The Stimulus Bill Is the Most Economically Liberal Legislation in Decades | The New Yorker

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  63 comments

By:   Nicholas Lemann (The New Yorker)

The Stimulus Bill Is the Most Economically Liberal Legislation in Decades | The New Yorker
Biden's bill is a sign that our democracy isn't completely broken, and may convince Americans that government can solve problems.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Biden's bill is a sign that our democracy isn't completely broken, and may convince Americans that government can solve problems.

By Nicholas Lemann

March 13, 2021

Traditionally, every new Democratic President starts out by passing a big economic package (and every new Republican President starts out by passing a tax cut). Jimmy Carter's, in 1977, cost twenty billion dollars. Bill Clinton's, in 1993, was mainly a tax increase, aimed at eliminating the federal deficit. Barack Obama's, in 2009, which passed during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, cost eight hundred billion, some of it spending increases, some tax relief.

The American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed last week, is on an entirely different scale. It will cost the government $1.9 trillion, even though the economy today is in better shape than it was when Obama took office; and, unlike Clinton's opening economic initiative, it is proudly indifferent to the size of the federal deficit. The law's most famous feature, its fourteen-hundred-dollar payments to individuals (meaning that many families will wind up with much more), is only the beginning. There are also extensions of eligibility for unemployment benefits and food stamps; debt relief for renters; subsidies for state and local governments that are out of money, so that they can continue to provide services; a bailout for insolvent pension funds; health-care subsidies; and a nearly universal child-care benefit.

The left's disappointments with the adjustments necessary to get the bill through the Senate—it doesn't raise the federal minimum wage, and the cash value of unemployment benefits was reduced—should not obscure the important point. This is the most economically liberal piece of legislation in decades. It is not just much bigger than but different in kind from the Obama Administration's version, which helped people mainly through end-of-year tax credits. Biden's bill was designed to send regular monthly checks to millions of American families, so it will be palpable that the government is helping them in a tough moment. Gone are the work requirements, the sensitivity to the risk of inflation, and other centrist concerns that have been at the heart of Democratic programs for decades. The side that always seemed to lose the argument within the Democratic Party has finally won.

In 2009 and again in 2020, the Federal Reserve drew the assignment of staving off a depression, which it did by keeping interest rates low and by buying many billions of dollars in financial instruments to prevent the markets from collapsing. Those maneuvers meant that people in finance, and, more broadly, people who have secure employment and assets in the markets, were spared the severe pain felt by millions of working people. Only Congress has the tools to provide direct help to the people most in need. That it is now able to act, quickly and effectively, is a sign that our democracy isn't as completely broken as a lot of people have been assuming, and that government can moderate the grotesquely unequal effects of the pandemic on people's well-being.

A year ago, nobody was predicting that Joe Biden would be presiding over a neo-New Deal. His long career didn't seem to indicate it, and he was clearly not on the way to having large majorities in both houses of Congress, as Franklin Roosevelt did. So how did this happen? The obvious answer is the pandemic, which generated the sense of urgent, universal crisis that the American system requires in order to make major changes. It's less obvious, but just as pertinent, that the response to the 2008 financial crisis is now seen as having been woefully insufficient, in ways that led to years of unnecessary suffering and a populist political revolt that disrupted both parties. It feels as if half a century's effort to reorient the political economy away from the state and toward the market may finally have run its course.

No Republicans voted for the American Rescue Plan—it would not have passed if the U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia had turned out differently—but the G.O.P. still played a part in what happened last week. The Party's new sense of itself as a competitor for working-class votes meant that it was supporting major covid-relief programs through last year; the Democrats had to top the Republicans' performance. And, their votes aside, the Republicans have chosen not to wage a full-scale rhetorical war on the new law, perhaps because polls show it to be highly popular. Because the law provides such immediate and tangible help to most Americans, it's more difficult to campaign against than the 2009 relief effort was. Two generations' worth of modest Democratic anti-poverty programs have foundered because their opponents portrayed them as mainly benefitting minorities; Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty and the welfare benefit that primarily assisted children of single mothers that Bill Clinton ended, both representing tiny fractions of the federal budget, are leading examples. Now, because the economic pain is so widespread, the new law has a very large and racially diverse group of beneficiaries, which ought to make it less vulnerable to the familiar attacks on social programs.

