100 signatures reached
To: Congress, President Trump
Don't bailout corporations, bailout Americans: Demand $2000/mo during Coronavirus crisis
Having the government spend $2 trillion to prevent deaths, jobs losses and possibly avoid a further economic catastrophe seem to some a radical idea, but the government has already pulled $1.5 trillion to save the stock market and is currently debating on bailing out industries such as airlines and oil corporations.
Meanwhile, corporations have historically spent their free cash on stock buybacks, preventing them from having the liquidity needed to survive tough times, such as being able to survive the Coronavirus crisis. Several industries are now asking for a government bailout during the crisis.
The biggest U.S. airlines, including American, United, Delta and Southwest, have spent 96% of free cash flows to repurchase stock during the past decade, according to a Bloomberg News analysis.
Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban told CNBC that companies that get federal assistance in response to the coronavirus crisis should be prevented from buying back stock ever again:
"No buybacks. Not now. Not a year from now. Not 20 years from now. Not ever," said Cuban. "Because effectively you’re spending taxpayer money to buy back stock and to me, that’s just the wrong way to do that."
He also said that "whatever we do in a bailout, make sure that every worker is compensated and treated equally — in that the executives don’t get rewarded extra to stick around because they got nowhere else to go."
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has put forth a plan calling for at least $2 trillion in emergency funding—including for free healthcare and direct cash payments of $2,000 per month to every American—as a way to "mobilize on a scale not seen since the New Deal and World War II to prevent deaths, job losses, and economic ruin" caused by the deadly and growing threat of the coronavirus outbreak now sweeping the United States and much of the world.
The plan gives new policy details to his repeated call that the response to the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, be adequately robust and specifically targeted to help those who need it most and done in a way that centers both the short-term and long-term health of the nation's people and its economy.
On the economic front, Sanders' plan would issue direct cash payments, in the form of $2,000 check to every American each month for the duration of the crisis. The plan would also establish what the Sanders campaign calls the "Emergency Economic Crisis Finance Agency," which would be charged with handling the financial downturn unleashed by what is now a global pandemic.
The plan expands Unemployment Insurance, places an immediate moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs, and suspends payments on mortgage loans for primary residences and utility bills, waives all student loan payments for the duration of the emergency, constructs emergency shelters and utilizes empty or vacant lodging, uses the power of the Federal Reserve to support state and local governments and protects farmers by suspending all Farm Service Agency loan payments and extending crop insurance and emergency loans to all affected farmers.
The plan also creates an oversight agency to fight corporate corruption and price-gouging, preventing price gouging by pharmaceutical companies and investigating and prosecuting price-gougers and corrupt dealings.
Why is this important?
It is imperative that we have a common-sense approach that protects we the people and not corporations.
In terms of potential deaths and the impact on our economy, the crisis we face from coronavirus is on the scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly. We must begin thinking on a scale comparable to the threat, and make sure that we are protecting working people, low-income people, and the most vulnerable communities, not just giant corporations and Wall Street.
How it will be delivered
We will contact congress members by phone and email, delivering the petition signatures showcasing their specific constituency by zip code in order to increase impact.