Yesterday I suggested that our Administration's policy responses to the coronavirus would all just make their rich cronies richer, but I have to say I didn't know how bad they truly were -- seriously, letting big airline corporations defer their taxes, when they can already defer their taxes so much that most of them pay no taxes every year? And remember that a "payroll tax holiday" means no money paid into Social Security and Medicare; even Barack Obama signed off on a payroll tax cut, and only on the employee side. Less money for Social Security and Medicare means what else? A manufactured funding "crisis," that's what, one that means they "have" to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits down the road! Don't think this Administration is stupid, no matter how stupid our President acts; they know what they're doing, and they know they're doing evil. So now would be a good time to call your Reps and Senators and tell them you reject all of this Administration's attempts to use the coronavirus to pass bad policy. And don't be afraid to describe those policies as "evil," either.
And while you're got them on the phone, you can suggest better policies that would help us weather bad times a whole lot better than all of our President's attempts to redistribute income upward to his fellow executives. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy identifies five such policies: increase investment in public health spending, including Medicaid and the Centers for Disease Control budget; expand unemployment insurance and offer paid sick leave; reverse the 2017 tax "reform"; actually collect the few corporate taxes we're still supposed to collect; and start taxing the rich considerably harder than we're doing now, by imposing a wealth tax and reforming capital gains taxes so that rich folks don't consistently pay less in taxes from selling property than working families do by, you know, merely existing. As ITEP says at the above link, "(c)rises are inevitable but we have power over our response." Politicians like to pretend we're their hostages, but we're free people, with powers vested in us by our laws and our traditions. So let's use that power; it is our solemn duty as citizens, after all.
Finally, regarding paid sick leave in particular, Moms Rising helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for American workers immediately. I'm sure right-wingers will accuse us of "using a crisis to pass our pet legislative priorities," but paid sick leave would actually help contain the coronavirus threat, by giving workers the option to take some paid time off if they get sick, so they don't go to work and get other people sick. Not everyone has that option, as you know, since taking a day off without pay results in unpaid bills and lost jobs, in a country where almost half of us don't have the financial resources to face a $400 emergency. Surely paid sick leave would help contain the spread of the coronavirus better than more deferred taxes for airline corporations! And starving Social Security and Medicare through a "payroll tax holiday" (which Social Security Works helps you oppose, if you're in a hurry) won't actually help working families very much, though it will result in yet another unearned pile of money for their bosses. But we're not a nation of bosses -- we're a nation of workers, and a nation of citizens, and the politicians should hear us, and obey us.