Hey, kids! Worried you have no future? Pissed off that your country died and all you got was this measly $1200? Well I can't tell you to worry no more because we have Il Cheeto Benito attempting to rule but I can tell you that this here massive Two. Trillion. Dollar. stimulus package doesn't leave you in the cold. Here, look for yourself! Here's all 880 pages of it! Go ahead. Read it. I'll wait.
Yeah LOL you aren't about to do that. Too bad this isn't 2008, back when Hank Paulson gave Congress a 3-page $700b ransom note. Or actually considering how shitty that was for everyone in the country that didn't already own a helicopter really it's pretty great. BUT WHAT'S IN IT?
So my union actually put some shit together. I've added it here.
- here's a flowchart of who gets money and how they get it. Important to note: Yeah there's a $1200 grant for individuals (if you make less than $75k a year) and $500 for kids. But there's also an extra $600 a week for unemployment benefits, which are opened to hella more people, and which last for four months, and which extend unemployment benefits for an additional thirteen weeks. So set aside the $1200 grant everyone's focused on - the provisions here put twenty grand in my pocket and maybe yours, too. Prolly less. WA's unemployment benefits are damn near the best in the country.
- Here's the National Employment Law Project being more verbose. They point out that if you're an undocumented worker you're fucked but I mean, you knew that already. Here's some highlights:
- Those eligible for PUA include self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers, workers seeking part-time work, and workers who do not have a long-enough work history to qualify for state UI benefits.
Yeah you're a freelance web designer? Guess what you now get unemployment +$600 even though you've never paid into the system. It's unclear how they'll verify wages so that could suck. It's retroactive to Jan 27 so if you've been out of work for the whole of February you can get four weeks of unemployment (plus $600 a week) as a lump sum.
There's a nice provision in there paying for slowdowns, rather than layoffs:
- Short-time compensation (STC), also known as work-sharing, programs help employers avoid layoffs by putting workers on part-time schedules with partial unemployment benefits to help make up for some of the lost income. Under the CARES Act, the federal government will fully reimburse states for all STC programs already in place that conform with the requirements of Section 3306(v) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Act also provides $100 million in grants to states to implement, improve, and promote STC programs. More information on STC programs can be found here.
- Here's a powerpoint of all the entertainment-related stuff. Probably doesn't matter all that much but I mean
- $75m to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
-$150m to the National Endowment for the Arts
- Student loan suspension
- Suspension of wage garnishment
- Up to $100/wk employee contribution towards student loans tax break
- Federal guaranteed loans for freelancers and small business owners above and beyond all of the above
- Finally, here's a New York Times FAQ on the stimulus package.
- most payments (that $1200 everyone's fixated on) will be in your bank account in three weeks
- If you're on social security you get money
- If your spouse was the source of money and they died of coronavirus, you get money
- none of this money counts as money towards calculating Medicaid or CHIP eligibility
- you can tap your IRA or 401(k) for $100k without penalty
- Up to $300 in pandemic donations are now tax-deductable
- your credit rating is fuckin' on hold until 120 days after the emergency is declared over
- if your landlord's mortgage is backed by fannie mae or freddie mac, you can't be evicted
- Fuckin' menstrual products are now covered under your FSA. There is no possible way to make this about coronavirus. I don't say that because I think it's a bad idea or I disapprove, I point this out to draw attention to the fact that if you think this is a Republican bill? I mean...
- They can still cut off your internet if you don't pay and
- They can still cut off your power.
...maybe I'll add more after I've read those 880 pages.