Australia markets close in 2 hours 31 minutes
  • ALL ORDS

    7,070.50
    +27.80 (+0.39%)
     
  • ASX 200

    6,816.50
    +26.90 (+0.40%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.7755
    -0.0022 (-0.28%)
     
  • OIL

    59.78
    -0.86 (-1.42%)
     
  • GOLD

    1,713.00
    -10.00 (-0.58%)
     
  • BTC-AUD

    63,523.66
    +3,525.54 (+5.88%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    988.12
    +59.88 (+6.45%)
     
  • AUD/EUR

    0.6442
    -0.0008 (-0.12%)
     
  • AUD/NZD

    1.0690
    -0.0001 (-0.01%)
     
  • NZX 50

    12,408.63
    +106.82 (+0.87%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    13,282.95
    +373.51 (+2.89%)
     
  • FTSE

    6,588.53
    +105.10 (+1.62%)
     
  • Dow Jones

    31,535.51
    +603.14 (+1.95%)
     
  • DAX

    14,012.82
    +226.53 (+1.64%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    29,739.30
    +286.73 (+0.97%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    29,617.56
    -45.94 (-0.15%)
     

Biden's $1.9 Trillion Package Is A Good Start. But It's Only A Start.

Zachary D. Carter
·2-min read

President-elect Joe Biden’s speech on Thursday night was his best in years ― a calm, clear-eyed assessment of the trials facing the United States in the year ahead, and a morally compelling call for an assertive government to fight the pandemic and provide economic relief to its people.

“A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight,” Biden said. “We have to act, and we have to act now.”

Biden not only spoke convincingly to the struggles families are facing in a time of “real pain overwhelming the real economy,” but he also provided a sophisticated economic rationale for his program. “A growing chorus of top economists” no longer believe apocalyptic warnings about the dangers of government spending and government debt, he said. The real danger, according to this new intellectual consensus, is not spending enough.

“We cannot afford inaction,” the president-elect continued, noting that a bold, multitrillion-dollar economic agenda “will prevent long-term economic damage” and provide near-term social rewards.

“The benefits will far surpass the costs,” he said.

The details of the plan Biden put forward fall a bit short of the emotional and intellectual grandeur of his speech, however. By relying on tax credits to deliver some key relief funds ― particularly his expanded child care tax credits ― important elements of the $1.9 trillion package will not be delivered until 2022, which is a long way from the imperative now in which Biden urged Congress to act. More immediate measures, such as the $400-a-week expansion of unemployment benefits, come with a hard deadline in September, setting up another round of high-stakes negotiations with Republicans. Republicans may very well choose to sit that out entirely, as they did when the initial batch of expanded unemployment benefits expired in July.

With the economy running about $3.5 trillion a year short of its February 2020 output, according to economists Mark Paul and Adam...

Continue reading on HuffPost