I got my stimulus check yesterday and, like a good patriotic American, I bought a television. I clearly was not alone. The TV that I had seen on sale was sold out. In fact, almost every television in the “entry level,” as the salesperson described them, was sold out. So, I spent more than I intended because I did not want to return home empty-handed. The stimulus is doing it’s job.

The store almost felt like normal, except that everyone wore masks. I got a sense of optimism. While not Christmas crowded, the store had good traffic. The parking lot of the shopping center was full and the salesperson needed assistance loading my TV because his arm was sore from his vaccine. We’re heading back to another new normal.

Biden’s American Rescue Plan is an appropriate antidote to the pandemic. Everybody should buy themselves a television or something fun. Sure, we need to pay bills or pay off debt, but we also need to reward ourselves. We just survived a year of a rancorous shut-down and four years of being led by a crazy son-of-a-bitch. Live a little. 

The stimulus check and the goodies in the plan give Americans reason for hope and highlight the difference between Democrats and Republicans. The GOP’s belief in trickle-down theory always means that stimulus programs go to the few and then trickle-down the rest of us. It never works. The rich get richer and the rest of us plod along. 

Democrats believe if those who struggle in the economy do well, the rest of us will, too. The stimulus sends a message that the government cares about regular people, not just corporations and the ruling class. It’s so popular, Republicans who voted against it are singing its praises.

Republicans have made tax cuts seem fiscally responsible while portraying direct cash payments as undeserving handouts. The people of this country who have weathered this pandemic are anything but undeserving. They have been patient and resilient in the face of a national crisis that the GOP failed to address. Republicans who are sending dire warnings about the debt and deficit had no such fears when they were driving both up. 

It’s time to get moving again, even if we need to do so with caution. We have a president that cares about people and the country, not just himself and his supporters. We have a Congress that believes government can make a difference, not just cause problems. We have the renewal of spring and an optimism for the future. Let’s get back to a new normal.

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