Critics on Twitter went bonkers Thursday over a clip of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicating he believes many unemployed Americans could get through the next 10 weeks on $1,200 — or $120 a week.
He referred to the money late last month on “Face the Nation” as “bridge liquidity.” His very technical term effectively dodged mentioning things like rent or mortgage, utilities, car payments, tuition ... or food.
To be fair, he wasn’t talking only about the $1,200 federal government relief checks being sent to American workers to help amid the COVID-19 crisis. Mnuchin discussed the checks on top of unemployment benefits enhanced by an additional $600-a-week federal subsidy for four months for workers — and money to businesses to keep workers employed.
But many Americans now unemployed aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits or are facing weeks of delays as systems are overwhelmed by claims. That leaves the federal checks. And with 59% of Americans working paycheck to paycheck — or who are among the long-term unemployed — $120 a week won’t go far.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) used an “Arrested Development” quip to whack the multimillionaire’s cluelessness about what it takes the average American to get by.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) snapped back on Twitter: “Nope we can’t Mnuchin,” referring to his notion of “bridge liquidity” for non-millionaires. “This administration is so disconnected with the hardships of my neighbors and people around the country,” added Tlaib, who supports recurring payments to Americans.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson dissed Mnuchin as Marie Antoinette resurrected as a man.
Several posts retweeted a meme of Mnuchin as Cruella DeVille of “101 Dalmatians.”
- Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
- What happens if we end social distancing too soon?
- What you need to know about face masks right now
- How long are asymptomatic carriers contagious?
- Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
- Everything you need to know about coronavirus and grief
- The HuffPost guide to working from home
- What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.