President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is being framed as another must-pass bill that is necessary to fight the ravages of COVID-19.
According to Biden, the American Rescue Plan would “change the course of the pandemic.”
In reality, Biden’s American Rescue Plan is light on public health programs but heavy on proposals that would move the United States closer toward socialism.
In fact, the ill-named American Rescue Plan contains a plethora of items that have nothing to do with public health, but lots to do with government dependency, wealth redistribution, and other tenets of socialism.
The 591-page bill, considered short by today’s standards, spends very little on public health programs to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Newsweek fact check, “overall spending for public health is $400 billion, or roughly 21 percent of the proposed stimulus package.” That means 79 percent of the $1.9 trillion bill, roughly $1.5 trillion, does not address the pressing public health crisis.
So, where does the $1.5 trillion go?
For starters, the bill includes another round of untargeted, shotgun-style stimulus checks. This time, Americans who earned less than $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) based on 2019 tax records, will be the lucky recipients of a $1,400 check from the U.S. Treasury.
Never mind that millions of the Americans who are eligible for these checks do not need them because their employment situation has been unaffected by the pandemic. Under the American Rescue Plan, wealth redistribution via stimulus checks is an imperative.
Another aspect of Biden’s plan that has absolutely nothing to do with abating COVID-19 but much to do with increasing Americans’ proclivity for government dependence is the expansion and extension of unemployment benefits.
Under Biden’s plan, the current $300 weekly federal government add-on to state unemployment benefits would be expanded to $400 per week and extended until August 2021.
This makes no sense. As the U.S. economy finally reopens and jobs will need to be filled, why would the federal government want to pay people more money not to work?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Biden’s anti-rescue, stealth socialism plan would more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this boneheaded idea would destroy at least 1.4 million jobs by 2025.
Brilliant idea. Let’s put another 1.4 million Americans out of the workforce so they can collect federal unemployment benefits. Who knows, maybe Biden will extend the bonus benefits until 2025, to make sure these Americans are properly taken care of by Uncle Sam.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan also includes a $350 billion bailout to state and local governments that have spent like drunken sailors over the past decades. This is nothing but wealth redistribution on a state and local government basis.
Last, but certainly not least, Biden’s bill contains a bevy of giveaways in the form of increased nutrition assistance programs (aka food stamps), housing aid, and Medicaid expansion.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan, like President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, would do little to revive the free-market American economy and create good-paying jobs, while doing lots to make socialism more mainstream in America.
Chris Talgo is an editor at The Heartland Institute.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.