Democrats Strip $1,400 Checks From 12 Million for No Reason
It is not as though lawmakers are opposed to welfare for the affluent
For weeks, a handful of moderate Democrats in the Senate have been fighting to prevent $1,400 COVID-relief checks from reaching their own upper-middle-class constituents. It has never been all that clear to the public — or, by all appearances, to the senators themselves — why they wanted to restrict eligibility for these relief payments so badly. It is not as though Joe Manchin or Jeanne Shaheen are opposed to welfare for the affluent in all forms. To the contrary, Shaheen has lambasted Republicans for restricting the state-and-local-income (SALT) deduction, a tax subsidy that primarily benefits well-off homeowners.
Nor could the moderates’ opposition be chalked up to (superstitious) fears of high deficits: Every Democratic senator has already tacitly agreed to support a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, and eligibility restrictions under discussion were always too minor to significantly impact the legislation’s bottom line.
Nor could moderates claim to have the public on their side; the relief checks were overwhelmingly popular in their initially proposed form. And on this issue, one can’t attribute the moderates’ resistance to fealty to corporate interests; large retailers love stimulus checks.
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