Biden's economic team explains the president-elect's plan for recovery — spend a lot of money
@Matt, I hope in some future Slow Boring you can go a little deeper on "interest rates are low so we can borrow." Clearly some people in the comments are concerned about debt and go "how do we pay it back"? Even those less concerned about debt might say "what if interest rates spike up"? If Larry Summers and Jason Furman are okay with debts when interest rates are low, I'm thinking there must be some economic theory behind this view.
Holy shit we're actually going to have a government again
The single most important thing Biden can do is pull out all the stops to be sure the economy recovers as quickly as possible. That means spending, and lots of it. We must spend to support people while the pandemic rages. We must spend to get people vaccinated because that's the only way to end the pandemic and return to "normal". We must spend to support state and local governments so they can function under the burden of the corona virus response. Once the pandemic is over we must spend to rebuild aging infrastructure, address the climate crisis, and build a fairer, more equitable society.
Of course we need to plan and monitor the spending to be sure it is effective and efficient, but we HAVE to put people to work and begin fixing real problems. We are at a critical inflection point in several dimensions. The future of our country is at stake. And that's not hyperbole.
Elon Musk's wealth about to skyrocket as computer touchers around the country get another $1400 to spend on Tesla stock. (Make no mistake, I'm a huge fan of the plan. But between the prices of Bitcoin and Tesla stock you can really see the type of people for whom these stimulus payments were really unnecessary.)
I'm excited too! Wow. Just reading "he plans to hire 100,000 new health workers" was a jolt. What a difference a year could have made!
This is great reporting, and a real coup for Matt, but honestly I'm a bit concerned that senior transition officials would spend this much time laying their proposals out to someone whose Slow Boring site -- which is awesome!! -- only reaches some 7000 subscribers. That doesn't strike me as time-efficient for them, unless Matt was on a Zoom call with a *bunch* of other media types.
I think the federal government should be doing more to make vaccines roll out faster. I guess that surveillance testing is still a good idea as well, though that feels significantly too late for it to be really high priority.
Do we need to spend $1,000 for every man, woman, and child in America in order to vaccinate them and reopen schools? How are we going to find a use for that money?
Weeds on this when?
$400 Billion for vaccine distribution and more testing (like, why?). If you assume roughly 350M Americans, that works out to $1142 per capita. Mind you that is to distribute/administer vaccine that was already paid for, and tests that the USG is currently reimbursing at $100 per.
Is anyone in the Administration actually looking at real costs, or have they just decided to hemorrhage money?
Do they need only 50 votes +VP for this to pass?
This is a testament to years of work by left economics writers to improve the consensus view, yourself prominent among them. Kudos and thank you.
I agree but I do hope that there is a willingness at sometime in the future, when the alternative is the Fed raising interest rates, to step up to higher taxes
What's the number for local/state?
Tax cuts? I thought his tax plan had tax increases on those making over $400k.
Looks pretty good to me.
Unless they are willing to use reconciliation this has as much chance as passing as some of my ideas in those college bull sessions.
I am guessing I’m not alone in my eagerness to watch you debate Tyler Cowen or Larry Summers on the appropriate size of additional stimulus. I’d like to see the other side steelmanned. All of your arguments in favor make sense, perhaps too much so, to the point where I have to think there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch so what’s missing ?