It was all a tweet.
Or at least that’s how I came across Rep. Joe Kennedy III’s announcement to defeat an impending economic crisis. I scrolled through his thread on Twitter, and I’m not going to lie my eyebrows were aroused.
In simple terms, Joe Kennedy wants to put cold-hard cash in our hands and I’m all bout that action, Joe. But it’s not just the bold conclusion to place power (money) directly into the People’s hands, it’s how much power Joe is directing into whose hands.
Boston Herald Honing
After diving past the initial tweet, and doing a five-minute search on Google, I ended up reading a Boston Herald article that helped better layout the details. (Thank you Mary Markos!)
Unlike the universal income payment championed by 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Kennedy is distinguishing different payments for different income levels and also extending the payments to children.
According to the Herald, Joe Kennedy III’s “worker’s economic recovery package would:
- Give $4,000 to every American adult earning less than $100,000 annually and $2,000 for each child.
- Give $2,000 to every American adult earning more than $100,000 annually and $1,000 for each child.
These considerations for the American people should not be met with unappreciation. However, I’m not sure Kennedy’s plan goes far enough. This is huge, but it still isn’t Andrew Yang huge.
Let’s do the math for a few sets of living situations for people who earn less than $100,000 a year.
Now, let’s suppose an adult, maybe a writer who lives in an apartment in Oklahoma, is given the choice between these two plans.
Which one should he choose?
Well if more cash means, better plan (and let’s just set that as our metric) then it would make sense for the writer to slap a “Yang 2020” sticker on his 2012 Altima and go with Andrew.
Under Joe’s plan, I would get $4,000 to last me the rest of 2020. But with Yang, I would receive $9,000. But what about other living situations across the country?
I have a DJ friend who just had his first child. Let’s say his gigs start slowing down because people are actually adhering to social distancing. (We’ll see.)
Whose plan would be a better fit for him, his wife, and his newborn child?
Well if more cash is the route he wants to take, then yeah, it’s Yang.
Under Joe’s plan, my friend’s family would receive $10,000 to help them through the rest of 2020. But with Yang, their family would receive $18,000.
I know my buddy’s good with the 1’s and 2’s, so I’m sure he knows which plan is going to help him out more. However, what about a single parent?
I know a woman who is working part-time to be the sole provider for her child. With shifts slowing down, she needs to know which payment plan will truly carry her through to the end of 2020.
And yet again, it’s Yang. Under Kennedy’s plan, my friend would receive $6,000, but with Yang, she would receive $9,000.
However, I will note that Congressman Kennedy’s plan includes eliminating the waiting period imposed by many states for unemployment insurance applicants and intends to extend unemployment insurance by an additional 13 weeks.
But in terms of “more cash in hands = better plan,” then it’s Yang by $3,000.
What about a happy couple with three children? Would they rather have a go with Joe, or would they like to hang with Yang? (I have to spice this up somehow.)
Well, if you answered “Yang” for this question and all of the questions above, then you would be correct.
A family with three children under Joe’s plan would receive $14,000 in 2020, but under Yang’s plan, they would receive $18,000 by the end of the year.
Both of these plans proposed by the two gentlemen are glorious signs of progressive thought forming roots across this nation. Even Senator Mitt Romeny is starting to wake up to this new vision for America.
I like where Congressman Joe Kennedy III’s heart is on this issue, but simply put, it does not extend aid to the most vulnerable people in America like Andrew Yang’s plan does.
If we can agree that money needs to be put back into the people's hands to keep this economy alive, that is all well and good. But Congressman Kennedy’s plan kind of feels like America’s taxpayers are just covering the annual bonus that greedy corporations across the land refuse to pay out to their hardest workers.
Yang’s proposal feels more like a steadfast plan that is built to withstand not only this economic shock but the ones that inevitably will follow.
We can agree that money needs to be put back into the people’s hands, but we can not only look at one proposal for this sort of plan. Proposals like Yang’s should be given equal recognition when Congress reconvenes on this issue.
However, I am truly glad to see the path on which we are heading.
If I could give but one critique of Yang’s plan, it would be to include permanent residents and not just adult citizens.
Immigrants who move to America, work like Americans, and pay taxes like Americans, should be paid like Americans.
Permanent residents who legally immigrate to the US are as much a part of this economy as any other adult US citizen.
If a universal income payment is to be proposed to save workers in this economy, then that financial relief should be extended to ALL of the adult workers in the US economy.