Originally posted on March 26, 2020 on changeroots.com.
What’s the latest?
- Cases / Deaths: US : 80,857 / 1,163; Italy: 80,589 / 8,215; World : 524,010 / 23,670
- U.S. health response: Testing and tracking are crucial to curbing the spread; the U.S. isn’t doing enough of either.
- Economic response: The Senate passed a stimulus bill twice as large as one from the 2008 financial crisis. The House votes on it tomorrow, Friday March 27th.
- Bottom line: The more COVID-19 spreads, the more people die, the more drastic actions the government must take, and the more economic damage occurs.
- How bad is it: The initial economic decline from the COVID-19 will likely be sharper and more painful than during the 2008 financial crisis. Unemployment could reach 20%, compared to 10% in the 2008 crisis.
- Gov response: The Senate just passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill. This is in addition to $8 billion for vaccine research and $100 billion in economic aid already passed. Tomorrow, Friday, March 27, the House will vote on it.
- Compared to 2008: The 2008 stimulus and industry bailout bills totaled $1.4 trillion.
What’s in the stimulus bill?The stimulus is an attempt to boost employment and economic output through grants, loans, and tax breaks to state and local governments, individuals, and businesses both large and small.
Who gets what? Source Politico
- Individual Americans:
- Single Americans who make under $75,000 would get $1,200
- Married couples who make under $150,000 would get $2,400
- Parents would see $500 for each child under age 17
- People who are unemployed would get an extra $600 per week for up to four months (in addition to state unemployment)
- Airline and other industry loans: $500 billion
- Hospital Industry: $100 billion
- State and local governments: $150 billion
How does it compare to the 2008 stimulus
- Individuals would receive up to $600
- Married couples would get up to $1,200
- Those with children would be sent $300 per dependent child
Did the 2008 stimulus bill work?
The recession ended in July 2009, five months after Congress passed the stimulus. Economic growth immediately improved. It expanded 1.5% in the third quarter of 2009 after shrinking 4.4% in Q1 2009. Within 18 months, the economy added 4.1 million jobs, after losing more than 500,000 jobs a month during the recession.
Our Post-Partisan Take
This crisis is forcing both parties to remember that everyone’s common goal should be serving the American people. The Senate voted unanimously on this bill with aspects of it that each party had to compromise on. Hopefully, this can carry forward in tackling problems beyond COVID-19 and result in more prompt legislation.
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