I’m sick of the politics.

I’m sick of the politicians.

With more people struggling than ever, with more businesses closing, with the covid numbers increasing yet again, just like the scientists predicted (amazing how you can listen to intelligent, learned people and get accurate predictions on what’s likely to happen, isn’t it?), IT’S TIME TO PASS ANOTHER STIMULUS BILL TO HELP PEOPLE STRUGGLING FROM COVID.

A familiar sign around the Quad-Cities and across America this year. Politicians fiddle while the Rome of small businesses burn.

I wrote another story today, one of probably over 100 this year, about a business closing down due to covid. This time it was Big Swing, in downtown Rock Island, not exactly a bustling hub for business activity due to a variety of reasons, covid’s impact being one of them. Big Swing is right down the street from Billy Bob’s, which just closed down not that long ago.

As I’ve written before, I’m sick and tired of writing stories like this. I’m sick and tired of seeing people I care about, businesses I enjoy, local entrepreneurs I admire, suffer needlessly due to this pandemic. And yes, it is needless. These places should be getting help. These people and places pay taxes. Those taxes go to the government. When they’re suffering, that tax money they’ve been paying all these years should go BACK to them to help them out. This isn’t a handout people are asking for. This is a return on the money they’ve been paying into the system for years. And it’s a good financial move by the government, because it’s small business and the folks working for those businesses that keep local economies going, that keep the working class vibrant, that keep those tax dollars coming in because of the number of businesses and employees rising.

And Big Swing, Billy Bobs, places that have just closed, are potentially just the latest. I’m friends with a lot of business owners. They’re hurting. They’re cutting hours. They’re cutting costs. A lot of them are just hanging on. And I don’t want to keep writing these stories about people I care about, about businesses that help keep our community socially vibrant and financially stable.

Once a thriving club packed with people on the weekends, Billy Bob’s closed recently due to the massive impact of covid.

When those businesses and jobs are eliminated, more people have less money in their pockets for bills, for rent, for mortgages, for disposable income to support other local businesses. With the businesses eliminated there goes more sales tax eliminated from the city coffers. There goes more income tax eliminated from the state and federal coffers. And if you live in Rock Island, Rock Island County, there goes an even bigger budget deficit that could result in your property taxes going up, which could result in more people either leaving or not wanting to come to Rock Island, which continues the string I just put out there.

It always stuns me when people cannot see the basics of situations such as this. But then again, most people aren’t taught these things in school, and many people are too busy believing ridiculous conspiracy theories about Tom Hanks being a pedophile satan worshipper to actually learn about civics and the things that have a measurable impact upon their lives.

Such as the true nature and job of being a politician.

You look at the Washington politicians in their ivory towers, receiving government-paid healthcare and government-paid salaries, and the first thing to realize is that “government-paid” means paid for by YOU. It means that YOU, the taxes that you pay, whether in income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, whatever, are the one footing the bill for government spending.

Ergo, YOU are the one paying these politicians.

YOU pay their salaries.

The outdoor patio at Rock Island’s Big Swing was a welcoming and fun spot for people to meet and have some great food and drinks. The locally-owned small business announced today it was closing immediately due to business being impacted by covid.

YOU pay for their benefits.

They are YOUR representatives, YOUR employees.

They are called public servants for a reason. They are elected to serve YOU.

Not to stand over you, not to stand apart from you, not to use their office to become millionaires by receiving legal bribes from big businesses to give those businesses your money in corporate welfare, but to serve YOU, represent YOU and your needs. It is not reasonable nor rational to send millions of people to Washington to vote on items of interest. That’s why politicians exist, because the system was created for people to vote on who they wanted to go to Washington to represent the interests of those people giving them their proxy, to fight for and stand for what they need.

So what are your needs right now?

Looking at recent polls, SEVENTY PERCENT of you are in favor of more stimulus spending to help the people and businesses in need due to the negative impact of covid upon them.

But there hasn’t been a stimulus bill since the spring. Instead, we’ve gotten the customary dicking around. The Democrats passed a bill for $3.4 trillion in the spring. Trump seemed to concur that stimulus was needed, and many Republican economists were likewise in line with the need for another stimulus package. However, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans, since the pandemic at the time didn’t impact their rich puppet masters, sat on it and did nothing. Then the Democrats passed ANOTHER bill, for $2.2 trillion, in response to McConnell and the Senate Republicans complaining that the first bill was too expensive, because when it comes to actually helping people, they’re suddenly fiscally tight. As opposed to when it comes to blowing up people in needless wars overseas, in which case, there’s a bottomless pit of money to spend. That was also dismissed by McConnell, even as he and his wife took taxpayer dollars they didn’t need from the first stimulus passed.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin has been among those consistent in support of a second stimulus bill.

Then as polls turned against the Republicans, they came back to the table. To his credit, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin has seemed to be one of the few Washington folks to actually understand how desperately a second stimulus is needed. He and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have begun negotiating again on another package, with one currently on the table for $1.8 trillion. Trump has gone back and forth on a bigger stimulus package, but seems to realize that his political future is tied to the economy and recognizes that he needs to get something done if he wants to stand a chance of winning a second term. Now, full disclosure, I belong to no political party. I’m a staunch independent and truth be told I don’t think there should be any political parties because they encourage tribalism and ignorance and discourage freedom of thought and objective critical thinking. I’ve both agreed and disagreed with Pelosi and Trump, I’ve tended to agree most of the time with Mnuchin, who has been the most rational and logically thinking of the group in regard to the pragmatism of the situation in my opinion.

But the fact of the matter is, we have a situation where 70 percent of the American public want their elected representatives to do something, and they are not doing it. And those who are holding it up need to be held responsible for their inaction, and how their inaction is negatively impacting their constituents and their employment, and their businesses.

Now, think about this for a minute.

Say you own a business. You are one of ten owners of the business. You make rules for the business by vote. Seven of the ten owners vote that the employees need to show up at 9 a.m.

Now say you’re working in that business. And you don’t show up at 9 a.m. Repeatedly. What’s going to happen?

You’re going to get fired.

The same way they should get fired.

Their 9 a.m. is getting a stimulus deal done.

Job performance review and potential dismissal is Nov. 3.

Get to work.

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.