Yet the American Rescue Plan is actually a kind of economic appetizer. Its most progressive provisions—notably the child allowance, a monthly check of up to three hundred dollars per child, which would be the first true guaranteed family-income program in the United States, and would cut child poverty nearly in half—are temporary, expiring by the end of the year. The main course is what may be called "the Build Back Better bill," soon to be unveiled by the White House. It will be bigger and more permanent, representing a real remaking of the government's role in the economic lives of ordinary Americans. But that's only if it passes.

The bill that Biden signed into law last week had the advantage of a deadline, because the Trump Administration's pandemic-aid programs were due to expire in March. Build Back Better may contain large infrastructure programs, green-energy programs, and wealth taxes—a long list, with most of its items lacking the rescue plan's pandemic-induced sense of crisis management. The new bill's fate will depend on Americans embracing the idea that the reason the misery of the pandemic may finally be abating is that government can solve problems. Republicans, accustomed to caricaturing Democratic programs as elitist schemes created by a party that doesn't care about ordinary people, will have to feel too intimidated by their constituents' appreciation for the American Rescue Plan to stage an all-out assault on the new bill.

It is not yet time to celebrate. It is time to prepare for a months-long campaign with the highest possible stakes: a new social compact, which might finally bring an end to forty years of rising inequality. 


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago
In 2009 and again in 2020, the Federal Reserve drew the assignment of staving off a depression, which it did by keeping interest rates low and by buying many billions of dollars in financial instruments to prevent the markets from collapsing. Those maneuvers meant that people in finance, and, more broadly, people who have secure employment and assets in the markets, were spared the severe pain felt by millions of working people. Only Congress has the tools to provide direct help to the people most in need. That it is now able to act, quickly and effectively, is a sign that our democracy isn't as completely broken as a lot of people have been assuming, and that government can moderate the grotesquely unequal effects of the pandemic on people's well-being.
 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
Two generations' worth of modest Democratic anti-poverty programs have foundered because their opponents portrayed them as mainly benefitting minorities; Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty and the welfare benefit that primarily assisted children of single mothers that Bill Clinton ended, both representing tiny fractions of the federal budget, are leading examples. Now, because the economic pain is so widespread, the new law has a very large and racially diverse group of beneficiaries, which ought to make it less vulnerable to the familiar attacks on social programs.
 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
1.1.1  1stwarrior  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    one month ago

Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team essentially wrote the bill, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found what House Democrats consider coronavirus-recovery “essential” spending:

  • $1.5 million earmarked for the Seaway International Bridge, which connects New York to Canada. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer hails from New York.
  • $50 million for “family planning” – going to non-profits, i.e. Planned Parenthood, or public entities, including for “services for adolescents[.]”
  • $852 million for AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Vista, and the National Senior Service Corps – the Corporation for National and Community Service – civic volunteer agencies. This includes $9 million for the AmeriCorp inspector general to conduct oversight and audits of the largess. AmeriCorps received a $1.1 billion FY2020 appropriation.

However, The Wall Street Journal editorial board estimated that only $825 billion was directly related to Covid-19 relief and $1 trillion was “expansions of progressive programs, pork, and unrelated policy changes.”

For example, separately, our auditors found that $470 million in the bill doubles the budgets of The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities.

  • $200 million in the bill to The Institute of Museum and Library Services (FY2019 budget: $230 million). This agency is so small that it doesn’t even employ an inspector general.
  • $270 million funds the National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities (FY2019 budget: $253 million) – In 2017, our study showed eighty-percent of all non-profit grant making flowed to well-heeled organizations with over $1 million in assets.

A quick spotlight on agencies and entities receiving “coronavirus recovery” money in the bill includes:

  • $350 billion to bailout the 50 States and the District of Columbia. The allocation formula uses the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020. Therefore, states like New York and California –who had strict economic lockdown policies and high unemployment – will get bailout money. States like Florida and South Dakota – who were open for business – will get less.
  • $128.5 billion to fund K-12 education. The CBO determined that most of the money in education will be distributed in 2022 through 2028, when the pandemic is over.
  • $86 billion to save nearly 200 pension plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. There are no reforms mandated while these badly managed pensions are bailed-out. Many of these pension plans are co-managed by unions.
  • $50 billion goes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A portion of these funds is earmarked to reimburse up to $7,000 for funeral and burial costs related to Covid-19 deaths.
  • $39.6 billion to higher education. This amount is three times the money – $12.5 billion – that higher ed received with the massive CARES Act funding from last March.  
  • $1.5 billion for Amtrak – the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. In FY2020, Congress appropriated $3 billion for Amtrak ($2 billion in annual appropriations, plus an additional $1 billion in the CARES Act COVID relief bill). In the three years before the pandemic, AMTRAK lost $392 million – even after a $5 billion taxpayer subsidy (FY2017-FY2019).

