Johnson: Too little, too late

Columnist Matthew Johnson celebrates the new COVID-19 stimulus package. 

Matthew Johnson

While the Senate just passed the new coronavirus stimulus bill, some may ask: “Is the new stimulus bill enough for Americans?” President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan was passed the morning of Feb. 27 by House Democrats and has been passed by the Senate as of Saturday. There is a lot included in this new stimulus; however, will it be enough to help struggling Americans through the current pandemic? 

There is a lot included in the new stimulus. Eligible Americans can expect to see a $1,400 stimulus check sent to them no later than early April. The new bill also includes aid for individuals facing eviction, the hungry and more money to those unemployed. The weekly amount of unemployment benefits has also been increased. Those receiving unemployment will get $400 weekly as opposed to $300. And this has been extended until Aug. 29 of this year. While this is an increase, no doubt, it is still subpar compared to the weekly $600 in unemployment that was granted in the Cares Act in 2020.

After moderate Democrats persuaded Biden to lower the cut off for the full amount, single adults making $75,000 a year or less will receive a $1,400 check, likewise with single parents making up to $112,500 a year and, finally, couples who jointly file their taxes making up to $150,000 a year. Each dependent of the family can expect to receive the full amount as well. The payments phase out completely for individuals making more than $100,000 a year and families making $200,000 or more a year. But they still haven’t done a COVID-19 relief bill with every American in mind.

While the college students who are still dependents aren’t being left out this time around, many who really need help are. For example, some individuals and families who make over the cutoff may have been sending money to other family members who have been hit financially by the pandemic. These people deserve aid, and the fact that we aren’t going to help those individuals is appalling (to say the least). We need to stop picking and choosing who gets aid and who doesn’t concerning these demographics. No one deserves to go hungry.

This stimulus package is very different from the first COVID-19 relief package back in May. Biden’s stimulus plan seems to be a bigger version of the stimulus bill passed in December. It is more geared toward giving aid to everyday working Americans. It seems that over the past year, the only people who are receiving real aid are those in corporate America. Big money corporations were bailed out and given millions of dollars that was a part of the $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill last year. So, it is definitely nice to see a stimulus bill geared toward the 99 percent of Americans.