Is the proposed $908B stimulus package necessary?


Fact Box

  • As of December 2, there have been 14.1 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with 278,690 reported deaths. 
  • For the first wave of stimulus checks, individual taxpayers received $1,200 each if their income was less than $75,000. Married couples received $2,400 if they earned less than $150,000. 
  • Nancy Pelosi has been pushing for a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill for weeks while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is stuck on $500 billion. 
  • Early December, a new bipartisan $908 billion stimulus has been announced that includes $300 weekly benefits, $160 billion in state and local aid, $288 billion for small businesses, $45 billion for transportation, $25 billion for rental assistance, and $35 billion for healthcare providers.

Noah (No)

The $908 billion stimulus package is unnecessary, especially seeing how the first stimulus package funneled millions of taxpayer funds to lobbyists, special interest groups, political donors, public companies, luxurious private chains, PR firms, and even COVID benefits to death row inmates. The Paycheck Protection Program, originally meant to help employees and small businesses stay afloat, was instead fraudulently used to purchase big-ticket items. Despite the ill-spent money from the first package, the American economy has been on a steep climb, and future economic projections show this record recovery will continue. 

In September, the NASDAQ composite hit higher numbers than had been previously recorded, showing tremendous growth in tech stocks. In October, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a net of 1.5 million Americans got off unemployment in the previous month, showing Americans are getting back to work. In November, the S&P 500 recorded its greatest November ever, and the DOW had its most significant monthly gain since 1987, nearly 33 years ago! These are all metrics of a remarkable economic recovery, and we haven't even had a widespread stimulus bill since May! 

Our national debt currently sits at $27.3 trillion and climbs $100,000 every second. This skyrocketing debt and unprecedented spending are alarming. The burden of this staggering national debt will fall on the millennial and younger and even future generations who do not even exist yet to pay. We do not need to continue spending on the deficit when our economy has been increasing at an incredible pace to produce the still greatest economic recovery ever recorded. Another stimulus package, especially one as massive as $908 billion, is just not necessary.

Kevin (Yes)

At the start of September, Yelp data showed that 60% of the business closures due to the pandemic had become permanent. Millions of Americans are currently going hungry, and according to the Washington Post, 'more than 12 million workers' will lose unemployment benefits before the end of 2020 if something isn't done. Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has suggested that 'we aren't going back to the same economy,' citing trends in technology, automation, and remote work. As he pointed out, these trends existed before COVID, but the pandemic has accelerated them, which could 'hurt certain groups in the short-term.' Powell also acknowledges that 'people in lower-income jobs hadn't recovered as much as others,' and that service industry workers, in particular, may 'need more help going forward.' 

According to a CNBC report, when asked specifically about the aid proposal, he replied that it seemed to cover 'a lot of the areas that could definitely benefit from help.' The CNBC report also mentions that the proposed bill would include financial support for extensions to unemployment, rental assistance, and aid for small businesses and $16 billion for 'vaccine distribution, testing and contact tracing.' As noted in USA Today, a 'well organized and well funded' program for the distribution of a vaccine will be crucial in the national recovery. Forbes quotes Virginia Senator Mark Warner of Virginia as saying, 'It would be stupidity on steroids if Congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge.' Looking at the situation, that seems to be a reasonable deduction.

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