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Sun Mar 14, 2021, 12:37 PM

Opinion: Joe Biden's covid-19 relief bill is an extraordinary achievement

Opinion by Helaine Olen
The just-signed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act is incredibly popular. Polling shows that 7 out of 10 Americans support it. A majority of men and women say they are in favor of it. People of all ages, races and income brackets give it a thumbs up in large numbers.

This is extraordinary. In a nation where people who need to rely on welfare to get by are routinely derided as “takers,” Joe Biden and congressional Democrats sold the nation on the largest expansion of the social safety net since the Great Society initiatives of the 1960s, and they did it in less than two months.

Republicans have been left in the dust, reduced to whining about how the plan is not “prudent” — to quote Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.) — when they aren’t falsely attempting to take credit for parts of it, as Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker did.

Here’s the secret: By ignoring decades of so-called Washington wisdom about the need for narrowly targeted aid and small steps forward, this legislation allows us to sidestep our societal tripwires around race, poverty and who we think is deserving of a government assist.

The American Rescue Plan assumes that almost everyone can use a helping hand. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, roughly 85 percent of adults and children will receive a stimulus payment — meaning, as Biden said in his Thursday night speech, that “a typical family of four earning about $110,000 will get checks for $5,600.” The yearlong expansion of the earned-income tax credit will significantly reduce child poverty, and the additional child tax credit will impact more than 90 percent of households with children under the age of 17. And for those who receive their health insurance through a federal exchange, not only are subsidies upped for two years but premium payments also are capped at 8.5 percent of household income. There’s $39 billion in aid for child-care centers, and $29 billion in help for restaurants.
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Now our new president has raised the bar — and then some — for what kind of help Americans can expect from our government in future economic downturns. Yes, many of the benefits for individuals and families are temporary, but, it’s almost certain that the expansion will create a large constituency for making them permanent. This bill is a remarkable and amazing achievement.


source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/14/joe-bidens-covid-19-relief-bill-is-an-extraordinary-achievement/

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Reply Opinion: Joe Biden's covid-19 relief bill is an extraordinary achievement (Original post)
SharonClark Mar 2021 OP
speak easy Mar 2021 #1

Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Mon Mar 15, 2021, 10:46 AM

1. 1933 - The New Deal; 2021 The BFD

And yes - they belong together. While we remember The New Deal for big structural change like Social Security (1935), the first 100 days were focussed to getting help to people as quickly as possible.

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