During the past three years, Republicans and Democrats have helped drain the U.S. Treasury from the left and the right. Our national debt increased from $10 trillion (2008) to $19.6 trillion (2016) to $23.6 trillion (2020) and stands at $28 trillion today.

Continuing coronavirus responses and bloated legislation will drive the national debt much higher.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
1.1.2  MrFrost  replied to  1stwarrior @1.1.1    one month ago
Continuing coronavirus responses and bloated legislation will drive the national debt much higher.

I think the former guy added a LOT more to the debt than Biden will. You know trump added 8 T to the debt in just 4 years, right? 

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.3  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  MrFrost @1.1.2    one month ago
I think the former guy added a LOT more to the debt than Biden will

Maybe but Biden sure has let me down. Insisting he get his 2 trillion dollar package IMO: Was a Huge mistake. 

Biden promised to Unite America. Once in power that didn't happen. This huge one sided relief bill has set the tone for the next 4 years.

Bidens immigration crisis (lack of planning once again, trump did the same damn thing on border security) is already a thorn in his side,

now Bidens pushing for a huge tax increase for the wealthy and corporations. 

Another wedge in his Unity promise from being a reality.

The republicans are already having a field day over Bidens governing.

Although it is true trump seemed to care more for the present than the future including the national debt. 

But, Mr Frost, I have lost faith in Biden as well. 

My intentions on electing a president is to elect one that will work across the isle not just do whatever it takes to get His own way. 

We just had 4 fuckin years of that shit. Biden promised a difference, WTF is it ? 

Unreal

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.3    one month ago
now Bidens pushing for a huge tax increase for the wealthy and corporations.  Another wedge in his Unity promise from being a reality.

So you want "unity" with the very people who have championed increasing income and wealth inequality for the past 40 years. 

Why? 

So you can say you are willing to "compromise"?

I dont want to compromise with the people who dont want to pay taxes to help the government provide hope for a better life for the lower and middle classes. 

This country needs change, not pointless compromise for the sake of "unity".  

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.5  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.4    one month ago
So you want "unity" with the very people who have championed increasing income and wealth inequality for the past 40 years. 

Biden said he wanted and would unite us. Has he ? 

Jhon,

I've been pulling the Unity log up the hill for at least a decade.  

As what I thought may be the top, when the most powerful human on earth who had promised Unity took office I started to relax, and felt the log finally balance.

Within two months Biden seemingly abandoned his Unity theme and the log started right back down the other side. 

I'm done pulling logs.  The reality of it is I actually have little at stake anyway, no living family and no kids, I don't have too many years left and I'm as far as I know I'm financially OK.  I doubt if it all goes really all to hell really bad before I'm gone anyway.  SO... 

America.. Good Luck divided or not , now I also don't really give much of a fuck either. When the most powerful human doesn't care, WTF should I ?  

I'm done log pullin.Standing in the middle getting nailed from both sides for all these years has sucked and gives one little pleasure.  

But I do want to Thank everyone here for your respect in our many conversations. Many nice debates.

PS: I still will not rejoin either political party, they both SUCK ! 

I still truly believe Unity is best for all Americans, but now believe most americans don't believe it themselves, the pulling the Unity banor uphill to me just isn't worth it any longer. 

I'm Done. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.6  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.5    one month ago
I still truly believe Unity is best for all Americans, but now believe most americans don't believe it themselves, the pulling the Unity banor uphill to me just isn't worth it any longer. 

What does unity just for the sake of saying we are united mean? 

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.7  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.6    one month ago
What does unity just for the sake of saying we are united mean? 

To me John it means in the context we are considering that our politicians work together to solve the nations problems. 

You may have seen when I've said before that I seriously believe America is and would be a better nation if we did. Because, 

cons slow change down and libs want to change very quickly. The mix of the two moves us forward at a responsible rate.

This two party stuff where one has power, moves us one direction (many times too far,or not far enough depending on which party has power at the time) THEN when the people aren't happy power changes hands and we go Back in the opposite direction. 

