In a move made by federal court, the IRS may not deny CARES Act economic Impact Payments to anybody solely because they are incarcerated. Keep in mind that the Cares Act payments were a tax break on the 2021 tax return, and most inmates that are currently incarcerated will not be filing taxes in 2021, meaning that they should not technically be eligible. The problem is, however, that this position is unlawful from the IRS because of a blanket coverage, and making assumptions about the future that in not known. The case is Scholl v. Mnuchin. The eligibility criteria is for all inmates, whether or not they filed a tax return. There are directions on how to file, as in what to put in every line of the simplified 1040.
It seems odd that the prison economy, which is like you see in the movies, would need stimulated. It is a barter system developed for local goods. Money is used to purchase items on commissary and traded when one runs out. I am not trying to put personal bias into this, but more the fact that law abiding citizens are still in need of help, and, in my state there are approximately 48,000 state level incarcerated people. These people have benefited from the pandemic with months of free cable, additional free phone calls and envelopes and postage, new TV channels, the implementation of Virtual Visits all at the cost of the tax payers. If every inmate is eligible, this comes to an additional cost of $57,600,000. This is on top of the $10,000,000 in free stuff given to these inmates across the state to keep them happy during a pandemic. This does not include the changing policies that make the prisons far more dangerous. Inmates are currently wearing masks, which, because of the pandemic, makes sense. What happens when something does occur, and you need to use cameras to identify the convict?
I shall assume that not all inmates will be eligible, and not all will get the paperwork filed correctly. I am sure there will be more changes coming up, but the precedence is set for if there is another round of stimulus. There have been talks of the same package being pushed to the people. That would bring the total in stimulus to inmates up to $115,200,000. This is just for 1 state. I will make a stretch, and assume all states have the same amount of inmates, which is a flawed attempt from the get go. Smaller states have less, bigger would have more. This is just merely for an idea of how big this can get. 50 states, 48,000 inmates, 2 stimulus packages, $5,760,000,000. 5 Billion dollars, almost 6 Billion.
There is, however, one big caveat that has not been mentioned, and this is because, up front, this seems disgusting. The State takes a certain percentage of the money to put towards fines and restitution, along with victim funds. Often times, these fines are never paid because being incarcerated doesn’t leave you making a lot of money, because, again, they would be getting paid with tax payer dollars, and that certainly would not be a popular idea.
There are some positive things coming out of the pandemic and incarcerated people, however. In California, about 20% of those fighting the forest fires are inmates trained to be firemen. There are requirements in which they must meet to work in this profession. California passed a law that would enable these trained inmates, upon release, to be able to work in public service such as the Fire Departments. Currently, across the U.S., those who are felons are unable to do so. California, probably the most liberal state, has changed this for a select few who have been fighting these fires and trying to save lives and property for civilians while still incarcerated.
I am a big proponent of a persons character. At the end of the day, we do all make mistakes. I know there are certain things that could happen where I could end up up state. Someone touches one of my kids, and they won’t make it to court, but I sure will. That is a given. Same with my wife. I will protect my family. That is part of what we as preppers do. I will not condemn someone for making a mistake, especially when I do not know the circumstances. I do not live that life, and my core values are different. However, if you are willing to put your life on the line for others everyday, give them a shot. What is the worst that can happen, really? I would love to be a fireman in my area, but I can’t. I hate that the firemen in my area are volunteer firemen and yet sport stars playing a game get pain millions a year.
I stand behind Blue, Red, Grey, Green, White, Yellow, and of course, our Military. So many jobs do not get recognized for all they do. Our society dictates that certain people are important, and essential workers. I am glad to have had a job throughout 2020, but I also have to say, the people that were deemed non-essential seem like they are the ones who held the country together. Without them, we have fallen into an economic trap we will not be out of for years. I submit to you the Thin American Line. This is for all Americans who believe in our constitution and Bill of Rights. Those that will rise up against Tyranny and remember that a government who fears its people is a democracy.
This article changed points a little. It is, however, an evolution through which the writing process led our forefathers to our current guidelines. These are the same guidelines under scrutiny now. I feel another article coming up about the America: A nation under scrutiny.
Stay Safe, Stay Prepared. Stay informed.