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Tag Archives: United States Economy

Bidenomics Is as American as Apple Pie

SectionsSkip to contentSkip to site index House Democrats are hoping to pass President Biden’s infrastructure bill by July 4, because of course they are. The Biden team is making a point of wrapping its economic initiatives firmly in the flag. First came the American Rescue Plan; now we have the American Jobs Plan paid for by the Made in America Tax Plan.And why not? Trumpism was, in part, about the appeal of economic nationalism, so it makes sense to try to snatch away that appeal on...

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The Decline of Republican Demonization

SectionsSkip to contentSkip to site index The American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief effort, is law. But it’s only a short-term measure, mainly designed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and its immediate aftermath. The long-term stuff — which is expected to combine large-scale infrastructure spending with tax increases on the rich — is still being formulated. And everyone says that turning those longer-term plans into law will be much harder than passing the ARP.But...

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How Not to Panic About Inflation

Do you remember the great inflation scare of 2010-2011? It’s an episode worth revisiting, because there’s a good chance that we’ll see a replay over the next year or so.After the 2008 financial crisis plunged America into a deep recession, both the new Obama administration and the Federal Reserve tried to stimulate the economy, spending hundreds of billions on a variety of programs while buying trillions in bonds. There is now consensus among economists that these efforts were helpful, but...

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Will Stagnation Follow the Biden Boom?

It’s morning in America! People are getting vaccinated at the rate of two million a day and rising, suggesting that the pandemic may be largely behind us in a few months (unless premature reopening or variants mostly immune to the current vaccines set off another wave). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already declared that vaccinated adults can safely mingle with one another, their children and their grandchildren.On the economic front, the Senate has passed a relief bill...

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The Paradox of Pandemic Partisanship

President Biden’s Covid-19 relief proposal remains incredibly popular; if anything, it’s getting more popular as it barrels through Congress. Multiple polls show that something like 70 percent of Americans approve of the $1.9 trillion plan. It’s almost twice as popular as the Republican tax cut of 2017; it’s more popular than the Obama stimulus of 2009; it’s hard to believe now, but the Biden plan is more popular than Medicare was in the months before it passed in 1965.Big business has also...

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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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How Democrats Learned to Seize the Day

A dozen years ago, just before Barack Obama was sworn in as president amid the Great Recession, I wrote a disconsolate column titled “The Obama Gap.” At a time when many viewed the president-elect as a transformational figure, I lamented the caution of his economic policy. His proposed stimulus, I argued, would fall well short of what was needed.Sadly, I was right. And as I also warned at the time, Obama didn’t get a second chance; the perceived failure of his economic policy, which mitigated...

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Fighting Covid Is Like Fighting a War

There has been some pushback from progressive pundits — most notably Larry Summers, but he’s not alone — against President Biden’s proposal for a very large Covid relief package. Before I get into the reasons I believe this pushback is misguided, let me say that it’s refreshing to discuss good-faith criticism coming from people who actually have some idea what they’re talking about, as opposed to the cynical, know-nothing obstructionism that has become the Republican norm.Nonetheless, the...

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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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