Biden's most important stimulus measure

Jefrrey D. Sachs

The US federal government should spend more money, and fast, to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, rescue hard-hit families and help states, cities and small businesses. But it should also strive for a relief package built on some degree of bipartisan consensus.

The first step to this package? Acknowledging that in this emergency there is nothing wrong with borrowing the funds to help Americans in need. Interest rates are low, and borrowing conditions are easy. Tax increases to help fund the government in the longer term will be important down the road, but they are not the priority at the moment.

President Joe Biden has announced a first step in addressing the crisis, unveiling an immediate rescue plan for an additional $1.9 trillion in federal spending, to be followed in the coming weeks by a recovery plan for the long-term structural challenges of jobs, health care, energy, education and infrastructure.
There are three main categories of spending in the Biden rescue package. The first is funding to fight the pandemic: to pay for vaccines, supplies, federal health workers, workplace and school safety, paid sick leave and other essential public health needs. This funding, proposed at around $400 billion, should be a no-brainer. The federal government should be spending this sum to bring Covid-19 under control, not only to stop the deaths but to revive the economy, where losses will be in the trillions of dollars if the epidemic is not brought under control.
The Path to Recovery
The Path to Recovery, a new CNN Opinion series, aims to help readers understand an economic crisis that has been building for decades and the role that the federal government should play in solving it.

The article's full-text is available here.


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