Coronavirus

Joe Biden, Senate Dems Want To Reduce the Number of Six-Figure Households Getting $1,400 'Relief' Checks. Progressives Are Furious.

Moderates and progressives are sparring over how much government assistance should go to upper-middle class families.

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President Joe Biden and Senate Democratic leaders have agreed to a compromise version of their $1.9 trillion spending bill that modestly lowers the income ceiling for receiving a $1,400 relief check.

Single-filers making $75,000 a year would still get the full $1,400, reports the Associated Press, but that amount will fall to zero for individuals making $80,000 or more. Joint-filers earning up to $150,000 would also get the full check. Couples earning more than $160,000 would get nothing. The slightly more generous spending bill passed by the House earlier this week excludes single-filers earning $100,000 or more, and couples earning $200,000.

The changes, reports the Washington Post's Jeff Stein, would reduce the sticker price of the "relief" bill by about $12 billion.

The idea behind restricting the number of employed, six-figure earners getting government support is to shore up the support of Senate moderates. "I think it's an appropriate way of bringing this to a successful conclusion," Sen. Michael Bennett, one such moderate, (D–Colo.) told The Los Angeles Times.

Progressives, of the right- and left-wing variety, are less pleased with the changes, saying they deprive needed benefits from hard-working members of the upper-middle class.

"Amazes me that Democrats can find millions to shovel to abortion providers, millions for 'environmental justice,' billions for blue state bailouts—but they continue to water down direct relief to working people," said Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) on Twitter.

"Further 'targeting' or 'tightening' eligibility means taking survival checks away from millions of families who got them last time," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told the Post earlier this week. "That's bad policy and bad politics too."

Fretting that families pulling down six-figure incomes will suffer if they don't receive an additional $1,400 has been a mainstay of Democratic messaging on their spending bill.

"You know, [Biden] believes a married couple—let's say they're in Scranton, just for the sake of argument; one is working as a nurse, the other as a teacher—making $120,000 a year should get a check," said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki last month. "When one in seven American families don't have enough food to eat, we need to make sure people get the relief they need and are not left behind."

"The juxtaposition between families who do not have enough food as a category of people that Biden wants his stimulus to help and a two-earner family with a solid six-figure income is more than a little jarring," wrote Reason's Peter Suderman at the time, noting that this hypothetical family isn't missing meals for lack of government aid.

Indeed, one feature of the halting recovery from the pandemic is that higher-income earners have done pretty well. Employment rates of those earning $60,000 or more are actually a little higher now than they were at the beginning of 2020. Job opportunities for lower-income workers, many of who once had jobs in the forcibly shuttered retail and restaurant industries, have declined sharply.

The debate that moderates and populists are having over the income ceiling suggests that this is not actually a relief bill, but just an "American wish list," as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) described it today.

Democratic legislators, both moderate and progressive, are using COVID-19 as an excuse to push for spending priorities that have nothing to do with the pandemic. Government spending more than it absolutely must (and far more than it can claw back in taxes) will likely have serious fiscal consequences further down the road, particularly when added to the $4 trillion in pandemic-related spending already approved by Congress.

But who knows when that bill will come due? In the meantime, Congress is going to keep plucking that COVID chicken.

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  1. The entire thing should be tossed, and Congressional Dems flogged in the public square for trying to pass their pet policies as COVID relief.

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  2. Wait, Ken Shultz and other GOPers have been saying Biden is a pawn of the “far left progressives” so how can he be rejecting another one of their initiatives?

    1. Rejecting? Did you read the article?

      1. Did you?

        Progressives, of the right- and left-wing variety, are less pleased with the changes, saying they deprive needed benefits from hard-working members of the upper-middle class.

        Progressives want more people to be eligible for the handout.

        Like Trump did.

        More money wasted, more spending, more taxes than Joe is willing to sign.

        1. Read it again:

          “President Joe Biden and Senate Democratic leaders have agreed to a compromise version of their $1.9 trillion spending bill that modestly lowers the income ceiling for receiving a $1,400 relief check.”

          This is not a “rejection” in any true sense of the word.

          1. Progressives wanted ‘A’. They didn’t get ‘A’ – they got something else.

            But you wingnuts were saying Biden did WHATEVER the far left wanted.

            Yet he has pissed on AOC’s Green New Deal, Bernie’s Medicare for All and now this.

            1. You play the fool well here, but no doubt you are a fucking dumbshit.

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            2. “redneck = hates and insults the same people rednecks do.”

              “Sarah Palin’s Buttplug 2
              March.3.2021 at 12:56 pm
              Yes, woke Progs are idiots”

              AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHHAHAAHAHAHA

            3. Wait? He pissed on the Green New Deal? No.

              He stopped Keystone XL, pissing off a close ally. He’s done everything within his power (short of violating contracts) to stop hydrocarbon production. His Interior Secretary is an environmental extremist. Both his press secretary and his special climate envoy have pulled out the “green jobs” canard. Repeatedly.