Its like digging a hole, filling it in and redigging it over and over. 

Unity and compromise is what the founding fathers wanted and IMO Their true intent. 

But as I said John I'm sick of being in the middle its just not worth it to me any longer. Biden 

So I'm done trying to push Unity. However its in me and will come out as my desire I'm sure. 

:) 

..........................................

unity
unity
NOUN
  1. the state of being united or joined as a whole.
    "European unity" · "their leaders called for unity between opposing factions"
    synonyms:
    union   ·   unification   ·   integration   ·   amalgamation   ·   coalition   ·   federation   ·   confederation
 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.8  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.3    one month ago

Wow, you really gave President Biden a chance didn't you?????????

Pfffft.  Unreal.  

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.9  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.8    one month ago
you really gave President Biden a chance didn't you?

Yes I did. I voted for his ass. I still would ONLY because he is still better than trump. But when biden has to Get HIS own Way it does make me start to wonder.   a lot ...

Biden had one hell of a chance, HE blew it. Not my fault or my problem.   Joe Biden, "Unity, Unity, Unity" 

However we the we in we the people will pay for Bidens backtracking on his Unity pledge,  Again NMP 

Missed opportunity one that doesn't come along often.

He'll see, we all will. 

Congress now governing per usual who ever can muster the most power tells the rest of us what and how its to be done. (for a while) NO compromising in America's future as I see it. The tone remains the same. More power !!! More Power, More Power !!  Meanwhile WE the people end up with less and less power as the two parties divy US, We the People up for their political and personal gain.

Sad

Joe Biden, "Unity, Unity, Unity"

Bull Shit !

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.10  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.9    one month ago

President Biden didn't blow anything.  Look to those who will never ever support a Democrat EVER.  You're barking up the wrong tree by blaming President Biden.  Blame the supporters of the former occupant of the White House, because they will never support any DEMOCRAT EVER.  

It's sad that you're jumping on this bandwagon also.  

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.11  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.10    one month ago
It's sad that you're jumping on this bandwagon also.

Tesslylo, I don't jump on any bandwagon. I think and represent myself. 

IMO: Biden has blown his own call for unity. I can be shown IF I'm wrong. But I stand by my assessment of what Biden did.

Turning this around, Now are you going to support Anything Biden does ? 

We all know pretty much trump's followers did. 

If not , where will you draw the line... 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.12  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.11    one month ago

Your opinion.

President Biden did nothing of the sort.

It's not his fault/problem/concern that the so-called conservatives/republicans/gqp will never support the 'left'.  

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.13  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.12    one month ago
It's not his problem that the right will never support the 'left'.

or vice versa, the right has little incentive to cooperate just like the dems had little incentive to cooperate with trump. 

It would take a leader who doesn't subscribe to either ideology to really WANT and to work with both parties. 

Biden promise unity, soon he forgot unity and the dems passed HIS relief bill. 

Yep as our leader it is His problem, it's certainly not mine any more than it is any other American citizens. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.14  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.13    one month ago

No, it's not a vice versa situation.  

Sure it is your problem.  

So I guess  you'll be returning the money then from HIS relief bill?

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.15  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.14    one month ago
Sure it is your problem.

How and why ?

No I'm spending that just like everyone else. Duuu

Just like you all I'm just along for the ride folks. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.16  Trout Giggles  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.3    one month ago

Biden has only been in office about 7 weeks. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. It's going to take time to fix the mess trmp left behind

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.17  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.15    one month ago

No need to Duh me.  I'm not an idiot.  

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
1.1.18  Ender  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.17    one month ago
I'm not an idiot

Duh...

Sorry couldn't resist...Haha

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.19  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.17    one month ago
No need to Duh me.  I'm not an idiot. 

Sorry, you did ask if I was sending free money back. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.20  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.19    one month ago

Don't do it again.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.21  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.16    one month ago
It's going to take time to fix the mess trmp left behind

IMO: Trout, Doing what he wants to get what he wants is much like trump did and much of what the mess is that trump left behind. 

First impressions are important. Biden's first impression on many republicans most likely will come back to bite him and in return US. 

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.22  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.20    one month ago
Don't do it again.

No problem just watch what you ask me as well. 

I don't appreciate loaded questions. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.23  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.21    one month ago

I honestly don't give a shit what any republican's impression of Biden or anyone is - it's always their way, or no way

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.24  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.22    one month ago

Watch what I ask you?

