Check picture

Picture of check, image courtesy of Orange County Register 

The government lauds itself for giving most Americans between $1,200-$2,400 for one month. There is this misconception that taxpayers are adequately cared for, and that the allocation of our tax dollars is done correctly, but judging from the state of the roads in Louisiana alone, I must disagree. What will $1,200 pay for in 2020?

Everyone who is receiving a check should be thankful. The government did not have to dole out any revenue to the public, and that should be acknowledged. However, this is a minuscule amount of money that will hardly help those struggling.

It's heart-wrenching that thousands of people are losing their lives to this pandemic, and I wish that were the only issue that we were facing. Unfortunately, there are other pressing issues that are becoming more apparent as the days go on.

The pandemic was unprecedented, but it reveals the economic corruption that this country was built upon. The average American is getting a paycheck that can barely pay their rent, yet billion-dollar companies get exorbitant bailouts while they continue to pay the majority of their workers an unlivable wage.

This is not a new phenomenon. Much of the wealth that was accumulated in the last century was monopolized by robber barons who operated on hoarding the resources that generated their wealth. America embodies economic inequality.

This inequality has been shown in the political arena for decades, but what exactly will bring the government off of its high horse? Will it be hundreds of thousands of deaths and mounting hospital bills, or millions of unemployed workers?

The national unemployment rate is approaching 17%, according to the New York Times. People have bills to pay and are unable to pay them. Taxpayers are pouring a huge amount of money into a system that is failing to use taxes for their purpose: to help the people. 

Taxation is essential to keep a society afloat, and as of now, society is floundering. To elicit some sort of solace in the American psyche, I think it would not hurt to give back more of taxpayer’s money for the time being. It’s our money. And we need it now.

Many people argue that the government will make recipients of the stimulus checks repay the money to dissuade people from being slightly eased by the check. Isn’t that what we’ve been doing anyway by paying taxes? The government is going to tax Americans no matter what. To use taxation for the greater good of society, the stimulus checks need to be larger to help everyone live as comfortably as possible during this pandemic.

What will $1,200 pay for in 2020? Not much. It will hardly pay for many people’s rent or mortgage and basic utilities. The amount isn’t feasible for the survival of many Americans. As taxpayers, it is important that we demand adequate care from the system that is supposed to use taxation to make our lives easier. $1,200 a month just isn’t enough.

Erin Stephens is a 19-year-old journalism sophomore from Brusly, Louisiana.

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