We may have won the election, but it was despite an onslaught of lies and misrepresentation. So says Peter Slevin of The New Yorker. Republicans demonized Democrats in 2020 and it worked. See just how insidious the GOP message machinery was and is in “The Power of Political Disinformation in Iowa.”
The trouble with combatting an enemy on a battlefield with no discernible rules or stationary targets is you are going to get badly beaten, especially if the enemy has no moral compass and is calling all the shots. Keeping up with the Republican message machine has and will continue to be a challenge. The good news is that the many players on the Democratic side of the battle are now fully engaged and mounting a message machine of their own.
Step one—enact policy popular with a majority of Americans.
Step two—communicate how that policy will impact people in their everyday lives.
Step three—engage surrogates across the political, social, and corporate spectrum to carry that message.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers us one such opportunity. It is, says Slevin, an opportunity for Democrats to “overcome a fearsome wall of mistrust, and a broad willingness among Republicans to believe the worst about them.” It takes a concerted effort by party affiliates to get the details out to the public most likely to benefit. Since the $1.9 trillion plan reaches broadly and deeply into American lives, this should not be difficult.
A major point to make is that ALL Senate and House Republicans voted against helping hard-working Americans in their greatest time of need. In fact, the Senate version removed an amendment that would have increased the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. They still voted against the bill.
Here’s what we should be promoting far and wide:
Benefit; Who is Eligible; Size of Benefit
Direct payment of $1,400 per person Over 85% of households (A family of 4 will get $5,600
Extended Unemployment Benefit through 9/6/21 $300 per week
Child Care Tax Credit: $3,000 per child; $3,600 for kids under age 6; 17 year olds (A family of 4 with 2 young children will get $3,200)
Earned Income Tax Credit for 17 million workers (As much as $1,000)
Additional Tax Credit to help with child Care Costs for families with children under age 13 (Up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for 2 or more children)
Mortgage Payment Assistance for those behind with payments
Emergency Rental Assistance for households financially impacted by COVID
Health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Lower or eliminated health insurance premiums for families of 4 making up to $90,000 per year (Up to $200 reduction in monthly premium)
COBRA Premium Subsidy Adults receiving continu