Whatever!

An answer is not required by the way

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.25  Tessylo  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.22    one month ago

Here's your republicans hard at work/compromising/for all of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

44183962_2121965191159626_5563232462328299520_o.png?_nc_cat=105&ccb=1-3&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=7a8dsSHPwBQAX-QpeWR&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&_nc_tp=30&oh=faf63b6cf7173e080de026f4cbbe7f69&oe=60764FFF

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.26  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.24    one month ago
Watch what I ask you? Okay!

Sorry tessylo I didn't know you were so touchy. 

I think you may have forgotten I voted for and wanted Biden to succeed. But, I think he messed up and I have a right to state my believes on that as well. I try hard to be truthful and back up my believes.

Loaded questions IMO: Deserve a smug answer. Sorry If I hurt your feelings, I apologize.  

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.27  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.25    one month ago
Here's your republicans hard at work/compromising/for all of us!

First of al Tesslyo as you probably know by now I am not a republican. 

Secondly McConnell is an asshole who like trump tries to take advantage of any issue that comes his way.  

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.28  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Tessylo @1.1.24    one month ago
An answer is not required by the way

True, But I try to answer anyone who asks me questions. I'm not afraid to answer what anyone asks but I do answer as I see fit. 

BTW: I was JOKING. 

The wording seemed so fitting, who gives free money back ? 

...........        

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Principal
1.1.29  Raven Wing  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.26    one month ago

We have to remember that no human being is perfect. If we were, would not be living on this planet called Earth. 

And we need to remember that there has never been a perfect President or lawmaker in America. Ever. No matter who thinks so, or what political party they are with. 

So we are free to address their mistakes as long as they are the truth. Lies are never accepted, except by other liars. 

Facts are what makes the liars pissed off the most. As they cannot prove their lies as are fact.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.30  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Raven Wing @1.1.29    one month ago
Facts are what makes the liars pissed off the most.

True and I'd add, Facts and reality isn't always pretty, nice or pleasant or even easy to accept. Many times it's easier and more pleasant not to want to see facts or hear opinions that differ from our own as well.

Not to mention that some topics and issues are very complex and many times are interpreted differently by different individual people. But reality is reality. 

I know I kinda hate finding out that I'm WRONG. 

But as I got older I figure it's better to know that I'm wrong than to keep believing something that is not true. 

I also figure the first day I don't have problems or make a mistake is the first day I woke up dead.

lol 

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Principal
1.1.31  Raven Wing  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.30    one month ago
I also figure the first day I don't have problems or make a mistake is the first day I woke up dead.

Totally true. No human being, no matter how much the Christians make them Saints, they will never sit at the right hand of their God as they think they will.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.32  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Raven Wing @1.1.31    one month ago

:) I try not to think too far ahead...lol

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Principal
1.1.33  Raven Wing  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @1.1.32    one month ago
I try not to think too far ahead...lol

LOL !!  Same here. There is plenty to deal with every day now, so trying to guess what will happen in a year or more is just a waste of time. There are just too many "What Ifs" to try and deal with the unknown future. 

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
1.1.34  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Raven Wing @1.1.33    one month ago
There are just too many "What Ifs" to try and deal with the unknown future.

So true Raven, I do plan for my future but I don't obsess about it or even Expect the future to be what I imagine. 

Thankfully I had a grandmother who believed in being adaptable to the world around her quite well. She did so happily where as my parents hated change and fought it with their every step. 

Grandma was a happy person, my parents were miserable.

I have always been grateful to have had that contrast to see, that made a huge difference in how I see the world.

Grandma had it right. The world WILL change not to be willing to change with it causes one much agony.

Loved my Grandma !!!!

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
2  bbl-1    one month ago

Our democracy is not broken.  But there are several state legislatures passing laws to destroy it.

The economic disadvantage felt by so many Americans is a direct result of Supply Side Economics.

One more thing----I am sick and tired of hearing that Americans like imported products because they are cheaper.  That is a lie.  Everything is costing more.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  bbl-1 @2    one month ago

Americans don't buy imported products because they are cheaper...it's the only products you can find! Imports from China and other Asian countries don't have very good QC from what I can tell. You can tell how well made a product is such a dress or a shirt by how well it holds up in the wash. When a garment starts to unravel after the third washing, it's not well made

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
2.1.1  Ender  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1    one month ago

Garments seem to be thinner these days.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ender @2.1.1    one month ago

A lot of synthetic materials these days. Can hardly buy a decent garment made from good cotton any more

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
2.1.3  bbl-1  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1    one month ago

I stand by what I say.  I looked at 'dress shirts' at Kohls and they were Chinese manufacture and cost over $50.  Cheaper costs my arse.

