Thanks to the $1.9 trillion dollar bill passed Saturday by Senate Democrats, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber, a resident of The Supermax prison in Colorado, will receive a stimulus check of $1,400.
Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton tweeted:
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Bomber, murdered three people and terrorized a city. He’ll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check as part of the Democrats’ “COVID relief” bill.
Cotton also tweeted that Dylan Roof, who murdered nine people attending a Bible study group at a black AME church in Charleston, will be eligible for the taxpayer largesse.
Indeed, anyone incarcerated in a state or federal prison will receive a stimulus check, courtesy of the hardworking American taxpayers, if he or she is a citizen, a permanent resident, a qualifying resident alien and has Social Security Number.
Several Republican Senators tried to prevent this:
Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Cotton and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered an amendment on the floor Saturday to block checks from prisoners. It failed on a party-line vote, 49-50. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., argued that prisoners’ children could be affected by withholding the money from them.
“Prisoners have all their living and medical expenses paid for by the taxpayer, they don’t pay taxes, they don’t contribute to the tax base, they can’t be unemployed. Inmates are not economically impacted by COVID,” Cassidy argued.
The IRS had tried to withhold stimulus checks from incarcerated individuals, but a court forced their hand to offer the checks in October. There was nothing written in the previous two relief bills or the one passed Saturday against inmates receiving checks.
As for Senator Durbin’s argument, I am sure all the sterling characters behind bars will rush to make sure it is their children who receive the funds. Fox News estimates that there are around 1.4 million inmates eligible for a stimulus check.
All prisons have black markets and “COVID” checks may find their way to these black markets rather than aiding deserving children.
This is not the only boon bestowed on prison inmates recently. President Biden just signed an executive order that will make sure all prisoners have the ability to vote in elections. This is called “increasing voter access.”
It is important that a just society recognize that those in prison should have humane treatment. Prisoners have certain rights (religious liberty, for example). But stimulus checks are a different matter. Senator Cassidy made this point in a tweet:
Prisoners do not pay taxes. Taxpayers pay for their every need. Inmates cannot stimulate the economy. But, under this bill they receive stimulus checks. This is a perfect example of nontargeted, inappropriate, and total waste of spending. It’s ridiculous that this is in the bill.