Unemployed Americans need cash. We go to work in return for a paycheck. With unemployment we lose the paycheck. It’s a simple but very painful formula for millions of Americans.
Paychecks pay the rent or the mortgage, the car payment, utilities, groceries and school clothes for the kids.
Whatever amount the government will provide unemployed Americans are hoping will be on the generous side. The $600 a month boost has been a financial plus. The downside to this is the government is broke and doesn’t have this money to dole out. The deep hole of debt being dug for America’s grandchildren is staggering and shameful. Another downside is who feels compelled to work if their total unemployment income is over $900 a week? A lot of people don’t make this much money from their 40 hour a week jobs. Another downside with unemployment checks has been the long wait for some of them to arrive. Many suffering people are still waiting.
In the meantime, the government should freeze student loan repayments for the unemployed.
America’s universities must do a serious financial huddle and cut cost on the exorbitant tuition they’ve been charging students. Higher education has been handing out bigger and bigger dilemmas for Americans every year. Families must consider community or junior college for the time being. Typically, federal grants will cover most of the costs of a community college. This should be considered seriously if the student is in the first two years of college and still taking traditional required classes or electives. You don’t need to be spending or borrowing $30,000 to $50,000 a year if you are drowning financially. Commuting or taking online classes from the local community college may not seem very glamorous. However, we are talking about surviving financially and a year or two of local community college keeps the studies going without adding debt and more pressure.
Banks and finance companies should come up with a six-month system that allows the unemployed a break from making payments. The money is still owed and has to be paid back but with proof of unemployment the debtor gets a bye for a few months as they try to regain financial stability.
The government should issue short-term emergency medical cards. This is a pandemic. People are sick. If you have lost your job and your health insurance you’re terrified to go to the doctor. The federal government would have to issue money to the states or directly issue cards. This would have to be a short-term deal until America finds a vaccine and we can get back on our feet.
Finally, issue the unemployed a SNAP card. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This is not a dream world for anybody but it could provide several hundred dollars a month for groceries. The card works just a like credit card. American families must have food on the table.
More than anything we need a vaccine for COVID-19. Please, join with me in this prayer that a vaccine will be ready soon.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states. He is a graduate of numerous schools including Georgetown College, Southern and Lexington Seminaries in Kentucky. Learn more at www.glennmollette.com. Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of this paper or its corporate ownership.