And yes, the material seemed thin, cheap, not durable.  Should have cost $5.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.4  Trout Giggles  replied to  bbl-1 @2.1.3    one month ago

Dillard's is our high end store here in Arkansas. Their clothes aren't any better made than those I can buy at Walmart...they just cost more.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago

www.msn.com   /en-us/news/politics/white-house-weighs-how-to-pay-for-long-term-economic-program/ar-BB1ezrQr

White House Weighs How to Pay for Long-Term Economic Program

  BB1ezn3k.img?h=253&w=378&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f  © Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Corbis/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration is looking past its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill and starting to consider how to pay for the next round of programs meant to bolster long-term economic growth with investments in infrastructure, clean energy and education.

The challenges are twofold. Officials must decide how much of the bill to pay for with tax increases and which policies to finance with more borrowing. In a narrowly divided Congress, they must also craft a bill that can win support from nearly every Democrat. The decision will help determine how much of President Biden’s Build Back Better economic agenda he can advance in his first year in office.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that the Biden administration hasn’t decided whether to pursue a wealth tax, and that while the administration intends to issue proposals to rein in deficits over time, U.S. borrowing costs are manageable right now. A group of progressive lawmakers including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) recently proposed a so-called ultra-millionaire tax. The legislation would create a 2% annual tax on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 million and $1 billion and an additional 1% surtax on those above $1 billion.

“That’s something that we haven’t decided yet and can look at,” Ms. Yellen said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” referring to the wealth tax. She noted that Mr. Biden proposed higher taxes on corporations, on some individuals and on capital gains or dividend payments during his 2020 presidential campaign. “Those are alternatives that address—that are similar in their impact to a wealth tax.”

The U.S. has borrowed trillions of dollars in the past year to pay for coronavirus relief, including direct payments for households and small businesses. Some Democrats have signaled they may be willing to borrow more to finance programs such as infrastructure if the economic benefits are big enough. But Republicans and some moderate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), say the ballooning national debt is a reason to ensure the spending is offset with tax increases or cuts elsewhere.

The president’s economic advisers are just starting to grapple with the issue. While they haven’t ruled out more borrowing to finance parts of the plan, Mr. Biden has continued to talk about his campaign proposals to raise taxes on corporations and high-income households to pay for new permanent programs, said Jared Bernstein, a top economic adviser.

One consideration influencing the administration’s thinking: distinguishing between short-term stimulus and longer-term spending that is likely to feed deficits over many years.

“When you’re worried about fiscal sustainability, the things that hurt you are not the temporary measures,” Mr. Bernstein said in an interview late last month. “It’s the things that are permanent [and] that aren’t paid for.”

In the past year, successive rounds of stimulus spending to combat the coronavirus and its economic fallout have contributed to a nearly $4.5 trillion increase in federal debt held by the public, to $21.9 trillion as of March 1. At roughly the size of the nation’s entire economic output, the debt is the highest  since the aftermath of World War II.

The U.S. currently has no wealth tax, and Ms. Yellen has previously taken a cautious view toward the idea. The federal government currently collects the biggest chunk of its revenue—about half in 2019—from individual income taxes. Those top out at 37% of income above $518,000 per year.

The wealth tax proposed by progressive Democrats would generate $3 trillion of revenue over a decade, according to an analysis by University of California, Berkeley, economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Mr. Biden never endorsed annual wealth taxes advanced by Ms. Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, instead offering a suite of tax increases on corporations and high-income households that would be significant but mark less of a structural change in U.S. taxation.

Currently, when someone dies with appreciated assets, there are no income taxes due. Their heirs pay capital-gains taxes only when they sell and only on increases in value after the previous owner’s death. Under Mr. Biden’s approach, someone who dies with appreciated assets would be considered to have sold the assets for a taxable gain. He would also raise the top capital-gains tax rate from 23.8% to 39.6%.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has been exploring a different plan that would impose annual income taxes on appreciated assets for the wealthiest households.

Many people affected by wealth taxes would also be hit by the plans from Messrs. Biden and Wyden. The wealth tax plans would bite more sharply on older, slow-growing fortunes while the Biden and Wyden plans focus more on fast-growing asset appreciation.