              I’ll give you M4A, but Biden is absolutely a New Green Dealer.

            4. Pissed on the Green New Deal? He is reentering the Paris Accords and killing the Keystone pipeline. He speaks of “solar workers” and windmills, but will not speak of the 30 nuclear plants that we need to avoid a future power shortage disaster.
              He doesn’t have to speak kindly of the Green New Deal but he is supporting much of it’s nonsense.

              1. He also mandates all government vehicles to be electric. So no wars on cloudy days at least.

            5. But of course you progs always have billions for abortion and ‘green’ subsidies, which totally belong in a relief package for KungFlu. I suspect they even have a few million for a kiddie porn subsidy for child rapists, like you.

            6. During the election campaign.

              Not since.

        2. Biden also wants more people dummy. Why he defended it the last 40 days. He can’t get what he wants due to Sinema and Manchin. You really are an idiot.

          1. Listen, dipshit. Of course Biden will sign any bill that passes Congress.

            My point stands. Biden is not a tool or puppet of the far left. He regularly abandons them and their policies.

            1. No, your point was ignorant and dumb. Didn’t you just earlier say you weren’t shilling for Democrats? Lol.

            2. Have you read the bill ol job killer joe pushed through the House that the Senate is now unable to pass? Is ol job killer joe still the same moderate of just 5 years ago? Who is pushing the buttons turning him left? He has also stated this bill is just a start. Ol job killer joe is a closet segregationist, thinks women are his toys and in 2019 laughed at people saying China is a threat. C’mon man, you know what is being said and that it is correct. You just want to argue.

              1. Biden and Buttplug certainly have the whole sexual predator thing in common. Both are idiots.

          2. Excluding more households from the $1400 only saves less than 1% of the cost of the $1.9 trillion stimulus. And the phase-out is so rapid (from $150,000 to $160,000 for a family) that people with big families with have less after-tax income if they make $160,000 than $150,000, which is dumb and disincentivizes work.

      2. When Republicans reject whole spending bills becaue their guy isn’t in charge, they’re just fairweather budget hawks and the loyal opposition portion of the TPD. Just playing to their base to keep their jobs. When Democrats quibble over spending $1.9T vs. $2.0T, they’re exercising real fiscal conservatism that the fairweather budget hawks were too oppositionally loyal to effect.

        1. $1.9 trillion is more than twice the size of the budget deficit prior to the pandemic. And more than half the size of some entire federal budgets in recent year.s

    2. Are you really this stupid? Biden is for the full 2k, it is what he ran on. He is losing politically in the Senate due to Manchin and Sinema. So he is lowering to an amount solely to get it passed. It has nothing to do with what he wants, but what he has to do to even get his own party on board.

      You have gone really down the idiocy rabbit hole lately.

  3. Progressives Are Furious.

    Dammit Joe! You’re supposed to do their bidding.

    1. damiksec
      March.3.2021 at 1:57 pm
      “redneck = hates and insults the same people rednecks do.”

      “Sarah Palin’s Buttplug 2
      March.3.2021 at 12:56 pm
      Yes, woke Progs are idiots”

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHHAHAAHAHAHA

    2. Ol job killer joe and the hoe have no control over the Senate. His bill passed the House with most of what “progressive/socialist/communist” wanted. He has no choice but to take what he can to get and at least the bail out for the blue states will pass. He also bribed tens of thousands of voters with the $2,000 stimulus and will see a revolt if he does not get it passed this month.

  4. dickheads. repeal the 16th. take away the playground.

    1. This. And while were at it, defund the IRS.

  5. Job opportunities for lower-income workers, many of who once had jobs in the forcibly shuttered retail and restaurant industries, have declined sharply.

    Then why do I see help wanted signs wherever I go?

    1. Always about you, isn’t it? Is there something about alcoholism that also results in pathological narcissism?

      1. They are often related.

  6. That $1,400 check would help those idiots pay off the $1,400 check they’re writing to everyone else!

    How do people with no understanding of how money works manage to keep theirs?

    1. Because it isn’t the politician’s money that they are spending and the taxpayer’s don’t care enough to call for actual accountability.

    2. Because the Magic Money Theory says the givermint can print and spend all the money it wants. No worries. It’s all good.

  7. Why is this tagged as coronavirus* related?
    The bill only contains a few items related to coronavirus*. Most of it is progressive agenda items from the last decade.

    * more accurately Communist Chinese Virus

  8. “Then why do I see help wanted signs wherever I go?”

    So racist.

