WASHINGTON –President-elect Joe Biden released a new “stimulus” plan Thursday calling for $1.9 trillion in new federal spending. Matthew Dickerson, director for the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, released the following response to this colossal spending package:
The federal government’s top priority in the midst of this pandemic should be implementing responsible policies that help keep Americans safe and allow them to earn a living. Indeed, millions of Americans are still suffering from the outbreak of COVID-19 and the economic consequences of lockdowns still in place in many parts of the country.
Unfortunately, Biden’s swampy stimulus package – which makes Obama’s 2009 stimulus look like a dime-store bargain – is full of the same failed big-government policies that will line the pockets of state officials and bloated government agencies. However, it will do little to help working Americans make it through this crisis. Billion-dollar bailouts of incompetent state governments like New York and California will only saddle our children and grandchildren with more crushing debt while rewarding these states’ recklessness. Increasing weekly unemployment benefits sounds compassionate, but perversely, doing so has proven to lead to higher unemployment rates. Stimulus checks might appear to be a generous benefit, but is sending billions of dollars to the vast majority of Americans who have not lost their jobs or had hours cut truly a wise use of taxpayer dollars?
If enacted, this $2 trillion package would needlessly delay the much-needed economic recovery, causing real harm to families, businesses, and communities that have already been hurting long enough. This is just the beginning of the economic damage the federal government could unleash under President-elect Biden’s leadership if the Senate chooses to discard decades of precedent and abolish the filibuster. To help America get back on track, policymakers should instead focus on empowering Americans, safely re-opening our economy and removing barriers to innovative methods of combatting the spread of the virus, such as rapid self-testing kits.
Congress has already enacted $4.5 trillion of COVID-related stimulus and relief measures, including a $900-billion package enacted at the end of December. State and local governments throughout the country have imposed a variety of restrictions on economic activity, which has contributed to a wide range in unemployment rates in the states, from 3.1% in Nebraska to 10.1% in Hawaii. For recommendations on how to achieve true economic recovery, check out the recent recommendations from the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission.
President-elect Biden’s stimulus proposal would spend a reported $1.9 trillion. Some of the harmful provisions include:
Bailouts to Irresponsible States and Local Governments
- Tackling COVID-19 Unemployment: Work Opportunities and Targeted Support Beat Windfall Bonuses
- To Defeat Pandemic, We Must Keep Workers Connected to Their Jobs
Minimum Wage Increases:
Mass Stimulus Checks:
More Federal Funding for Schools: