Joe Biden reflected recently on the last time a Democratic administration had to rescue an economy left in tatters by a Republican president.
BREAKING: CONGRESS VOTES TO SEND $1.9 TRILLION COVID RELIEF BILL TO BIDEN'S DESK
—$1,400 stimulus checks
—$300-a-week jobless benefits
—$3,000-$3,600 cash for kids
—$34B for ACA subsidies
—100% COBRA subsidies
—$350B state/local aid
—$14B vaccine distribution
—$25B rental aid
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) March 10, 2021
“The economists told us we literally saved America from a depression,” Biden told the House Democratic Caucus last week. “But we didn’t adequately explain what we had done. Barack was so modest; he didn’t want to take, as he said, a ‘victory lap’. I kept saying, ‘Tell people what we did.’ He said, ‘We don’t have time. I’m not going to take a victory lap.’ And we paid a price for it, ironically, for that humility.”
The 46th US president is often lauded for his humility but don’t expect him to repeat Obama’s mistake. Once his $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill is signed, he is set to take an extended victory lap by travelling the country to promote it.
Biden will have short and long sales pitches. First, that help is on the way after the hellish year of a pandemic that has killed more than 528,000 people in the US and put many millions out of work.
The stimulus, among the biggest in history, includes $400bn to fund $1,400 direct payments to most Americans (unlike Donald Trump, Biden’s signature will not appear on the cheques), $350bn in aid to state and local governments and increased funding for vaccine distribution.
Politically, it is an open goal. The risks of inaction were immense; the risks of action are modest. Opinion polls show that three in four Americans support the stimulus, making congressional Republicans’ implacable opposition all the more jarring. read more…