The price of COVID relief

The United States already has many programs for people suffering from serious economic privation, ranging from food support to housing support to health-care support. Some of these welfare programs are better-designed and better-run than others, and many would be better administered at the state or municipal level, but that is not an indictment of the programs as such. The United States also has epidemic-specific measures in place, which is entirely appropriate, and the most important of these is providing extended/enhanced unemployment benefits. The main economic effect of the epidemic has been preventing people from working when businesses were appropriately obliged to suspend operations or operate at some reduced capacity, which has cost both employees and business owners (let’s not forget them) a great deal of income.

The way to respond to that is not firing money at the general public from a confetti cannon…

Of course we cannot and should not ignore the economic consequences of the epidemic that is still, let’s not forget, raging across our country. From unemployment benefits to emergency support for hospitals, there is much that can and should be done. But we also cannot and should not ignore that this all has to be paid for, at some point. Nor should we ignore that, under the tutelage of Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, et al., we are training a generation of Americans to wait by the mailbox for their check from the government.