I was amused when I received an email from Congressman Pete Stauber touting his “help” in introducing an act in Congress to aid cities fighting youth substance abuse during COVID-19.

Amused not because I don’t support these programs (I do, emphatically), but because I’ve been imploring Stauber in letter after letter since March to help people in his district cope with the dire economic landscape this plague has created. He has failed.

To be fair, Stauber’s party hasn’t been idle. Controlling the Senate, the GOP has pushed through packages amounting to trillions of dollars. But they’re packages with little or no spending oversight, seemingly neatly designed to transfer immense sums to corporate benefactors while sweeping crumbs to those who really need it.

Imagine you own a small business and a pandemic mandates closure of the business to prevent the spread of a virus. You have limited reserves, but you have to protect your employees and your family, so you go to the bank for a loan to tide you over. The bank denies you for insufficient collateral, end of story. After a couple of months you have no choice but to go back to work and risk your life against COVID-19. A couple months after that, you’re forced to send your children back to schools that had been shuttered.

Or imagine you’re CEO of a major airline and are forced to shut down your business. You ask the bank for a loan to tide you over so your workers don’t have to lose their jobs. With your huge fleet of planes as collateral, the bank readily grants the money, and all that bailout money goes where it’s needed.

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Moral: there is plenty to go around, and the strong protect the weak. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right, Congressman?

Guy Roger

Isle, Minnesota