Headlines from several outlets show the outrage of President Donald Trump allegedly withholding COVID-19 relief funds during recent Congressional stimulus negotiations.
USA Today warned that “your favorite restaurant or small business – as many as 36,000 – face closure without coronavirus relief”. Business Insider reported that “Democrats (are) outraged as Trump halts Covid stimulus talks until after election”. CNN speculated that it’s an “insane time for Trump to reject a stimulus package”. NBC reported “with stimulus negotiations uncertain and federal help gone, many don’t know how they’ll get by”.
Coverage has barely reported that the stimulus bill demanded bailouts for states that were choosing to continue economic lockdowns, attempted to repeal SALT deductions for top earners in high-tax states and insisted on including a bailout of the United States Postal Service.
While this alone is grounds for speculation, it doesn’t begin to cover the selective outrage of governments withholding money from Americans. California Gov. Gavin Newson has been withholding CARES act funds from non-compliant counties in his state. Counties have been asking the federal government to give the CARES funding directly to the counties, acknowledging that residents are “barely hanging on”. The mainstream media has yet to cover this reality for California residents.
To continue the topic of withholding funds, California is currently plagued with over 1.5 million of its residents still waiting to receive their unemployment checks due to paperwork processing backlogs. While this is yet another grave financial reality for residents, the New York Times dubbed this policy fail simply an “unemployment reset”.
The discrepancies in media outrage for people being withheld financial aid during this time are impossible to ignore.
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Author: Stephanie H. Freedman