The Incredible Shrinking Relief Check

W.J. Astore

Isn’t it nice to see them having fun?

I read the news today, oh boy …

Remember when Joe Biden promised a $2000 Covid relief check if the Democrats won both senatorial races in Georgia? He said they’d “go out the door immediately.” Well, immediately has turned into weeks and probably will turn into months. First, the Democrats reduced the amount to $1400, saying they’d meant all along that the previous $600 check had been included in Biden’s promise. OK–I almost believe that. Now the $1400 amount has shrunk to $1000, if the wishes of “moderate” Republican senators are upheld. Biden and Kamala Harris are meeting with these moderate Republicans today, seeking “bipartisan” accord on a much smaller relief package ($600 billion versus $1.9 trillion). It’s now all about “targeted” relief, based on family income as reported to the IRS.

Let’s think back, way into the past, when Donald Trump was president. Do you recall the Republicans meeting with Democrats to secure bipartisan support for what they wanted to do? Me neither. I recall Trump and Republicans doing pretty much what they wanted, with most Democrats along for the ride.

So, how does a $2000 relief check become $1400 become $1000 become nothing (if your income exceeds $50K, or $100K as a family)? When you have miserly and dishonest politicians in charge.

Democrats could have moved immediately (there’s that word again) to pass a simple Covid relief bill for $2000 checks, instead of trying to pass a complex relief package that’s scheduled for next month at the earliest. But simplicity would not allow room for pork-barrel politics as usual, hence the complicated course we’re now on. Meanwhile, struggling Americans wait … and wait … and wait.

Joe Biden is a business as usual president — emphasis on “business.” As Chris Hedges recently wrote, he’s papering over the cracks in a rotting edifice, doing the job he was hired to do by his paymasters. But bipartisan accord will mean less than nothing when the whole rotting building crashes down around us.

21 thoughts on “The Incredible Shrinking Relief Check

  1. As you point out – and warned of – it is all “business as usual.” The rash of Executive Orders that the Republicans and The New York Times have railed against basically overturned a lot of Trump’s executive orders. Trump – though the GOP embraced him thinking he could be controlled – was not “business as usual.” More like “Trump uber alles.” But as the smoke clears from that flurry of paperwork, we once again hear of bipartisanship which means – what else? – business as usual.
    As for the shrinking relief check, I don’t expect anyone within The Beltway will be hurt too much by it.
    I despise the term “flyover country” but just as in Illinois, we knew everything outside of Cook County was “downstate,” everything outside The Beltway is flyover country, so who cares?


  2. So much for “holding his feet to the fire.” And not a word from the “Progressive” Dems about this latest travesty.

    Meanwhile, America readies itself for the Super Bowl extravaganza. Circuses in plenty, while the bread allotment decreases daily.


  3. One of the anecdotes of the 2020 election was that people along the Rio Grande valley voted for Trump because he signed the stimulus checks that were sent out.

    I would think it’s apparent (but perhaps not to inside the DC beltway types) that the majority of citizens don’t parse political posturing or deal with subtlety. What everyone heard was Biden saying (in Krystal’s segment above) that everyone will get their $2,000 checks immediately – backing up what Ossoff and Warnock said on the campaign.

    If people don’t get $2,000 checks they’re going to think the Dems lied to them – again (or that’s how it will be sold by their opposition).

    I think it’s a big risk to hope that the so-called Republican civil war will guarantee Democratic victories in 2022. (The Republican legislatures are already working to change laws to limit voting). If the Republicans take the House and Senate and 2022, then a Republican President will be elected by the House of Representatives in 2024 due to “voter fraud”.

    It would seem that Biden only really needs to do two things to set up the Dems for victory: Deal with COVID and get children back into actual classrooms. The COVID relief bill as originally proposed would go a long way to doing those things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How predictably inspiring of the newly “empowered” Democrats . . .

    The WOKE Bait and Switch

    How quickly the white and the black turn to yellow
    As Democrats dither and bargain away
    Whatever advantage the elderly fellow
    Supposedly won on Inauguration Day

    It seems that those checks for two thousands of dollars
    Once promised “immediately” seem far distant now,
    With the good little Donkeys back wearing their collars —
    Dutifully drawing the Elephant’s plow

    The numbers first shrink by six hundred. Where’d they go?
    Then four hundred more. Now a thousand, we hear,
    Might possibly happen “in time” but for PAYGO
    Which always insists that more jobs disappear

    To balance the budget. “Austerity” beckons
    When black, brown, and female and gay take the reins.
    Just like with straight white men, theft happens in seconds.
    The WOKE fall asleep while the rich take their gains.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2021

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And we know from the “defense” bill that passing out money is no problem, likewise the budget deficit that has been huge and has resulted in no significant inflation. What’s the hold up Joe?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Speaking of Joe Biden, here’s a quote I came across after posting my previous comment…

    On Afghanistan: “We’re going to be totally out of there, come hell or high water, by 2014,” Biden said on Dec. 19, 2010.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m pretty sure Hell in 2010 had already taken up residence in Afghanistan. Wonder why the exit strategy wasn’t executed by 12-20-2010? Apparently he misspoke back in that month of December also.


        1. Yes — let’s “stay the course” until we can “turn the corner” so we can see “the light at the end of the tunnel.”

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Meaning, “up to and INCLUDING nuclear war,” naturally. Obviously, they wouldn’t want to call a thing what it is. Using obfuscatory language and oblique references makes their plans more palatable to the hoi polloi.


  7. His Royal Highness …Sir Antoinette
    Sat perched on the throne
    Surrounded by Noble Handlers
    At haughty request
    Through His handlers behest
    Elected Five Star Chefs
    Fine delicacies of Duncan Hines did bake
    As talking heads of town criers
    Shouted to slaves captured for hire
    Antoinette said “Let them eat cake!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “America’s new president has called for us to lead with the power of our example rather than just the example of our power”

    From your impressive Power of American Example piece at TomDispatch today…
    I was thinking of this from a mathematician’s perspective
    So if the American example has been the despicable face of “Forever War” and American Power would be Atomic Force
    Let’s see….?
    Forever War + Atomic Force = Total Destruction
    That’s not good math!
    I loved the new and improved/updated monicker for the Military Industrial Complex
    I’ll call it now MICsquared…
    military industrial congressional complex
    That’s a good one!
    I also was very heartened to see the scripture references. I believe since there are a lot of Christian Hawks who have usurped the message of Christ’s “power of the gospel of peace” and attempt to weaponized His and his bodies mission here; we have to plant scriptural seeds that snap them back into there original reason for believing in Jesus. Nobody I ever met who fell in love with God through the message of Jesus’s testimony ever has told me that their reason was to create a conquering force and spread the message of love through the tactics of militarized aggression.
    The read just kept gaining momentum and force as I continued through each paragraph. Wow! That was powerful!


    1. He’s already lied. He promised, very clearly and explicitly, $2,000 checks. There was never a mention of $1,400 on top of the previous $600. A “$2,000 check” means one check, in the amount of $2,000. FWIW, I read that, during the Georgia rally, he even displayed an image of a check with the amount listed as $2,000. So….at best, he’s trying to weasel. At worst, Lucy has again whipped the football away from Charlie Brown.


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