Americans are having to contend with record price increases in their daily lives.

Making The Situation Worse
The federal government’s response to inflation has been to raise interest rates — a move that will likely put downward pressure on wages, cause job losses, reduce worker bargaining power, and exacerbate the housing crisis.

Financial hardship could continue to climb even further thanks to congressional inaction: Americans on individual health insurance plans will see their premiums spike next year if Democrats fail to extend the subsidies they passed last year. Without an extension, people on these plans will receive notices about new premium increases in October, just before the November midterm elections.
 
McGentrix
 
  -4  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 07:50 am
@edgarblythe,
This is what happens under Democrat leadership.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 08:10 am
@McGentrix,
Wrong. It's what happens regardless of which party is in control. The dysfunction feeds on itself.
McGentrix
 
  -4  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 08:28 am
@edgarblythe,
Well, I disagree, but that is how it is.

Trump was a subpar President, but unemployment was low, Morale was high, gas prices were low, we did not have staggering inflation, we were energy independent and the nation was doing well.

I know you or others will argue over these points, but you can't ignore the truth.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 08:33 am
@McGentrix,
There is a downward spiral that precedes Trump, beginning about the time of Nixon or even sooner. Trump and Biden are almost irrelevant. They are tools and not leaders, in this respect.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 08:53 am
@edgarblythe,
I think you might have this backwards. "Starting Pandemic Aid Delayed a Disaster" might be more appropriate. If you offer people free help for two years and then say, "I'm at my limit", you aren't an asshole for stopping the help. While it would be good for the country overall to tax the well off and provide assistance to those struggling, I can't imagine that anyone really thought we'd be able to keep doing it indefinitely given the makeup of the country and government. That we were able to do it for two years is awesome. That it ended and that those who were still dependent on it were caught short was inevitable.

edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 09:01 am
@engineer,
There was a crisis due to the pandemic. People could not make it without help. So they received help. The aftermath of the crisis is still in effect. People still struggle. Instead of giving up all our tax money to the rich and the military at least some of it should be used to lift up people.
roger
 
  3  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 10:26 am
@edgarblythe,
It might help if more of those struggling people would get jobs. I hear there are lots of vacancies.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 11:01 am
@edgarblythe,
Agreed, but instead of saying thanks for the half loaf, you are saying damn, we expected you to feed everyone forever. It would be great if everyone could be fed, and everyone should be fed in a country as rich as ours, but I never had any illusions and I think the government under both parties did well to go as long as they did.
PoliteMight
 
  -4  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 11:30 am
@edgarblythe,
Well

1. Employers ignore the pandemic entirely. I try to get a job and they still do the "you have no experience I am hiring that girl with the big breasts down the road, good bye bum"

2. They need to drop the mandate for requiring to be vaccinated because it is discrimination.

3. People are being discriminated as being George Floyd rioters and being called Homeless people.

.........

They need to drop the mandate. That is the problem.

To make things worst the idiots who keep thinking this is a Democratic Republican problem. The same idiots who says

"I voted Bush because Democratic caused gas prices to rise"

are the same idiots who say

" Go US troops"

While the Iraq and Afghanistan war is what caused the problems we are having today.

Just as the morons who all say "Go Ukraine" Ignoring the fact that 50 billion dollars ( or it is million ) went to fuel Ukraine??? Ignoring the fact that US 30 billion dollar morning meal for students had to be canned to make up for that.

But yet they still complain.

........................................................................................

It is selfishness, and brainwashing at it's finest.

Bobby Fischer was correct
Bradly Manning was correct
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 11:35 am
Quote:

... but unemployment was low, Morale was high, gas prices were low, we did not have staggering inflation, we were energy independent and the nation was doing well.


Same could be said of Obama's presidency. What happened? Covid19 was a shock to the global economy. Remember, this is the economic system we fought to install and preserve. Boom and bust cycles are to be expected, especially when taxes are cut while we have an overheated economy. Ideally, both the boom and the bust should be controlled through a flexible fiscal policy.

(I'm not ignoring the inflationary effects of the war in Ukraine, but the supply chain problem was already apparent before the war started.)
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 11:40 am
@engineer,
Quote:
...I never had any illusions and I think the government under both parties did well to go as long as they did.


