An additional 4.4 million Americans made claims just last week, a massive figure when added to the 26 million who have filed for unemployment as the lockdowns loom. While the government’s stimulus checks have helped people cover the cost of basics like rent and food, the one-time payment of up to $1,200 is not enough to sustain the ongoing needs of US families.
Though the pandemic seems to have no intention of concluding any time soon, it’s unclear as to whether there will be another stimulus check. In the same week that the first round of payments was being distributed, Representatives Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Tim Ryan (OH-13) announced the Emergency Money for the People Act. The plan suggests a $2,000 monthly payment to American citizens who earn less than $130,000 a year and are 16 years of age and older. This solution, projected to last at least six months, would have to pass votes from the House, the Senate, and the White House before it could become law.
Art Laffer, a member of President Trump’s economic recovery task force, proposed a payroll tax waiver instead. Laffer believes this plan will motivate businesses to keep employees on their payroll and discourage employees from retiring to file for unemployment during this global crisis. Under Laffer’s system, “both employers and employees would receive money from the federal government on a biweekly basis instead of having to pay the government a certain percentage of wages in payroll tax.”
In an attempt to curb the rising unemployment problem, Ivanka Trump launched an initiative dubbed “Find Something New.” The ad campaign was launched on Tuesday at the White House, featuring the adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, and business leaders that include Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.
Ivanka said that despite the pandemic, learning new skills is crucial for people who want to thrive. She explained that her initiative “is also an opportunity to be put on for a new trajectory for themselves and their lives and we want to facilitate that connection back to the workforce and make it as smooth as possible.”
However, “Find Something New” was quickly lambasted on social media, mostly for its title, which can be construed as a slogan that detracts from the unemployment nightmare being faced by millions of Americans as COVID-19 continues to overwhelm people’s physical and financial health.
Needless to say, America’s economic meltdown in recent months is unrivaled, caused by the government’s stay at home orders and non-essential business shutdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Ivanka defended her campaign via Twitter saying: “I suggest that you visit http://FindSomethingNew.org. This initiative is about challenging the idea the traditional 2 and 4 yr college is the only option to acquire the skills needed to secure a job. This work has never been more urgent.”
This is not the first time she has been publicly criticized for being out of tune with the conditions of the country. In April, while tweeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for people to remain home, and during a non-essential travel restriction set in place for Washington, DC, Ivanka went to her family vacation home at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.