The American Rescue Plan

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    The Democrats’s American Rescue Plan is “a big f’ing deal” as then-VP Joe Biden famously said in 2010 when Obama signed the Affordable Care Act.

    Most people seem not to know what’s in this law, but there’s much more in it than $1400 one-time payments and extended unemployment insurance. The law includes big child tax credits and also a huge boost in the subsidies for people buying insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) exchanges. This is has been a big problem all along for the ACA that Democrats have been unable to fix since they lost control of the House in 2010.

    But those two things – the child tax care credit and the ACA boost – are only temporary. They will expire in two years.

    In a sense, these are a poison pill for Republicans: by the time of the 2022 midterm elections, these will both have to be extended or expire and result in big jumps in insurance rates and cuts for parents with kids. Republicans have long been on the losing side on the health care issue; it helped Democrats re-take the House in 2018. They’ll have to campaign on big cuts that would push millions of people off of their health insurance or raise their premiums and deductibles.

    It’s like the Republicans have always done with tax cuts for the middle class: once passed into law, campaigning to repeal them is politically impossible for Democrats. Making these two temporary boosts will force Republicans either to campaign on raising people’s insurance premiums – including a lot of middle class people, not really the poor – or agree to support them as permanent changes. Good political strategy. Let’s see how it pans out!


    Agree with you, Andrew.

    On a side note, the $15 minimum wage (which didn’t make the bill) may fall in the hands of business. Costco is at $16 an hour, or soon will be. Locally, New Seasons went to the $15 hr min. less than two years ago and added twice a year, meaningful raises. (which comes out to around 5.3 percent yearly)

    What a change from the previous administration. But I’m still miffed at how some people don’t get the mask thing. I know Biden is working on that and we will see how it plays out with states like Texas and Mississippi. Buckle up.


    Chris, I don’t actually support a national $15 minimum wage. I think the cost of living varies greatly across the US, so it’s silly to try to impose the same wage everywhere – the cost of living is not the same in New York City as in El Paso, so why should the wages be the same?

    Apparently, a number of Democrats feel the same way. Eight Senate Democrats voted against an amendment to the American Rescue Plan bill to include the $15 minimum wage in it.

    I would definitely support raising the national minimum wage from what it is now – it’s obviously too low. I would support indexing it so it will go up annually with inflation also. I think local minimum wages per state or locality are a good thing too – then people living in a region can choose elected officials who will impose their popular will. E.g. San Francisco has a minimum wage of $15.59/hour – in a city with a steep cost of living, this makes sense.

    I’d also support a federal law prohibiting states from disallowing local minimum wages in cities – e.g. in red states like Georgia, the state government as far as I know, will not allow Atlanta to impose a higher minimum wage for their city than the rest of the state’s. How about a federal law allowing localities to set their own minimum wage up to 150% of the national minimum wage?


    Yep…I hear ya, Andrew.

    I still think businesses will use their hiring power by bringing their starting wages to at least $15 an hour and up, to not only get the best workers but retain them for longer periods of time.

    Andy Brown

    Employers generally will not pay more than they have to. I think too many folks are forgetting that minimum wage guarantees are not aimed at employers who are hiring professionals or college graduates.

    Minimum wage laws protect those workers that must seek employment at less desirable companies that exploit workers to every legal extent allowed as a part of their normal operating procedures.

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