The American People Got Robbed, and We Won’t be Told Who Did It.

In the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, the rich are still coming back to take even more.

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Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

While the coronavirus continues to spread and record numbers of cases are once again being reported in states like Florida, it’s been difficult to fully come to terms with the seemingly endless ways this virus has impacted lives throughout the country. Not only are over 100,000 people gone forever, tens of millions are feeling the economic impact and the toll this virus has taken on financial stability and wellbeing. But as countless people struggle to put food on the table for their families let alone make rent or mortgage payments, the government of the richest nation on earth gave the American people one time, means tested checks of $1200 dollars. At the same time, 500 billion dollars of our tax payer money was set aside for businesses in loans, that can be forgiven in full if recipients maintain their payrolls. But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the Trump administration refuse to disclose who the money is being given to.

Zachary Warmbrodt with Politico writes:

“…One of the hurdles senators said they faced in drafting new aid efforts is that they lacked data on where relief money is going. For the first time, Mnuchin signaled the administration would not willingly disclose the identities of PPP loan recipients.

He said the names and amounts of specific PPP loans were “proprietary information” and in the cases of sole proprietors and other businesses was “confidential information.”

As lawmakers have tried to conduct oversight of the small business aid programs, they’ve faced roadblocks from the Trump administration. Senators have been asking for weeks for more specific data on where the money is going, with limited success.

(Sen. Ben) Cardin, the top Democrat on the committee, said he was “extremely disappointed” that the Government Accountability Office has had the same problem in not getting information from the administration.”

Extremely disappointed.

The American people are having 500 billion dollars robbed from us and the man designating who gets the money refuses to tell us who’s taking it, but it’s nice to know Senate Democrats are “disappointed”.

Imagine, if you will, that a corporation like General Motors for example was one of these companies that took tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in loans guaranteed by the taxpayer. They had furloughed 6,500 employees as a result of this crisis even before the month of May, so under the guidelines of this relief package they would need to pay back the loan. Is it really such a stretch to imagine them coming to the government six months to a year from now saying they aren’t able to pay back the loan? Is it really such a stretch to imagine our government shrugging their shoulders and saying there’s nothing it can do? Frankly, I will be shocked if something like that isn’t coming down the line. Something tells me that they wouldn’t be quite so hesitant to share this information if they were confident that the American people would get the money back.

Our government is standing by, watching as the wealth we generated is stolen from us, and they don’t even have the decency to tell us by who.

While tens of millions of people have been brought to their knees financially, the rich continue to leech off of us when we’re at our most vulnerable. It’s also worth noting that in this time of incredible hardship for so many, the wealth of the richest among us has grown exponentially.

Jack Kelly with Forbes writes:

“According to the Institute for Policy Studies, billionaire wealth has boomed, while over 26 million people have filed for unemployment since mid-March. The percentage of taxes paid by billionaires has fallen 79% since 1980. From the start of March to now, the group of billionaires’ total wealth has increased by $308 billion. Billionaires boast a combined net worth of $3.229 trillion and their collective wealth skyrocketed up 1,130% between 1990 and 2020.”

If anything, the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare just how fundamentally cruel and unjust the end-stage capitalist plutocracy we find ourselves living within really is. At 25 I have already seen two economic crisis’ in just over a decade. How much longer do they expect us to put up with this? How much longer will the American people sit back and take it? Whether it’s the republicans actively enabling and facilitating this insatiable greed or the democrats who just sit back shaking their heads and wagging their fingers pretending to be surprised, our government response to this crisis has been and continues to be criminal.

If voting is only going to get us more democrats sitting back and shaking their heads, are we really in a situation that voting alone can get us out of? Are we really prepared to say that the solution is to just go to the ballot box?

As the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department continue, I’ve been doing a considerable amount of reflection on what it’s going to take to actually generate necessary change on this country. As I’ve said before it’s become abundantly clear that in order to get their way, the wealthy and powerful are attempting to have the American people starved in to submission, leaving us so desperate to provide for themselves and their families that we’ll unnecessarily be putting ourselves in harms way in order to do so. Anything before they’ll cut us another check. They’re hitting us where it hurts, with our finances, and it’s about time we do the same.

How many more times are the American people going to sit by and get robbed yet again, or continue to see people die at the hands of the state before we organize a general strike? The time is now.

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