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Letter: A pandemic is not the time for ‘fiscal responsibility’

President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, right, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, seated second left, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Or., seated left, and Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., foreground, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington.
Alex Brandon, Associated Press

I just knew that those opposing the much-needed $1.9 trillion pandemic relief aid proposal would cite as their reason the belief (that I don’t recall ever hearing from them in the last four years) that we need to be “fiscally responsible” and not add to our national debt and federal budget deficit. It is one thing to say that we “can’t afford” to bankrupt our nation over expensive items like the “Green New Deal” and “Medicare For All.” But it is different when we are having a national crisis such as this pandemic and when most of our citizens (both Democrats and Republicans) are truly hurting and struggling financially. Even many upper-middle-class Americans are struggling to pay their bills.

This is not the time to preach “fiscal responsibility.”

If you want to find out the real reason behind why many of these sanctimonious senators and members of Congress are saying the proposal is “too generous,” then “follow the money trail” and find out who their biggest, richest and most powerful and influential campaign donors and contributors are, and find out how they want them to vote on this and other proposals, and you will learn why they are taking this particular stance. The big donors encourage them to vote in favor of what is in their economic and financial self-interest, not on what is best for the American people as a whole.

Because, as my dad always said to me — “Stewie, the piper must be paid.”

Stewart B. Epstein

Rochester, New York