A bill for economic relief finally passed Congress. Here’s the thing though … this bill provides more relief to big corporations than small businesses ($377 billion of the $2 trillion, but wait … there’s more) and individuals (approximately $560 billion between cash and unemployment payments, according to a story by NPR). 

It isn’t $500 billion to big corporations. It is trillions of dollars to big corporations, more money than the banks received in the 2008/9 bailout with again, our money. How is that OK? Why do the people keep letting Congress do this? 

In addition, the Senate passed the bill 96-0 (Republicans and Democrats) and the House passed the bill like they were at a high school pep rally. The House passed it by voice vote where members are asked to yell their “yea” or “nay,” then the result is decided by which side is louder. 

The one elected representative that went to work for the American people on March 27 was a Republican/Libertarian congressman from Kentucky, Thomas Massie, who tried to demand a roll call vote. Members of Congress should be on record documenting who supported this extreme payout to big corporations with taxpayer money, our money. And instead, it was a vote taken in the spirit of a high school pep rally. Disgraceful! Trillions of taxpayer dollars … passed by yelling a vote.  

Firefighters, paramedics, police officers, grocery store workers, postal workers, restaurant workers, maintenance workers and custodians, nurses, doctors and medical personnel all show up to do their jobs (I apologize if I forgot an industry) right now without any complaint and are incredible in their dedication to their communities and are heroes! 

They show up! 

It was too much to ask the House to show up and do its job? 

The grandstanding of elected officials who didn’t do their job at the end of day is essentially worse. You grandstand, then vote in favor of this bill? At least be on record that you do not agree with it. Or maybe you do and you just put on a show? 

Massie made the following comment on Twitter about the bill: “The stimulus package that just passed is the biggest wealth transfer from common folks to the super rich (Wall Street and bankers) in the history of mankind. Done in the name of a virus with $1,200 checks as the cheese in the trap. This will be obvious in short order.”

The backbone of Idyllwild is small business. Congress took advantage of taxpayers by using the desperation of the people to push through a bill that was not a good deal for the taxpayers. We are paying for this!

This is after the government shut down our businesses without first passing a relief bill so workers and small business owners could rest easy knowing they could pay their bills and do their part in keeping their communities safe. This country is all about socialism but it isn’t for the benefit of the people. It is for the benefit of the rich.  

You had Republicans on the floor saying it wasn’t fair that people may make more money after being laid off from their jobs for a period of time than they make going to work. Really? 

I asked Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D., the area’s representative, if he agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s description of the bill in an interview with Bloomberg media as a trickle-up not a trickle-down bill. This was in no way a trickle-up bill. A response was not received by press time. 

Initially, the $4.2 trillion bailout (in addition to the $500 billion in the bill reported on) would have kept the details of which corporations gain from the bill secret for six months. That was fixed by the Democrats that wanted an oversight committee. 

However, how will a five-person Congress-selected oversight committee with an inspector general ensure there is no fraud in the trillions of dollars that will be given to big corporations? Five people (plus one) are going to oversee trillions of dollars after it is spent? We all know how much power an oversight committee has right? None. 

And guess what we can’t do? We can’t go out and protest because we are on a stay-at-home order and we can’t congregate in groups of more than 10 people, with, of course, appropriate social distancing! 

But guess what? Front-line workers throughout the country are walking off the job due to unsafe working conditions and low pay.