EDITORIAL: The stimulus

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

The $2.2 trillion stimulus package just enacted by the U.S. Congress sports an incredible number.

With the U.S. population estimated at 331,002,651 March 30 that factors out to $6,646.47 per person. But don’t look for a check for that amount in the mail. There are others with their hand out, too.

The vast majority of the money in the CARES Act is designed to soften the dent of the coronavirus shutdown on the nation’s economy.

Here’s a quick look at where the dollars will go:

• $560 billion – Individuals (estimated)

• $500 billion – Big Corporations

• $377 billion – Small Businesses

• $339.8 billion – State & Local Govt.

• $153.5 billion – Public Health

• $26 billion –  Federal Programs “Safety Net”

The first role of government – as with any industry, business or home – is the safety and security of their people.

The second role of government is to step in and mediate major problems and abuses of those same people named above.

This move mirrors the bailout of banks, big industry and the housing market in the Great Recession of 2008. And while some still complain of the details and results of the 2008 bailout, no one will deny it helped.

Your Clarksdale Press Register feels the same way about CARES.

There will be abuses, there will be some who legally get these funds that don’t need it, there will be others who desperately and truly need help that won’t get anything.

The idea of giving every adult American $1,200 – whether they need it or not – does cause us concern. It also sets a precedent for next year’s flu season, or the next big “crisis” that hits this country and the world.

The main reason we elect people to represent us in Washington is to wisely and prudently spend the tax dollars they demand of us. Those dollars should never be spent to appease the masses and bolster their re-election desires.

Please note a large section will go to state and local government. We hope Mississippi, Coahoma County and Clarksdale will spend those dollars t – taxpayer dollars –  more wisely and where needed. Government workers who were sent home and still got a check need to be culled from any Mississippi coronavirus relief package. Those dollars must be earmarked for those who can prove they were hurt by this crisis.

Now more than ever, government – at all levels -- needs to prudently and effectively provide much-needed help and not just a handout.

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