Coronavirus stimulus needs to be focused on front lines

(© W. Scott McGill –

President Trump’s proposal to cut payroll taxes through the end of the year would boost corporate revenues.

It would do little for people with no paid sick time and those who might face a furlough as activity curtails to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

In our demand-driven economy, the focus needs to be on the front lines, not the top lines.

“The spread of COVID-19 will create economic ramifications that will affect individuals, families, and regions differently. While following social distancing guidelines may be important to mitigate the spread of the virus, it creates potentially grave economic challenges for American workers who are not easily able to telework or who do not have access to paid leave.  Further limitations on travel, access to more common general services, and cancellation of major events will potentially hurt a large number of Americans who work or depend upon hospitality, travel, tourism, and retail businesses.”

This is from a letter to President Trump written by 34 Senate Democrats, led by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

In the letter, the senators called for an economic stimulus package focused on helping working Americans and their families who will be most harmed by the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus in the United States.

The goal of any economic stimulus should be directly aimed at the two types of workers who will be most harmed, the senators wrote.

More from the letter:

“First, any proposed relief should directly target workers who may have followed medical guidance to self-quarantine because of potential exposure, or those who are required to care for a family member. Second, it should also ensure that workers whose employment or income is significantly jeopardized by industries who may experience the economic slowdown as a consequence of the spread of the virus are appropriately protected. Further, any mechanism to provide relief must predominately be done as a pass-through to workers.

“Our focus should not be on boosting company returns; instead, our focus should be on helping workers, including hourly workers and those workers at small or retail businesses who often don’t have access to short term savings or paid time off.”

Story by Chris Graham

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