CNBC: “The U.S. has thus far issued 90 million stimulus checks worth a collective $242 billion as part of President Joe Biden’s landmark $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.”
Andrew Ross Sorkin: “The good news is that the rescue money likely saved as many as 75,000 jobs, most remaining at full pay. And that money also kept the airlines from filing for bankruptcy, and in a position to ferry passengers all over the country to jump start economic growth as the health crisis subsides.”
“The bad news is that it is also likely that taxpayers massively overpaid: The original grant of $25 billion in April meant that each of the 75,000 jobs saved cost the equivalent of more than $300,000. And with each additional round of bailout money, that price has grown.”
Politico: “The overwhelming sentiment within the Republican Party is that voters will turn on the $1.9 trillion bill over time. But that wait-and-see approach has baffled some GOP luminaries and Trump World figures who fear the party did little to dent Biden’s major victory.”
Said former Trump strategist Steve Bannon: “The lack of response to this bill in an organized messaging and aggressive media push back is shown by the fact that Democrats have now gone from $2 trillion to a $4 trillion infrastructure package. If Covid relief was that easy, why not just run the table?”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has put forward expansive legislation to overhaul antitrust law, the Associated Press reports.
“It would make it harder for dominant companies to win regulators’ approval of mergers and stretch the government’s authority over competition in other ways. Klobuchar, who heads the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on competition policy, has launched a broad examination by the panel of monopoly concerns.”
Said Klobuchar: “At stake is nothing less than the future of our economy and the way of life that it supports. This is about saving capitalism and building an economy that works for all Americans.”
Vox: “The popularity of the legislation puts Republican members of Congress in a bind: How does one message against a bill that most Americans like, and that will cut child poverty in half, while also juicing an economy that’s been ravaged by the year-long pandemic?”
“Some Republicans, perhaps understandably, are instead opting to instead focus on culture war distractions like whether Dr. Seuss is being ‘canceled.’ But others are shamelessly trying to take credit for Democratic policy right after they voted against it.”
Adam Serwer: “The future of American democracy depends on Joe Biden’s ability to show that even when the Republican Party loses, Americans who vote Republican do not.”
“Economists at Goldman Sachs raised their GDP growth expectations for the U.S. economy to 8% for 2021 in a note to clients on Sunday night,” Axios reports.
“Not only would 8% annual growth denote a stupendous turnaround from the coronavirus pandemic, it would significantly outpace the firm’s growth expectations for the U.S. from as recently as late 2020.”
New York Times: “Triumphant over the signing of their far-reaching $1.9 trillion stimulus package, Democrats are now starting to angle for a major political payoff that would defy history: Picking up House and Senate seats in the 2022 midterm elections, even though the party in power usually loses in the midterms.”
CBS News Poll: “Though ‘exhausted’ from a year-long pandemic, confidence about containing the coronavirus is hitting new highs as more vaccines roll out, and Americans say they’re also ‘grateful’ and widely optimistic about the coming months. The economy seems poised for its own shot in the arm, with Americans bullish about its prospects, both nationally and locally, and looking forward to fueling it by traveling, shopping and dining out more — once they think it’s safe.”
Neil Irwin sees 17 reasons why things are lining up for roaring economic growth in the United States.
Philip Bump crunches the numbers and discovers that Wyoming will receive the most state aid in the American Rescue Plan per capita, followed by Vermont and Alaska.
These are the three least populous states in the Union.
Karl W. Smith: “The American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law, contains a provision that represents a qualitative break from the welfare-to-work policies that have been in place since the 1990s. The change is also scrambling party politics — especially on the Republican side — in a way that could have lasting implications.”
Catherine Rampell: “For decades, the general trend in federal fiscal policy, with some limited exceptions, has been to transfer wealth away from the young and toward the old. The federal government spends about six times as much per capita on older Americans (primarily in the form of Social Security and Medicare) as it does on children.”
“Thanks to Biden’s legislation, though, the United States will see a (partial) reversal of decades of de-prioritizing kids. The covid-19 package is expected to cut overall poverty by about one-third — and child poverty roughly in half, according to an analysis from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. Among the biggest beneficiaries of this law will be young children of color.”
MSNBC: “It’s not often Congress passes a law on a Wednesday, and by Thursday afternoon, tens of thousands of American jobs have been saved.”
“It was just last month when American Airlines announced it was sending furlough notices to roughly 13,000 employees. Within a few hours of Congress passing the Democratic COVID relief package, the company reversed course, saying those workers can now stay on the job.”
Airline workers received a letter from management: “To those who had received notices warning of furloughs: those are happily canceled — you can tear them up!”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) writes in USA Today:
“For decades, companies like Amazon have been allies of the left in the culture war, but when their bottom line is threatened they turn to conservatives to save them. Republicans have rightly understood the dangers posed by the unchecked influence of labor unions. Adversarial relations between labor and management are wrong. They are wrong for both workers and our nation’s economic competitiveness.”
“But the days of conservatives being taken for granted by the business community are over.”
“Here’s my standard: When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy — I support the workers. And that’s why I stand with those at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse today.”
Jeff Greenfield: “The political potential here is impressive. Consider a 2022 midterm where the future of the now-temporary child tax credits is on the line, and where every Republican House and Senate incumbent will have to explain to the electorate why they voted against them. Consider the votes of tens of thousands of small-business owners—the entrepreneurial heart of what Republicans rhetorically celebrate—whose enterprises survived because of the law enacted with a clear partisan split. Imagine a Republican arguing that only a small fraction of the law addressed the costs of the pandemic, when there are countless parents of school-age children, restaurant workers, retail shop owners, hotel clerks, freelance consultants, who know exactly what happened to their lives when Covid struck.”
“This is a possibility that Republicans simply may not have imagined, given their midterm successes in running against the initiatives of the past two Democratic presidents, and inflicting on Clinton and Obama successive political catastrophes.”
“This time, the benefits of the new law are easy to grasp, and will be—literally—in the hands of Americans within weeks.”
“President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package into law on Thursday, setting in motion a vast effort on the part of his administration to implement one of the largest stimulus measures in U.S. history.,” the Washington Post reports.
” Biden had initially intended to sign the bill on Friday, but White House aides said they received a copy of the legislation from Congress earlier than anticipated, allowing the president to put his signature on the proposal hours before he is set to deliver his first-ever prime time television address.”
“The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 712,000, the lowest total since early November, evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs amid a decline in confirmed coronavirus cases and signs of an improving economy,” the AP reports.