“WE passed the Covid bill, everybody! We got it, cheques are coming out – did we get everything we wanted?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared fairly jubilant on Instagram after President Joe Biden signed a relief bill worth $1.9trillion. But while much-needed for many Americans, the legislation did not go far enough – something that will likely be the epitome of Biden’s time in office.
$1,400 stimulus cheques (instead of the $2,000 ones promised during the Georgia Senate elections), $300 weekly Universal Income, the introduction of a temporary personal allowance and extra housing assistance are certainly welcome, especially when it means life-or-death for the poorest Americans.
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However, Donald Trump, to his credit, was reasonably swift in sending out $1,200 at the outset of the pandemic. And while it is yet to be seen whether he was bluffing at handing out $2,000 cheques of his own last autumn, you wouldn’t put it past the populist ex-President.
Biden’s done a little more than his predecessor – but he could have done a lot.
Take the minimum wage hike proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders last week. It was voted down in the Senate 58-42 (with seven Democrats against, interestingly enough), but Biden’s VP Kamala Harris could have done a lot more.
If she had used her power to overrule the Senate parliamentarian, 60 GOP votes would have been required to stop her. But instead, decor was observed over improving the lives of many.
As Sanders’ former speechwriter David Sirota wrote in the Guardian, “it is laughable and preposterous to argue that a newly elected president has zero power to even try to shift the dynamic.”
Across the pond, the major news wasn’t about economics, unless you count the millions the Royal Family drains from the coffers each year.
But have tearaways Meghan and Harry inadvertently boosted the case for republicanism?
Perhaps a small mistake was made a few paragraphs ago – draining money from the coffers? That doesn’t matter in the slightest (unless it affects inflation), according to Stephanie Kelton. We reviewed her book – which you can buy using our exclusive BookShop link.
Elsewhere, new contributor Daniel Green looked at the Hungarian autocracy run by Viktor Orban – and whether anything can counter his regime.
British leftists should keep a sharp eye on the polls, with less than two months left till the local, Scottish and Welsh elections.
Starmer’s taken a battering lately – can he do anything to stop it?
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