Commentary: Americans need the stimulus package, but is $600 enough?

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Commentary: Americans need the stimulus package, but is $600 enough?
December 30
09:15 2020

By Dr. James B. Ewer Jr.

The American people have been in an economic slump for several months. Stores have lost revenue and workers have been displaced or had to accept reduced hours. Businesses have closed and may not ever open again.

Clearly, COVID-19 has caused immeasurable harm to our way of living.

Some basic necessities are in short supply and communities are in crisis because they cannot get what they so desperately need. Terms like food insecurity have become a part of our lexicon.

We are down and need a hand to help us.

That hand is the federal government. Some months ago, we the people received stimulus checks of $1200 and unemployment benefits. Businesses were able to hang on and pay their employees. Now those funds have run out. They are gone!

During recent weeks, Congress feuded over another stimulus package. These talks were spirited and full of vitriol. Just days ago they did agree on a $900 billion stimulus package. Included in this package would be a $600 check for each American. The president said he wouldn’t sign this bill and wanted a stimulus payment of $2000 instead for each American. We were all on pins and needles waiting for the final decision. 

While Americans are teetering on collapse, Trump was playing golf in Mar-a-Largo. Finally, on Dec. 27, he signed the stimulus package and Americans can look forward to their $600 check. How far will that stretch for those who are facing hunger or eviction?

Any stimulus provides some welcome relief from this economic pothole America finds itself.

Nancy Pelosi said, “On Monday, I will bring the House back to session where we will hold a recorded vote on a stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2000. To vote against this bill is to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny them the relief they need.”

Well, the House of Representatives will pass it and the Senate will reject it. Unfortunately, that refrain has been the case for many years now. As a result, we are at a standstill.

Common ground has been hard to reach. This crossroads of indifference has stifled us and made us stumble along with no direction. We are ships passing in the night with no port of call.

Bring on Biden and Harris! The optics for hope are much better with them. We will have a chance with them. We had no chance with him.

Looking forward, the vaccine will help to keep us healthy. Our families will be reunited. Bless our brothers and sisters who passed away in 2020. The economy will rebound, and our citizens will return to work. An American shoutout to our first responders and to our military.

It is with hope and optimism that I look forward to 2021.

James B. Ewers Jr. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator and can be reached at

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