  9. The entire bill is terrible. Why focus on lowering a small piece of the total cost? 90% of the bill isn’t even covid related. A large portion of it is spent years from now.

    1. Allows them to pretend they’re concerned about fiscal health or something.

    2. Because the Bills are always named the polar opposite of what they actually are. Like the Patriot Act or the Affordable care Act.

  10. I doubt Biden knows which day it is much less what’s in that bill. In any case it’s likely to get voted on, so democrats once again force more deficit spending down your throats.

  11. Is $1,400 the same as $2,000 now?

    1. It is if you feel like it is. Any claim that mathematics has objectively correct answers is white European patriarchy.

    2. The first $600 of that $2,000 was sent out previously.

      1. Find me ONE Democrat saying $1,400 before the election.

  12. Also I love how they are spending 1,900 billion on this bill, but when it’s time to make some cuts, they immediately go for 12 billion in direct payments to Americans.

    1. Sheer coincidence.

      It’s like when your city government faces a shortfall…they’ll go right to “reducing police staffing and water plant maintenance”.

      It’s like when the Park Service got shorted back in the day: “Stop trail-building?” “Delay pond seeding?”
      Park Supernintendo: “No. Close the toilets at the visitor centers and parking lots.”

  13. Democrats: Want to get the bill passed, so they can keep all their pet BS in it and also get more votes.

    Progressives: Want to bankrupt the country, so they can *really* force their BS.

    Republicans: Want to see if they can salvage a few voters.

    Throwing money at problems is no solution. The federal government is and pretty much has always been unimaginative, and most of their “solutions” generally just create more problems.

    1. I agree with you for the most part. But, politicians don’t need to solve your problems. They need to solve their problems. Their only problem is getting people to vote. Past results are no issue, not many people pay attention. They need to motivate people that have no interest in politics to go to the polls. The only thing that gets their attention is “free”. “Free” is super popular if you don’t have to pay taxes.

  14. Well for once the people in the middle are winning. If the far left and the far right are pissed off, then you know your making progress.

    1. The lefty thinks spending only 1.88 trillion instead of 1.9 is the middle. Fucking clown.

    2. Are you serious? This bill pisses over $1.5 trillion down the toilet to hand out a few hundred billion that is maybe marginally helpful. Simultaneously, idiot Biden is killing job s(Keystone Pipeline, ‘green’ regulation bullshit), throwing open the borders and pushing to keep. The country at least partially locked down.

      I know you’re not very intelligent, but this just isn’t complicated.

  15. Bond Vigilantes of the world, unite and take over. The time is NOW.

    1. It’s going to come to that.

  16. Can we get a constitutional amendment that no bill can be introduced to spend money on anything where there is still money sitting around from a previous bill of the same type?

    The only down side is that the legislature will have even more time to think up new ways to squander the taxes.

  17. “When one in seven American families don’t have enough food to eat, we need to make sure people get the relief they need and are not left behind.”

    It’s a false statistic anyway. I know it, they know it, and the 1400 check is completely distinct from extensions to food stamps and other directed aid.

    I’d be surprised if those imagined 1/7 are within a group earning almost double the median income.

    The biggest issue is saving 12 billion on a 1.9 trillion dollar bill is just symbolic arguing.

    1. Food is such an outdated metric of poverty these days anyways. Its just a different time, it has so little relevance now.

      The vast majority of our medicaid patients or non payers are obese or morbidly obese (probably 75%). The only really under nourished ones are usually those that spend lots of their funds on alcohol and drugs, so they have no actual money to buy food.

      Food nowadays is actually very very cheap. Add to that govt programs to help get said cheap food, and food insecurity / starvation are seriously a problem of another time.

      Now there is a real conversation to be had about the cost/benefit of having a mass amount of super cheap and super unhealthy food out there, vs having “better” food that only the middle class and above can afford. But you can get an industrial sized bag of multomeal fruit loops for a couple bucks at walmart. You can get a pizza that would provide beyond your daily caloric needs at little Caesars for 5 (6 now?) bucks. My fam grew up at a hair above the poverty line (lower middle class?) and even though we had relatively unhealthy food in the house, it was plentiful. The people that cant get enough food are usually either on drugs, or dont work at all.

      1. “…Food nowadays is actually very very cheap…”

        You have to WORK AT IT to starve in the US now.

        1. Mental problems, or maybe being trapped in an abandoned building.

          1. Psaki: “One in seven American families have fallen down a well, or are locked in a car in the desert.”

  18. My income (married) last year was about $140K. While I’m not an idiot, and if they send me the money I won’t send it back, I can’t possibly make the case that I need the money. It’s absurd that someone making north of 10 grand a month who hasn’t lost a dime of income would get ANY money for Covid “relief.” Dems are simply buying votes with printed money. It’s astounding to me that the so-called “progressives” would object to cutting me, and others like me out of this bloated bill. Very little of it is necessary at this point, although in my state, our Democratic governor has driven thousands of business out of the market and driven schoolkids to suicide, but hey…at least we have a mortality rate only slightly higher than that of Texas, which is been pretty well open the whole time.

