If $1.5 Trillion Exists to Bail Out Wall Street from Coronavirus, We Can Fund Actual Needs for All

As the coronavirus crisis morphs into a full-on global pandemic, the sorry state of the United States’ social safety net is fully exposed. 

Other countries dealing with disease outbreaks can offer residents universal healthcare and free testing when they feel ill, and paid sick leave when they need time away from work. 

No such luck for people living in the richest nation on the planet, where Congress is struggling to build on $8 billion in emergency aid to pass further emergency relief that would support paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, and food assistance.

And yet, the Federal Reserve Bank today injected $1.5 trillion into the banking system to prop up crashing private profits in the stock market—and that news still wasn’t enough to offset ongoing losses.

Where is this kind of money when we talk about our government meeting actual human needs for everyone?

$1.5 trillion is more than the entire U.S. discretionary budget that Congress allocates every year.

$1.5 trillion is enough to cancel all student debt in the United States.

$1.5 trillion is far more than enough to cover the cost difference between Medicare for All and our current privatized health insurance system.

$1.5 trillion is enough to build out all the renewable wind and solar capacity we need to replace all fossil fuel energy generation in the country over 10 years through a Green New Deal that takes on the climate crisis.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that our government can’t afford to provide nice — and necessary — things. If the money exists to bail Wall Street out of a crisis, then we have all we need to fund a moral budget that works for all of us.