A Good Bill

While it’s disappointing–to say the least–that a $15/hour minimum wage and massive increase for the tipped minimum wage wasn’t included in the COVID relief bill, there is a lot that’s good:

  1. $1,400 payments. Yes, they should be $2,000, but $1,400 is better than zero.
  2. $300 weekly emergency unemployment checks until September 6 (it’s an additional $300 to existing UI benefits). A big boost for COVID-19 control.
  3. Removing tax penalties for various subsidies (many of the payments were previously counted as taxable income).
  4. Restaurants finally get the money they need to stay (partially) closed. Concert venues–which is good for the arts–also get much needed assistance.
  5. Lays the groundwork for a permanent child tax credit. Perhaps not the optimal solution, but still very good.
  6. Support for mass transit. Finally. And now your local mass transit system has no excuse for cutting service…
  7. Rental assistance.
  8. Funding for testing and tracing, genomic surveillance, and public health departments.

The list goes on, but it’s pretty amazing that the radical centrists signed on to a $1.9 trillion spending bill. For the young’uns there’s no way the Democratic Party of 2009-2010 would have agreed to something like this.

Still lots of work to do, but this bill gets some points on the board and builds some momentum.

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1 Response to A Good Bill

  1. My local transit service cut back a year ago, at the very beginning of all of this. After 10 years of using nothing but public transportation, I am going to buy a car. It’s impossible for me to get to at least two of my doctors now.

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