President Donald Trump and Republicans in the Senate have stated there is no need, at this point in time, for additional stimulus dollars to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are wrong. There is a desperate need.
States and local government need financial support to maintain the essential health, education and public services they provide for their citizens. Those small businesses that will survive the cataclysmic crash that has occurred will need financial support to manage during a slow economic recovery. And those who are and will be without jobs need jobs.
Job creation is crucial. Here’s why.
Nearly 39 million people have now filed for unemployment since mid-March. Reports indicate that there are millions of others without jobs who do not qualify for unemployment. It is projected that 40 percent or more of the people who have been laid off or lost their jobs due to the pandemic will not get them back.
This is not the Great Recession. It is far worse. But there is something that can be learned from the timid governmental response to that recession.
Here is the advice that Neel Kashkari, currently President and Chief Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis who oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program for Presidents Bush and Obama, gave in a Washington Post op ed in late March:
While the U.S. economy can bounce back from a crisis fairly quickly, it took more than 10 years after the 2008 crisis to rebuild the labor market. We can’t let that happen again. Let’s learn from history and douse the raging fire — before it becomes uncontrollable.
The job condition may not be uncontrollable, yet it is rapidly approaching it. It is time for the Congress to pass, and the President to sign, a massive and targeted jobs bill.
There have been legislative approaches proposed that address the jobs crisis. But none of the breadth and depth that is sufficient for these trying times.
The $3 trillion package passed by the House on May 15 would have extended unemployment benefits for six months until January of 2021 and provided some additional breathing room for those without jobs. But it was dead on arrival at the Senate.