Some economists have argued the administration should rethink the way the government sets its fiscal goals, especially in an era of very low borrowing costs. They have proposed new policy guideposts to inform decisions about the right level of debt.

For now, there are few signs of the kind of inflationary spiral or fiscal crisis that policy makers once thought would accompany debt levels like today’s. “In spite of the fact that the debt has increased substantially, interest payments relative to the size of the economy have remained quite low,” Ms Yellen said Sunday.

That could change in the future. The Congressional Budget Office this month projected that the national debt would double as a proportion of gross domestic product over the next 30 years. The projection doesn’t include the Covid-19 aid package signed by Mr. Biden last week or additional spending plans.

“The risk of a fiscal crisis appears to be low in the short run despite the higher deficits and debt stemming from the pandemic,” the CBO said. “Nonetheless, the much higher debt over time would raise the risk of a fiscal crisis in the years ahead.”

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 1.634% on Friday, up from 0.9% at the start of the year, meaning that the cost of borrowing is rising for the government and across the economy. But policy makers have attributed the rise to the brightening economic outlook rather than market concerns about government borrowing.

Jason Furman and Larry Summers, top economic officials in the Obama and Clinton administrations, have suggested the U.S. could easily continue to manage its debt as long as net interest payments, as a share of GDP, are projected to remain below 2% over the coming decade. Under current law, CBO projects annual borrowing costs will average 1.6% during the next decade.

“America has enormous unmet needs when it comes to children, research, infrastructure and our social safety net,” said Mr. Furman, who served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “We have substantial fiscal space to meet these needs, without paying for all of them, but having some form of limiting principle or framework would be useful for the best decisions.”

Mr. Furman said spending that is temporary or bolsters the economy’s long-term growth potential probably doesn’t need to be paid for. That could include one-time investments in renewable energy, or investments in education, which studies show deliver economic benefits for decades. By contrast, programs that are permanent and not aimed primarily at boosting growth, such as improvements to healthcare, should probably be paid for, he said.

Democrats may argue that some deficit spending, such as on infrastructure, could be justified if it boosts economic activity enough to generate more revenue.

Republicans are unlikely to support tax increases. “Coming out of the pandemic and trying to rebuild this economy, there is no worse time to be raising taxes on employers, on those who invest in the economy, or raising taxes in any way that slows this growth,” said Kevin Brady (R., Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Democrats have sound legislative reasons to pay for permanent programs with new tax revenue. If they use the procedure known as budget reconciliation to get legislation through the Senate without Republican votes, as they did with the just-signed Covid-19 relief bill, their programs can’t increase budget deficits beyond 10 years.

The Biden administration must also take account of the economic cycle, said Stephanie Kelton, an economics professor at Stony Brook University who advised the Biden campaign.

The economy will be closer to full employment by the fall, and a big burst of spending could push consumer prices higher, she said. A wealth tax may not be as effective as other tax increases at curbing inflation, Ms. Kelton warned.

“In an environment where the spending will carry inflation risk, you have to pick the right offset,” she said.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
4  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu     one month ago

White House Weighs How To Pay For Long-Term Economic Program

LOL I did that once when I bought a house. The bank said Thank you when they took it back. 

sarc

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
5  Ed-NavDoc    one month ago

Those on the left of the spectrum just do not want to accept that Biden's vaunted package contained a large amount of partisan pork hitched onto it. While I agree that said $1,440.00 stimulus payment will help, it woud have had a lot more appeal as just a stand alone piece of legislation without the pork barrel spending attachments.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
5.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5    one month ago
Those on the left of the spectrum just do not want to accept that Biden's vaunted package contained a large amount of partisan pork hitched onto it.

And those on the right have been unable to point out this "pork".

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Ozzwald @5.1    one month ago

They never are!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
5.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5    one month ago

Now look at what the loony lefties have done!

And then theey did this to lose even more voters.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
5.2.1  Ender  replied to  Greg Jones @5.2    one month ago

Odd to me that you think either one of those things are bad...

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6  Vic Eldred    one month ago

This monstrosity was a partisan piece of legislation, created & passed by democrats with a slim majority. We will know within the year if they get the credit or the blame.  If the cost of this "rescue package" begins to ramp up inflation and frighten financial markets also wary of tax hikes (which will come), democrats will then get all of the blame.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
6.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Vic Eldred @6    one month ago
This monstrosity was a partisan piece of legislation

Which is supported by over 70% of voters, including a majority of Republicans.

created & passed by democrats with a slim majority.

