The Journal Gazette
Thursday, November 19, 2020 1:00 am

Unconscionable inaction

Those suffering in pandemic's wake need aid now

Sarah Thompson

Remember back in March (yes, eight months ago) when the CARES Act was signed?

Some of us got checks for $1,200, maybe enough to cover your rent or mortgage and some groceries – maybe – for that one month.

The American people received a measly 20% of the CARES Act money. The rest of the trillions went to corporations.

We have been promised relief, but nothing happens. We are sinking into inescapable poverty; many of us won't ever get out. When you live on the edge of survival, one missed payment creates a late fee. That $40 snowballs into months of late fees then years of debt.

COVID-19 cases are rising, and it's getting scarier. Many of us don't have a choice to stay home. We have to try to catch up and we are putting ourselves, our families and everyone else in danger.

This infuriates me. How can we do the right thing and stay afloat? Survive? Pay our bills? Eat?

We need $2,000 a month in universal basic income until this pandemic is eradicated. And we need it backdated from when this whole thing started.

Many of us were building businesses or dreams, and that's all gone now. We're in survival mode and we were robbed of not only this year, but all the financial security we may have built over a lifetime.

And you know who can pay for it? The greedy 1% who have gotten richer during this pandemic. While 240,000 of us have died, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. all got billions richer.

Our representatives need to be fighting for us and our well-being. We need them to drop their partisanship and fight for the people of their districts. Jim Banks, Mike Braun and Todd Young need to stop playing games with our lives and start doing their jobs. They work for us, and we demand relief now.

Sarah Thompson is a Roanoke resident.

By the numbers • 10.9% of all adults in the country report that their household sometimes or often doesn't have enough to eat in the past seven days; the number is 14% in households with children. • Nearly one in six adult renters was not caught up on rent in late October; 10 million adults are in a household not caught up in its mortgage payments. • The unemployment rate jumped in April to a level not seen since the 1930s - and still stood at 6.9% in October. • 80 million adults (one in three) report having difficulty covering usual household expenses. • Adults who don't have enough to eat in Indiana: 11% (519,000); children: 12% (192,000). Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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