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30 Dec, 2020 22:05

Washington Post, owned by world’s richest man, revives complaint about relief checks for average Americans

Washington Post, owned by world’s richest man, revives complaint about relief checks for average Americans

Consistent with its view in the past, the Post – owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world – has warned that giving $2,000 checks to Americans making under $70,000 is a poor use of government funds.

The paper’s editorial board said “increasing the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 is a bad idea” in a Tuesday op-ed, suggesting it was absurd to give money to middle-class Americans that could instead be forked over to state governments and pharmaceutical companies.

Indeed, even $600 would be a mistake, it wrote, arguing the checks should be preserved for only the recently unemployed. Never mind that the checks are doled out based on last year’s income taxes, meaning many counted as “employed” have since either lost their jobs or had their hours severely cut back – the individual payments “short-shrifted the neediest and showered billions on people who suffered little or no lasting hardship from the pandemic.”

Americans counting on that money to pay bills and rent or help out less-well-off family members might question what a paper owned by an e-commerce tycoon who made billions of dollars during the pandemic knows about “lasting hardship.” Bezos and his fellow US billionaires made so much money, in fact, they could take the year’s profits and give every American a $3,000 payment without losing a cent of what they had in February.

Also on rt.com Billionaires’ ‘pandemic profits’ alone could pay for $3K stimulus checks to EVERY American – report

The Post actually complains aid recipients will choose to save, not spend the money – since “restaurants are closed and air travel limited” – seemingly unaware that the average American was up to their ears in debtbefore the pandemic hit and might welcome a chance to pay down some of it, even in the unlikely chance they’re financially set otherwise. Likewise, most Americans had less than $600 stored away for a rainy day going into the economic shutdown, and 2020 has been nothing if not one long rainy day, depleting savings across the country. 

Adding even more insult to injury, WaPo ran almost the same article back in March, ahead of the first round of stimulus checks. It was bylined to one Steven Pearlstein, a “business and economics columnist” who has been on the paper’s staff since 1988 and is thus unlikely to have personally experienced the current job market. However, he mostly made the same arguments as Tuesday’s piece.

As the CARES Act that included $1,200 checks to every American making less than $75,000 per year was being debated in Congress, Pearlstein called it “a really dumb idea” and “a cynical ploy by President Trump and the Republican leaders in Congress to buy the next election.” That last bit hasn’t aged well, and neither have the rest of his arguments being regurgitated by the paper’s editorial board – especially the one about how 250 million Americans are still receiving paychecks so large they “can’t even spend what they make” because all the nice restaurants and shops are closed. Has Pearlstein ever heard of a company called Amazon? They did pretty well sucking up those ‘extra’ dollars over the last year.

Establishment media outlets – especially those owned by billionaires – can’t seem to resist passing judgment on Americans who rightly believe they’ll get more money in a direct check than from some mythical “trickling down” from aid given to businesses. Yet they seldom utter a peep against the shocking quantity of pork packed into both this month’s Covid-19 aid package and March’s CARES Act. Hundreds of millions of dollars for foreign countries is fine, but heaven forbid any of that largesse be left for those at home.

Also on rt.com Top economic policy voice under Obama & Clinton says $2,000 stimulus checks could OVERHEAT economy... and even $600 is too much

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