“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” — Rahm Emanuel, Former Obama Chief of Staff

Are we achieving ecstacy every time we receive yet another, “stimulus” check?

Do we really think we can put to bed once-and-for-all the old adage: “There is no such thing as a free lunch?”

Let’s make some calculations on the back of an envelope: $3.3 trillion last summer ($1,200 checks), $900 billion this past fall ($600 checks), and today Congress passed the next $1.9 trillion installment ($1,400 checks), a cumulative total of $6.1 trillion in taxpayer dollars in less than one year.

Compare $6.1 trillion (more to come?) in stimulus largesse against the total US Gross Domestic Product of $21.60 trillion. Let’s measure the same amount with the total US debt of $28.03 trillion. How about these three stimulus bills against the $3.84 trillion in total interest paid by the United States and counting?

Are we just starting with the free lunches? Is this stunning governmental largesse, sustainable?

Certainly there is the Covid-19 pandemic. There are 11 million unemployed, needing payments for their no-fault-of-their own financial condition. Having said that, the long-awaited publicly traded Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are here. “Jabs” are going into millions of arms.

The pandemic will eventually cease. The need for special subventions will subside. Will our government get off the addictive stimulus habit? Don’t bet on it.

Almost DailyBrett must ask: Is the provision of literally trillions in stimulus setting a precedent for the ultimate in welfare: Universal Basic Income (UBI)? Will electronic direct deposits of federal funds into the checking accounts of literally millions of Americans on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly basis, become the new normal?

If you achieve a high-five (more than $75,000) or six-figure salary at a publicly traded or privately held company with full-benefits (the best anti-poverty program on the planet) and maybe even participation in an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) and stock options, you are not eligible for stimulus payments.

You study. You Learn. You work. You earn. You achieve. Sorry no greenback manna from heaven for you. Is this yet another example of how no good deed goes unpunished?

Is it better to be compensated for doing and accomplishing nada?

If you sleep, eat, drink, excrete and binge play video games, you can check with your community credit union to see if your manna from federal heaven has been deposited. Where is the impetus to shoot for the stars, soar with the eagles when doing absolutely nothing with fellow turkeys in life can be just as lucrative?

Will Americans reward those at the ballot box (e.g., Andrew Yang for NYC Mayor), who repeatedly provide them with something much better than a chicken in every pot? Will those who dare to question the wisdom of these handouts, suggesting the national debt going further into the stratosphere, interest rates rising and inflation raising its ugly head once again, be relegated to the electoral ash heap of history?

Who wants to vote against Santa Claus?

“When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins.” — Rudyard Kipling, The Gods of the Copybook Heading, 1919

Remember when people were content to be unambitious, sleep until 11, hang out with their friends? You had no occupation whatsoever, maybe working a couple of hours a week at a coffee shop … Portland is a city where young people go to retire.” – Lyrics to the Portlandia theme song, “The Dream of the 90s Is Alive in Portland”

Will calls for accountability, responsibility and fiscal sustainability be rewarded or are they political death certificates? Who wants to be the turd in the proverbial punchbowl?

Will there always be an expiration date for one benefit or another? Having said ‘yes’ time-and-time again, how can our nation say ‘no’? There are 100 million Americans not in the workforce, and not all of them are young children or seniors. Are we perpetrating non-activity, lack of motivation or interest in finding a job, go back to school etc. with yet another stimulus check?

And what about the bill for our national debt being passed down to the Z-Gens? What about increasing debt payments with interest rates eventually going up? What about inflation coming back? Ready for double-digit increases for food, drink and binge watching? Think there are no consequences for one loaded with Worst of Washington goodies stimulus bill after another?

Are the stimulus payments of today, the Universal Basic Income for tomorrow and conceivably, forever?

Never let a serious crisis go to waste.