Shark Tank Star Wants Paychecks For Americans During Pandemic

( As members of Congress and the White House move closer to another economic stimulus package, some Americans may soon see some financial relief.

But, it’s not the kind of relief this country needs, at least according to one well-known financial pundit. Kevin O’Leary, a mastermind investor who frequently appears on the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” believes the proposal that’s making its way through Congress right now is not appropriate for what the country needs.

O’Leary thinks giving more money to business owners in this country, through initiatives like the Paycheck Protection Program, won’t work. Instead, he believes government needs to give millions of Americans more direct stimulus checks, as they did back in the spring.

On Yahoo Finance Live, O’Leary said:

“I’m not worried about business in America. I’m worried about people in America. I’d much rather have a stimulus package that gives individuals checks or extends unemployment benefits for the next 14 months. The idea that the government can pick winners and losers in business has clearly been demonstrated to be false.”

O’Leary said he believes the government should “stop funding companies,” instead putting money directly into the hands of Americans who need it. He said the funds given to the PPP were “wasted” because of abuse and fraud that was rampant in the program.

He continued:

“Why do I want to bail out the shareholders of an airline when really it should go bankrupt? The middle name of airlines is bankruptcy. They do it well, every seven to 10 years. Let them do it again, to downside because I don’t need them, the S&P doesn’t need them.

“We don’t need to fly everywhere anymore. We can do it on a Zoom call. I want to take care of the flight attendants and the people that used to work at those airlines, but that’s just one sector of the economy.”

As of now, the stimulus package that lawmakers are debating does not include another round of direct payments to Americans. Those $1,200 payments, plus $500 for each dependent child, that were sent in the spring cost the government $380 billion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conceded ground recently to negotiate a smaller package, saying that it’s still possible that if and when Democrat Joe Biden takes over the White House in January, additional relief bills could be passed.

Another Democrat, John Delaney, suggested a completely different proposal — giving Americans a $1,500 stimulus check in exchange for taking the coronavirus vaccine. Delaney, a former Maryland congressman who ran for president in 2020, believes this will incentivize people to get vaccinated.

According to a recent Gallup poll, only 58% of Americans said they’d take the vaccine for COVID-19, while 42% said they wouldn’t. As Delaney said to

“The faster we get 75% of this country vaccinated, the faster we end COVID and the sooner everything returns to normal.

“We have to create, in my judgment, an incentive for people to really accelerate their thinking about taking the vaccine. If you’re still afraid of the vaccine and don’t want to take it, that’s your right. You won’t participate in this program.”