Because, once again, Republicans have shown utter contempt for average Americans and will only spend money if it goes to their millionaire backers.

We will know within the year if they get the credit or the blame.

Since only Democrats voted for it, why do you need a year?  More than likely, a year or 2 down the road, if it is discovered that the stimulus was successful, Republicans will be falling over themselves trying to figure out a way to take credit for it.

If the cost of this "rescue package" begins to ramp up inflation and frighten financial markets also wary of tax hikes (which will come), democrats will then get all of the blame.

You will be blaming the Democrats even if you have to make up shit about the stimulus package.  Just like you are already doing now.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1    one month ago
Which is supported by over 70% of voters, including a majority of Republicans.

They supported everything in that bill???

Prove it!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
6.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.1.1    one month ago
They supported everything in that bill???

What a dishonest question from you.  You know you've lost the argument, so you pull the typical strawman to try and twist to something that is not being discussed.  [Deleted]

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.1.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.2    one month ago
What a dishonest question from you. 

I'd say it is to the heart of the matter. I doubt many American's know what, aside from the covid benefits, is in the bill. Desperate people wouldn't even care. Most of the bill has nothing to do with covid.

That is very dishonest of you.

Instead of attacking me as dishonest, why not prove your claim - that people were in favor of all of that radical stuff in the bill?

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
6.1.4  bbl-1  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.1.3    one month ago

2017 tax cut was 1.9 trillion.  Middle class got what out of that?  Hell, for that matter what did America get out of that?

2021 Relief is 1.9 trillion.  At least the Middle Class got a piece of it, there is also some needed spending and there is also a step into the economic future in this package.

Yeah it is a lot of money.  Depends on where its going and who it is helping.  

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
6.1.5  Ozzwald  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.1.3    one month ago
Instead of attacking me as dishonest, why not prove your claim

My claim is that you are trying to  pull a dishonest strawman argument.  Why would I want to prove a claim I never made?  Simply so you can once again try to hide the fact that you have nothing to stand on in this argument?

[Deleted]

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
6.1.6  bbl-1  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.5    one month ago

Is MAGA a social dysfunction?  If it is----then it is what it is.

Prove a claim and honesty?  Like that will ever happen.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
6.1.7  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  bbl-1 @6.1.6    one month ago
Is MAGA a social dysfunction?

Good question bbl-1

I'm no physiatrist but IMO: I'd say it could be. Just like neo nazisum any idology taken too far is anti social.

Make America Great Again

Taken literally sounds OK but delve into the manner in which it's undertaken and it certainly could take on undesirable ways and means of accomplishing that goal.

this was trump's America. he told us he could single handedly be the one who would fix all the nations problems just trust and believe him.

Many did. Many gave trump a great deal of let's call it leeway in his ways and means of accomplishing his goal.  Including up to encouraging an insurrection about our government which IF got out of hand bad enough and for long, trump could legal have declared Martial law and held office for the time being.

Yea, MAGA could maybe be a social dysfunction. 

IMO

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.1.8  Vic Eldred  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.5    one month ago
Why would I want to prove a claim I never made?

I know you didn't claim that people knew what was in it.

BUT THAT IS THE POINT!

The claim you made was most people favored the covid relief plan via a poll. That poll does not show how many know what was in that bill, which by the way is mostly non-covid radical handouts - like that disgusting farm provision. It's very easy for people to only see the money they're getting and nothing else as Nancy Pelosi knows.

There is nothing dishonest about questioning a poll that does not ask if people know what's in the bill.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
6.1.9  Ozzwald  replied to  Vic Eldred @6.1.8    one month ago
I know you didn't claim that people knew what was in it.BUT THAT IS THE POINT!

Not my point, and not your original point.  Go away Vic.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6.1.10  Vic Eldred  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.9    one month ago

No, you go away!

You used a poll. I questioned it and you had no answer. Pelosi should stop using that poll for the same reason.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6.1.11  Tessylo  replied to  Ozzwald @6.1.2    one month ago

That's his MO.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
6.1.12  Ozzwald  replied to  Tessylo @6.1.11    one month ago
That's his MO.

It is a very dishonest method of debate when someone doesn't even stay on their own topic.

 
 
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