I know. I was amazed at their largess. I hope some lessons were learned should a similar emergency re-occur. The big payouts accomplished what they were meant to do but the one-size-fits-all benefit checks should be reconsidered and the payments to businesses need real oversight.

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 11:44 am
@edgarblythe,
Perez/Campbell wrote:
In December, Congress let the expanded child tax credit expire, too.

This program was largely considered a success. I was surprised that it wasn't renewed (although I understand it was not popular in the GOP, expect maybe with Romney). Does anyone know why it was phased out? Did it need 60 votes or something?
0 Replies
 
PoliteMight
 
  -4  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 12:39 pm
@McGentrix,
Noooo...

Bush 1991 raised taxes. Nobody care about that Iraq was correct to reclaim Kuwait after it was splitted by the British.
Clinton 1995 help created a whole mess of problems like anti-privacy, and privately owned prisons/juvenile detention centers.
Bush 2001 Put United States into endless war.
Obama 2008 tried to use Insurance to balance the budget but also prevented people from hiding money overseas, and because of this endless war had no choice but to print dollars. Also lets not forget about that drone bomb that killed innocent people in Pakistan.
Trump 2016 just roll back the Insurance thing ( which was bad ), and while I admit he roll back the college funding ( because Obama messed it up for my cousin ). Point being is that their are tons of bills ( as with Obamacare was attempting to solve ) that was not being paid for. All Trump did was not pay bills, screw Venezuela, and clearly made it obvious he was in bed with Russia.
The problem with Trump is that he promoted hate between the sexes, races, religion, and genders. So while he was saving money ( not paying bills ).
However one thing is clear, while in office he did not go into more war despite what he said.
Biden 2021 has to clean up the stupid Trump cause, deal with the war, now end up funding another pointless war effort. In turn deal with the debt and the fact that so many morons ( mostly employers ) do not care that we had a virus problem and still do not care till this day.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 02:13 pm
@PoliteMight,
How come you failed to mention that Trump ran the deficit to astronomical highs?
PoliteMight wrote:

Noooo...

Bush 1991 raised taxes. Nobody care about that Iraq was correct to reclaim Kuwait after it was splitted by the British.
Clinton 1995 help created a whole mess of problems like anti-privacy, and privately owned prisons/juvenile detention centers.
Bush 2001 Put United States into endless war.
Obama 2008 tried to use Insurance to balance the budget but also prevented people from hiding money overseas, and because of this endless war had no choice but to print dollars. Also lets not forget about that drone bomb that killed innocent people in Pakistan.
Trump 2016 just roll back the Insurance thing ( which was bad ), and while I admit he roll back the college funding ( because Obama messed it up for my cousin ). Point being is that their are tons of bills ( as with Obamacare was attempting to solve ) that was not being paid for. All Trump did was not pay bills, screw Venezuela, and clearly made it obvious he was in bed with Russia.
The problem with Trump is that he promoted hate between the sexes, races, religion, and genders. So while he was saving money ( not paying bills ).
However one thing is clear, while in office he did not go into more war despite what he said.
Biden 2021 has to clean up the stupid Trump cause, deal with the war, now end up funding another pointless war effort. In turn deal with the debt and the fact that so many morons ( mostly employers ) do not care that we had a virus problem and still do not care till this day.

McGentrix
 
  -3  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 09:47 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

How come you failed to mention that Trump ran the deficit to astronomical highs?


Because that's Congress. Trump just approved it.
edgarblythe
 
  4  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2022 10:12 pm
@McGentrix,
He he he he he he he. Sure, dude.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2022 03:57 am
@McGentrix,
Quote:
Trump just approved it.

When he should have vetoed it! Laughing Laughing Laughing
McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2022 06:23 am
@hightor,
Why?
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2022 07:47 am
@McGentrix,
Because the economy was already doing well – when you collect revenue during a boom and salt it away or use it to pay down debts you are better able to deal with the country's needs and provide relief when the inevitable bust occurs. The tax code could have been reformed so as to remain revenue neutral and the country's treasury would have benefited. The tax cuts signed by Trump gave too much relief to the wrong people and did little for low and moderate income families.
 

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