The Republicans and the Democrats are all on board with the idea of sending money directly to individual Americans regardless of their circumstances.

The United States has been successfully dealing with crisis situations since its founding. Over the years, the states and the federal government have developed social programs and government institutions to assist people when circumstances beyond their control have placed them in jeopardy.

The current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is a problem, but it isn't a problem that it is beyond the reach of the systems we already have in place. We have unemployment insurance for people who lose their jobs. We have Medicare to cover the medical bills of people who have exhausted their resources. We have food stamps to feed people who lack the ability to adequately feed themselves.

There is no reason to send people checks of $1,000 or more during this medical crisis simply because they are Americans during a crisis. That money would be better spent buttressing the system for supporting the poor we currently have in place.

Obviously the people who will soon be up for re-election want to send the voters money. And only a fool would argue against getting free money (yes, I see how this implicates me) from the government. But it isn't actually free and it has longterm implications.

The government is rightfully asking people to stay home and limit their contact with other people. So what happens when people suddenly get a check for $1,000 or more that they don't really need? Most of those people will head to the stores to buy things they previously didn't need and couldn't afford.

When the free money hits the streets, it will be "Black Friday" crowds at the stores with a side order of COVID-19.

Sending out checks will hurt, not help, our nation.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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