Again, I Ask: Where Are the Fiscal Conservatives?

President Joe Biden and the Democrats may be asking for $1.9 trillion but, don’t look to the Republicans to be exercising any kind of fiscal restraint anytime soon.

Instead, Republicans today introduced a $618 billion Covid-19 stimulus plan, which would include both a $1000 direct payment to most adults as well as $300 a week in weekly federal benefits. While the $300 is less than the Dems’ proposed $400, it is nonetheless, a lot of money. For perspective, consider that during the financial crisis of 2008, President Obama’s administration provided just $25 per week in federal unemployment insurance.

The group of ten Republican senators, led by Senator Susan Collins of Maine, also seeks to limit the Democrats’ plan for $1400 for most every person, restricting the direct payments to $1000 for adults and $500 for children. Meanwhile, the Senators also aim to reduce some of the benefits being awarded to the state.

Bottomline: the Democrats want $5,600 for a family of four. The Republicans want $3000.

In some ways, this a political no-win for Republicans. Once again, Republicans risk being characterized as the party of miserly, affluent, out-of-touch bureaucrats.

In actually, the inherent problem with the “money for nothing, checks for free” is a very simple matter: We don’t have the cash.

We Don’t Have the Money

We’re already $27+ trillion in the whole. This doesn’t need to be a partisan issue (I, in fact, argued against federal spending and massive direct payments that the Trump administration wanted to award) but, sadly, Washington is broken.

There IS a way to fix the challenges without resorting to a kind of socialism from which we will struggle to dig ourselves out of.

The real answer is to invest… (and I deliberately choose the word “invest”) in vaccination programs so to prepare the population to return to a normal (albeit, yes, different) work environment.

Moreover, we DO need programs to help families that need assistance – the question is, how do we best determine who needs what? The Democrats would like to place a $50k income limit per individual ($100k per couple) while the Republicans aim to see a $40k limit. (Anyone earning above those amounts would not qualify.)

However, is 100k in New York the same as 100k in Mississippi? Hardly. As such, our government might be wise to consider adjusting the limits based on a cost of living for each taxpayer.

Sadly, this may prove too difficult for a bloated government already not quite sure who is dead and who is alive. Seriously. In September, we reported that the IRS sent $1.6 billion in stimulus checks to deceased Americans.

The best answer to solving the economic challenges of the coronavirus may lie in the following:

  1. Get as many people as possible vaccinated
  2. Offer tax incentives for people to work by reducing their income tax level and reducing burdens for small business owners.
  3. Yes. Find ways to aid Americans struggling to make ends meet.

We need to find a way to return our economy to a thriving, growing enterprise. The best way to do this will be ensuring safety through vaccines, and by enabling more individuals to keep a larger percentage of what they earn.

I’m beginning to wonder if there are any members of the Tea Party left? If so, this might be a good time to step forward.

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