CARES Act and campaign spending benefit the wealthy more than those most in need


Yasmeen Collins | The Ticker

Farah Javed, Managing Editor

During the week of Election Day, former Vice President and now President-elect Joseph Biden, current President Donald Trump and the rest of the nation impatiently waited for states’ votes to be counted.

Conspiracy theories and mistruths spread like wildfire about who was winning or, at one point, who actually won.

Though these issues are problematic, one that deserves more attention is the obscene amounts of money available for election lawsuits during a pandemic.

When the United States started quarantines and lockdowns back in March, daily life came to a halt. People were out of jobs, unable to pay bills and some were even threatened with eviction.

In fact, Americans are still reeling from the sharp economic downturn.

Then, a stimulus package was announced. Individuals desperately hoped they would wake up and see the $1,200 check in the mail.

For some, their prayers were answered. For the other 12 million Americans, they are still waiting.

Some of those with no government aid were ignored because their income doesn’t fall within the poverty brackets to qualify for a check.

In a pandemic, resources are scarce and should be allocated towards those who need it. Yet, while only some Americans are receiving stimulus checks, wealthy Americans had a larger stimulus to gain money from.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, contains $2.2 trillion.

Yet, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, $135 billion of that fund is being distributed to the top 1% of Americans, because it is allowing wealthy taxpayers to use losses from previous years to avoid paying taxes in other years.

Another issue is that wealthy taxpayers are allowed to claim refunds during this pandemic by factoring in their losses from 2018 and 2019. That $135 billion is more than the money given to hospitals and governments in the United States, according to Forbes.

Instead of prioritizing getting personal protective equipment, or PPE, or trying to find a vaccine, special care was taken to write a bill that gave the rich more tax breaks.

While people died, the rich had their pockets lined.

Now with the 2020 election past, it seems that once more, a financial emphasis was placed on politics rather than people dying every day from COVID-19.

“Donors poured record amounts of money into the 2018 midterms and 2020 appears to be a continuation of that trend — but magnified,” Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said. “Ten years ago, a billion-dollar presidential candidate would have been difficult to imagine. This cycle, we’re likely to see two.”

In the middle of a national crisis with a high unemployment rate, it is insensitive to spend millions of dollars on campaigns.

In the long run, it is more beneficial to show the public a candidate’s worthiness by using their own money to fix up society, rather than to use that money on attack advertisements.

After all, there is no nation without people able to live and prosper in it.

On top of the gluttony and insensitivity of campaign financing, the 2020 election added costly lawsuits to the mix.

Trump and other Republicans announced that they would sue for election fraud. In every state he sued, however, the court determined that there was no basis for a case.

It was clear that Trump was only suing battle ground states that indicated he would lose in them.

As they geared up to somehow bring the lawsuits directly to the Supreme Court, which is just not how the system works, Republicans tried to raise $60 million to fund them.

The Biden campaign then raised money from donors in order to have a chance of winning the lawsuits.

The lawsuits are clearly unnecessary. Instead of using millions of dollars on lawyers and fees, that money could be used towards transitioning into the next presidency.

Considering just how bad the economy is right now and how much will need to be done to combat COVID-19, an investment should be made in the future and not over disputing 98 votes.

The ongoing lawsuits even post-election are draining funds that could go toward the betterment of the country.

Beyond the presidential candidates duking it, other government hopefuls spent unbelievable amounts of money. South Carolina candidate Jaime Harrison raised $57 million to try and defeat Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Harrison broke previous fundraising records, but yet he still did not win the race.

This story could be seen repeatedly across the United States. Though one could argue resources must be pooled to educate the public, there reaches a point where superfluous money is being utilized.

There is always a breakeven point.

If there are people in the United States able to donate thousands of dollars or more to campaign races, then it begs the question as to why they aren’t helping to bandage up the money bleeding of America now.

When it comes to self-interests, people are ready to provide money. When it comes to millions of Americans living jobless or in poverty, then suddenly there’s no money to be donated.

The United States has a winner-take-all system in place. Obviously, there is one candidate that loses.

In this case, however, the nation lost in the process of figuring out who would be the next president.

Americans lost by not being given money due to both candidates’ spending. They lost by Trump claiming that COVID-19 was under control even though cases continue to rise.

They lost by being reduced down to a mere vote to be won, rather than people hurt in imaginable ways.

When starving and suffering citizens needed the government the most, it vanished. Now, all we can do is hope Biden will remove America from its economical abyss.