Wednesday, July 07, 2021


The Washington Post goes to Monroe County, Ohio, and finds that the residents cashed the stimulus checks President Biden and the Democratic Congress secured for them, but they don't have any gratitude.
Dennis Beckett wasn't even sure he wanted to cash his stimulus check, especially after he received a letter from President Biden announcing its arrival. Beckett, a retired pipe fitter, owns 25 firearms and staunchly opposes the president's call for restrictions on high-capacity magazines.

After thinking about it for a few days, Beckett finally decided to use the money to fix up his century-old home, recently purchased for $30,000.

But even as the stimulus makes his renovation possible, Beckett also blames it for the rising cost of the construction materials he needs. “Ever since January 20th, everything has shot up,” Beckett said, referring to the day Biden was inaugurated. “Just look at gas — it’s $3 a gallon, when it had been $1.79.”

... Danny Long, a 41-year-old truck driver, was unemployed for much of last year and was behind on rent and utility bills.

The stimulus helped him catch up. But he credits Republicans for the checks, noting that Americans also received two stimulus payments during the last year of Trump’s presidency. “Biden didn’t do this,” Long said. “Trump did.”

... Monroe County Commissioner Mick Schumacher, a Republican, is ... skeptical that the federal stimulus will have a lasting impact.

“I think we are just trying to burn money, and raise inflation, and I think the whole thing is crazy,” Schumacher said. “Give the guy who is working a break rather than the guy who is sitting on his hind end a handout.”

... Biden’s stimulus bill provided direct aid to local governments, including $5.3 billion to the Appalachian region. Monroe County is slated to get $2.6 million over the next two years.

Schumacher said his county needs even more federal assistance, including help financing a new $34 million sewage treatment project so waste no longer seeps into the Ohio River. He argues that grant money provides more accountability and that officials can make sure it goes to a good cause.
(The Biden infrastructure plan would provide $56 billion for upgrades to wastewater, stormwater and drinking water systems.)

This reminds me of a story from 2016.
ELKHART, Ind. — Seven years ago President Obama came to this northern Indiana city, where unemployment was heading past 20 percent, for his first trip as president. Ed Neufeldt, the jobless man picked to introduce him, afterward donned three green rubber bracelets, each to be removed in turn as joblessness fell to 5 percent in the county, the state and the nation.

It took years — in 2012, Mr. Neufeldt lamented to a local reporter that he might wear his wristbands “to my casket” — but by last year they had all come off. Elkhart’s unemployment rate, at 3.8 percent, is among the country’s lowest, so low that employers here in the self-described R.V. capital of the world are advertising elsewhere for workers, offering sign-up bonuses, even hiring from a local homeless shelter.

Mr. Obama, whose four trips here during 2008 and 2009 tracked the area’s decline, is expected to return for the first time in coming weeks, both to showcase its recovery and to warn against going back to Republican economic policies. Yet where is Mr. Neufeldt leaning in this presidential election year? He may keep a photograph of himself and Mr. Obama on a desk at the medical office he cleans nightly, but he is considering Donald J. Trump.

“I like the way he just won’t take nothing off of nobody,” Mr. Neufeldt said....

Few people here are thanking [Obama] for their recovery, despite benefits from the administration’s $800 billion stimulus package — Mr. Obama came here in August 2009 to personally announce one grant — and from the rescues of the auto and financial industries.

... Instead, it is Mr. Trump who is making the impression.... Recently a high school basketball game west of here drew national attention after students hoisted Trump signs and taunted “Build that wall!” at fans from the rival, heavily Latino school.
You can't win with these people. If you're a Democrat, they'll never give you credit. Help them because you think it's the right thing to do, but don't help them because you think it might make them like you, because they never will.

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