    1. They’ll claim “stimulus”. That you’ll go out and spend it and “boost the economy”.

  19. Democrats fight furiously to pass their $1.9 Trillion dollar Communism in the USA – Commie-Money bill. Democrats are furious.

    Power-Mad people will destroy themselves. All the Republicans just need to find a stern way to not be involved in their future destruction. Oh yeah; That’s right – the U.S. Constitution must prevail at the National Level..

  20. Probably a lot of Democratic politicians would find they would ineligible for that $1400 check, and by gum they want it.

    1. Georgia Senate voters expected truth in campaign promises.

      1. They DID?

        Hey, found your “low-information voters”!!

  21. One expects that the Progressives pissed about this make over $75,000 if single, or $150,000 if married.

  22. I thought the idea of the stimulus checks were to stimulate the economy by getting people to spend. How did the idea it is feeding people or a survival check come about?
    If people were required to apply for this money and show why they could not eat or survive without it a lot less would getting it.
    As with the last stimulus checks I will feel a little guilt when I look at my children and grandchildren but since I have no choice I guess I can buy them a present to ease the guilt and I can go on an even more extravagant trip in our RV this summer.
    I think the agenda of the “progressives” and the Justice Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal is to damage the USA as much as possible and is their way of “burning it all down and starting over.”

    1. Things need to be open before they can be stimulated.

    2. Mississippi and Texas have a much cheaper stimulus plan.

  23. If you want a check, get a fucking J O B

  24. Sarah Palin’s Buttplug 2
    March.3.2021 at 6:25 pm
    “Listen, dipshit. Of course Biden will sign any bill that passes Congress.
    My point stands. Biden is not a tool or puppet of the far left. He regularly abandons them and their policies.”

    turd is stupid, and dishonest and willing to shove goal posts all over the place in the hopes someone else is stupid enough to buy his steaming pile of shit.

  25. Lol at leftists whining about this

    https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1367193921542045698?s=19

    Republicans are telling me they plan to force Senate clerks to read the full $1.9 trillion relief bill aloud. Typically that process is dispensed with, but any single member can object and force a full reading of the bill.

    That alone could take 10 hours — even before votes begin

    1. I like the move for the sheer petty spitefulness of it.

  26. these people just keep spouting absurdities…did someone dose my drink?

    1. I lived through 2020, I’m willing to believe any stupidity from the left, CNN or the blue-check lynch mob. I am, however, careful to check it’s not the Babylon Bee…same as Snopes.

  27. In the deep blue metro areas, $150k income is considered barely middle class for a family, when you factor in rent and other expenses. Besides, with the extra money, they might use it toward fixing up their homes, buying a car, or eating out more which will lead to new jobs for the working class. So it makes sense to give everyone money even if they don’t actually need it. Not saying I agree with it, but considering how much has been blown already, does it really matter?

    1. When you’re 28 trillion in debt, why keep digging?
      Why give handouts to the well-off and successful? Their costs have dropped during the lockdowns — less on clothing, less on travel, less on vacations, less on commuting, less on haircuts.

    2. “Just a few troops, and it was months ago…”
      “Just a few interns and prudish campaign volunteers…”
      “Just few (tens of thousands of) pathetic little businesses that were never going to move the market…”
      “Just a couple of years of normal childhood socialization and education…
      “Just a few victories, championships, and scholarships for a few cis girls…”

      “…what, at this point, does it even matter?”
      /Hillary

  28. Democracy lasts until people realize they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.

    Which happened sometime last summer.

  29. Dems are simply buying votes with printed money. It’s astounding to me that the so-called “progressives” would object to cutting me, and others like me out of this bloated bill. Very little of it is necessary at this point, although in my state, our Democratic governor has driven thousands of business out of the market and driven schoolkids to suicide.
    https://quranforkids.com

  30. Joint-filers earning up to $150,000 would also get the full check.

    I’ve always wondered about this – joint filers don’t have twice the expenses, why do they get twice the tax breaks?

  31. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki last month.

    Did she say it in a wry droll like ‘of course *you* would ask this question’? Or was it the more common ‘slightly confused, rustle papers for a minutes, circle back’ technique?

  32. “When one in seven American families don’t have enough food to eat, we need to make sure people get the relief they need and are not left behind.”

    “But not, obviously, at the expense of political and corporate special interests. I mean, let’s be realistic here people.”

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