Ten Republican Senators have come up with an alternative to Biden’s COVID Relief Plan. Biden has asked for $1.9 trillion in relief covering a number of areas where relief should help bolster the lives of individuals and the American economy. He explains that experts were consulted and they did the math.
Republicans are offering a bill that totals $600 billion in relief, less than 1/3 of the amount experts say is needed. They know of Biden’s desire to be bipartisan and they have cleverly played him. Now the media is on President Biden’s case, broadcasting everywhere that if he doesn’t give the Republican plan serious consideration, negotiate with them, and come up with a compromise that he will have thrown bipartisanship out the window from the get-go.
There is certainly the possibility of entertaining a different take on this whole charade. Susan Collins, who is leading the charge, all smiles because she loves the media attention, is hardly a trustworthy actor. She claims the high ground in proposing supposedly bipartisan legislation but she often backs down at crunch time.
Isn’t it also a bit humiliating to already question Biden’s ability to assess the needs of the nation? Doesn’t this ridiculously low ball offer reek of condescension? Aren’t Republicans, as always, painting Democrats as big spenders who don’t mind tanking the American economy? If you look back at our tanking economies they followed Republican administrations, and Democrats were stuck with turning the economy around every time. Real bipartisanship would be if Republicans were to come on board with the Biden plan in a show of confidence. They are not being bipartisan; they are being insulting.
It has been true through many administrations that every time Democrats came up with a solution for problems that plague the poorest Americans, the hard-working middle class, those who have suffered from disaster either natural or manmade, that the Republicans have doubted the American people’s honesty and have believed that some people would accept government aid forever (the deadbeats).
Republicans have made people go through complicated bureaucratic processes to take part in programs like unemployment, food stamps, and Medicaid, while attaching a stigma to those who had to make use of such programs. Republicans never approve the funding that would make such programs really effective. In the name of cutting costs and lowering the deficit they cut the funding enough to affect the outcomes of the programs. Then Republicans claim that government programs don’t work.
And so it goes with COVID relief. Offer a bare bones relief package that is too small to meet the needs of the moment and then use the ineffectiveness of Democratic legislation as a Republican selling point in the next election, or at least to prevent Democrats from being able to campaign on their successes.
The Republicans know how to play the media and they know that Biden might look bad if he doesn’t take the supposedly bipartisan bait. But this bait is just another poison pill, cheap bait that looks bipartisan but actually isn’t.
Republicans take every opportunity to sell Americans on believing that the American government bears no responsibility to take care of its citizens, even in a pandemic, and that starving both citizens and the economy will be better for our financial recovery than any assistance the federal government could offer. Republicans are not only insulting America’s new President. They are protecting their new ‘small’ government from the neediness of ordinary (not wealthy) Americans. You’re on your own, but it will be ‘bipartisan’. The Republican ‘relief’ plan is an offer Biden cannot accept, but it appears that he is damned if he does accept it, and damned if he doesn’t. That’s some kind of phony bipartisanship.