In the Coronavirus Bill, Most of the Money for Ordinary People Is Thanks to Democrats

Say something!Kevin Drum

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Judging from my Twitter feed—I know, I know—conservatives know only one thing about the Democratic Party contribution to the coronavirus rescue bill: it includes money for Obamaphones and the Kennedy Center. I assume that this is basically the only thing Fox News has told them.

That’s the conservative noise machine for you. Even in the face of a massive pandemic the only thing they care about is pressing Trumpish hot buttons for their audience. Still, I wonder: how many people of any political persuasion understand that the expansion of unemployment benefits in the rescue bill is worth an extra $600 per week through the end of June? How many understand that this adds up to $10,000 or so? How many understand that this is literally the only thing in the bill that will keep most people whole while they’re out of work thanks to government lockdowns?

And how many understand that the only reason this is in the bill is because Democrats insisted on it? Republicans couldn’t have cared less. Their original bill bailed out businesses and gave people a flashy but utterly inadequate one-shot $1,200 check. That was it. That was all anyone would have had to get them through the next few months.

But why would anyone know this unless Democrats do something to take credit for it? Have they? Not that I’ve heard. So conservatives think Democrats were all about Obamaphones and the Kennedy Center, while everyone else figures that Democrats did nothing.

Once again, then, Democrats do the right thing but commit political malpractice by not crowing about it. It’s a wonder the party is still in business.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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