Letter to the Editor

American Rescue Plan is not wasteful

Monday, March 22, 2021

To the Editor:

The headline in the Tuesday, March 16, 2021 issue of the Banner Graphic is worth repeating: “Putnam communities to get more than $10 million.” The article provided these details:

• Bainbridge: $160,000.

• Cloverdale: $450,000.

• Fillmore: $110,000.

• Greencastle: $2,140,000.

• Roachdale: $180,000.

• Russellville: $70,000.

• Putnam County: $7,290,000

This is part of the $360 billion in funding for state and local governments in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. It was supported by every Democrat but one in Congress and by every Democrat in the Senate. No Republicans voted for it in either body, even though over 70 percent of the American people support it. Our representatives in Congress are among those who voted against it:

• Representative Jim Baird

• Senator Todd Young

• Senator Mike Braun

Here are some of the other provisions in the Act these men voted against:

• About $422 billion for checks for up to $1,400 for individual filers, $2,800 for joint filers and $1,400 for each qualifying dependent. These amounts begin phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes over $75,000 and for joint filers with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) over $150,000. Dependents who qualify include full-time students under the age of 24 and adult dependents.

• About $110 billion for child tax credits. The maximum credit is temporarily set at $3,600 for each child younger than 6 and $3,000 for those 6-to-17 and up. The same phase-out rules apply. The credit is fully refundable which means low-income earners will get the full benefit, no matter how little they earn.

• About $415 billion for COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, contact tracing, research and manufacturing of medical supplies.

• About $130 billion for K-12 schools. This K-12 funding is especially important for Hoosiers given that the State Assembly is pushing legislation that would expand school voucher funding by $4,114/student while traditional public school students get a whopping $200/student (Banner Graphic, Friday, Feb. 19)! And you wonder why property taxes go up?!?

• About $15 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Jim Baird, you are a veteran. Your vote makes no sense.

• Also, there is support for real small businesses, restaurants, renters, landlords, unemployment insurance, health insurance, funeral expenses …

This legislation will help a large majority of American people. These men, Baird, Young and Braun, voted against it. Braun said it was wasteful. I don’t know about the other two.

Wasteful?!? Really?!?

Gerald E. Gau