Don't Punish the Poor by Withholding Federal Payout

As the United States Congress puts the final touches in the next few days on its massive $2 trillion bill to respond to the coronavirus, it is vital to use our voices and influence to tell them: Don't punish the poor!

Most people know that the current draft bill provides for a $1,200 one-time check to every American. What most don't know is that poor people, those most in dire need, would not get nearly that much. The bill provides for "means-testing" at both ends of the income scale; the payments diminish for those with higher incomes, but they also are reduced for those with low or no income, to $600.

What kind of perverted, bigoted, heartless logic brings people to do such things? We know it well. We have been talking about it now for over two years. It is a false moral narrative than proclaims that poor people are less deserving of respect and support than others, and why? Because they are poor. We need to break that vicious circle, and there is no time or opportunity better than right now.

Here is a simple letter that you can send off to all your elected federal and state lawmakers with one click. We must tell them all, right now, this weekend, to do the right thing: Do not punish the poor. Do not expose them to even more vulnerability and hardship and sickness and death than other Americans. We will all pay if you fail.

There is far more to be done. This year, we must build and use our power to ensure that we elect lawmakers who heed our call for justice, who not only hear but listen to our demands, who act on them. This is a crisis as never before, and the way our nation responds will define not only its character, but also its fate. As Rev. Barber has said, we are called to this moment.

Forward together - not one step back!