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Tag Archives: Federal Budget (US)

Biden Is the Big Spender America Wants

The state of U.S. politics is horrifying.A sustained campaign of lies on right-wing media — echoed by nearly half of the Republican senators — has convinced almost two-thirds of Republicans that the presidential election was somehow stolen. These lies set the stage for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol; but a great majority of Republican senators appear set to acquit Donald Trump for his undeniable role in promoting that attack.Yet President Biden’s plans to rescue the economy command...

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Pandemic Rescue: It’s ‘And’ Not ‘Or’

President Biden is proposing a large relief package to deal with the continuing fallout from the coronavirus. The package is expansive, as it should be. But it is, predictably, facing demands that it be scaled back. Which, if any, of these demands have some validity?We can discount opposition from Republican leaders who have suddenly decided, after years of enabling deficits under Trump, that federal debt is a terrible thing. We’ve seen this movie before, during the Obama years: Republicans...

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Helping Kids Is a Very Good Idea

Some things about American politics are completely predictable, even in a time of insurrection and QAnon craziness. Anyone who has been paying attention over the past decade knew that as soon as a Democrat took the White House, Republicans would instantly do another 180-degree turn on budget deficits.Remember, the G.O.P. went from hyperventilating about debt as an existential threat during the Obama years to complete indifference about deficits under Donald Trump. Surely nobody is surprised...

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Four Rules That Should Guide Bidenomics

Here we go again. For the second time in 12 years a newly elected Democratic president is inheriting an economy in deep distress. And while it’s hard to focus on such things after last week’s Trumpist putsch, a lot depends on whether Joe Biden’s plan to deal with our economic woes is effective.The narrow Democratic margin in Congress means that the most ambitious progressive goals will have to be put on hold. But the rescue package Biden unveiled Thursday already indicates he won’t exhibit...

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The Ghost of Sabotage Future

The not-a-stimulus deal Congress reached over the weekend — seriously, this is about disaster relief, not boosting the economy — didn’t come a moment too soon. Actually, it came much too late: Crucial aid to many unemployed Americans and businesses expired months ago. But now some of that aid is back, for a while.True, the aid will be less generous than it was in the spring and summer: $300 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits, rather than $600. But because the workers still out of a job...

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Return of the Phony Deficit Hawks

It looks as if Congress will soon pass a much-needed economic relief (not stimulus) bill — something that will help distressed Americans get through the next few months, while we wait for widespread vaccination to set the stage for economic recovery. That’s good news, because something is better than nothing, even though what we know about the legislation says that it’s going to be deeply flawed.But the way this debate has been playing out is ominous for the future. Even some of the good guys...

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Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Debt

Amid all the wild swings in U.S. politics over the past decade, one thing has remained constant: the G.O.P. position on government debt. The party considers high levels of debt an existential threat — if a Democrat is sitting in the White House. If a Republican president presides over big deficits, well, as Donald Trump’s budget director reportedly told supporters last year, “nobody cares.”So it’s a completely safe prediction that once Joe Biden is sworn in, we will once again hear lots of...

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Choice and the Insurance Mandate

A key part of the Senate tax bill is repeal of the individual health insurance mandate. The budget scoring relies on this repeal reducing Federal deficits by $318 billion — and the bulk of these spending cuts would hit lower-income families. Republicans argue, however, that these families won’t really be hurt, because they’ll be making a voluntary choice not to be covered and collect government subsidies. This argument might make sense in a world of hyper-rational individuals....

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