Opinion: Help Is Here.
The American Rescue Plan offers hope for millions of Americans during a time of abject economic struggle.
COVID-19 has exacerbated the growing economic, class, and racial divides that have plagued our nation since its founding. Consequently, COVID-19 has brought upon economic calamity not seen since the Great Recession of 2008–09. President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan equips our country with the tools to meet the severe needs of Americans struggling as a result of the pandemic.
President Joe Biden recently signed his first opening legislative ambition as President: a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package meant to provide achingly needed relief to the American people and address the health, educational and financial crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan is the most sweeping economic legislative package since the implementation of the New Deal programs under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
According to the Biden administration, the President´s American Rescue Plan ¨will mount a national vaccination program to combat the ongoing pandemic, invest $20 billion in a national program designed to contain COVID-19 through partnerships with local and state governments, including $50 billion for expanded and rapid testing.¨
The American Rescue Plan will address longstanding healthcare disparities that have been exacerbated by COVID-19 by ¨funding 100,000 health workers to expand the public health workforce.¨ Additionally, the Center for American Progress has estimated that the American Rescue Plan will invest $176 billion in vaccinations and healthcare.
The American Rescue Plan will prioritize healthcare by investing in a national vaccination program, investing in our beleaguered public health care system by increasing funding for health services to low-income populations. Furthermore, by investing in our local and state governments, governors and mayors can better allocate their funds to different sectors of government.
According to the White House, the American Rescue Plan will invest $25 billion in emergency stabilization funds for child care providers and an additional $15 billion in the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program. The plan expands the child tax credit — another important provision for Democrats — to $3,000 per child up to age 17 and $3,600 for children under age 6. And, it increases the earned income tax credit from about $530 to $1,500 and expands eligibility.
The American Rescue Plan is a rejection of Reaganism & Clintonism and the fallacy that the ¨government is the source of our problems.¨ The American Rescue Plan harks back to a conception adopted by FDR and LBJ of how the federal government should respond to a crisis.
Yet, the Republican counterargument to the American Rescue Plan consists of hypocrisy and piousness—according to the Republican National Committee and the House Republican Caucus, the American Rescue Plan is filled with ¨a bunch of pork¨ with only 9% of the allocated funds going towards combating COVID-19. Additionally, GOP congressional members have remarked that the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is too much money and could impose a burden for future generations.
Additionally, Republicans have cited a study from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget that the American Rescue Plan is ¨estimated to cost over $1.9 trillion through 2031, but the ultimate price tag could be twice as high if some of the policies in the bill are extended beyond their current expiration dates.¨ (Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget, 2021)
The American Rescue Plan costs the same amount as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 1.9 trillion dollars. Only 20% of the TCJA went to middle-class Americans, whereas the American Rescue Plan, 23% goes to low-income families. The Republican counterargument to the American Rescue Plan is rooted in hypocrisy, the GOP claims to be a working-class political party — yet vote against the most publicly supported piece of legislation since 2006.
The Republican Party claims to be a political party advocating for ¨fiscal restraint¨ (Only when a Democratic president sits in the Oval Office) even though under the previous Republican president, Donald Trump tenure´s in office, the national debt tripled to almost $7.8. trillion by the conclusion of Trump´s time in office in January of 2021.
The American Rescue Plan is popular with the American public, with 76% of Americans supporting the President´s plan including 60% of Republicans supporting the American Rescue Plan because they are aware that the subsidies the American Rescue Plan offers will benefit members of both parties.
The American Rescue Plan will feature national vaccination funding, funding to re-open schools, $1,400 direct payments to families, and $20 billion for state and local governments. Republicans opposed to this bill cite the $1.9 trillion price tag as wasteful spending on a ¨liberal wishlist.¨
The American Rescue Plan equips our country with the necessary tools such as $1,4000 direct payments, $20 billion allocated to the national vaccination effort, funds for our state and local governments to combat COVID-19, reopen our education system, and build our country back better.