Returning to normal includes cheap political trickery, it seems

Summer Merkle | Cartoonist

$2,000 stimulus checks — that is what the public was promised.

In the COVID-19 relief plan published leading up to his entry into office, President Joe Biden promised to provide families financially struggling from the pandemic with a stimulus check totaling $2,000.

“$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table,” Biden tweeted on January 10. “We need $2,000 stimulus checks.”

His initial words are now being twisted to say that the intended meaning was a $1,400 check in addition to the last $600 previously distributed.

In April 2020, the unemployment rate reached its highest peak seen in over 70 years, hitting 14.8%. The hospitality unemployment rate at that same time hit 39.3%. Part-time employees endured cuts at twice the percentage of their full-time coworkers.

Black and Hispanic workers experienced significantly larger cuts than White and non-Hispanic coworkers — these observations statistically continued throughout the entire year.

Families are struggling. The President himself acknowledged that fact.

Minority families are financially struggling at a disproportionate level compared to White citizens.

The reality is, $2,000 is already not enough. To take $600 off of that promised total is cruel.

Families living in poverty are not children who lack the understanding of what is considered a significant amount of money. It is extremely disrespectful to assume that perspective of thinking.

These families need to pay rent, buy food and purchase hygiene and cleaning products for their households. They require internet, cell service and a computer to seek and gain new employment after a layoff. They deserve access to healthcare and the medications that they need so that they are able to work and provide for their families.

In the final days of the Senate campaigns, Biden spoke in Georgia, rallying support for the two Democratic candidates with a promise of $2,000 checks.

“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington — that $2,000 stimulus check — that money would go out the door immediately, to help people who are in real trouble,” Biden said. “Think about what it will mean to your lives — putting food on the table, paying rent.”

Looking back on the primaries, Biden said it was time to return to normalcy following the Trump presidency. Unfortunately, he is sticking to his word by pulling this switch based on a technicality of words.

Previous administrations have functioned on the basis of lies and deception. If this relief plan is any foreshadowing of what the future of his term holds, we may be returning to the normalcy he originally spoke of.

Using a stimulus check to sway a state with a large percentage of minority voters, and then not follow through, is disingenuous and disappointing.

To see this level of deception and trickery taking place so early in the presidency is disheartening. Citizens financially struggling from this global crisis deserve the support they require to stay alive. They deserve the respect of not being lied to about what their financial situation will be. Our government should have enough respect for its citizens to stick to its word in a time of such immeasurable loss.