Why Economists Assist Extra Stimulus

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Independent economists are largely in favor of passing more stimulus money before the end of the year – and the prospects for such a bill appear to be improving.

The Democratic leaders of Congress yesterday signaled their openness to a non-partisan stimulus package worth $ 908 billion. Democrats would prefer a bigger package, like the $ 3 trillion that the House passed in May. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer released a statement that the bipartisan plan would become “the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations”.

The next step is with Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans, some of whom previously sponsored a $ 500 billion bill. There are political reasons why both sides want to react to the Americans’ economic problems: The runoff elections for the Senate in Georgia on January 5 will determine which party controls the Senate.

The economy seems to have already slowed in the last few weeks as the number of viruses increased. And the situation is likely to get worse unless Congress gives further incentive. Many regulations that have been in place since the spring are slated to end on December 31st. The effects include:

  • Approximately seven million freelancers, contract workers, and other Americans who are not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits are losing their relief. The average is now $ 1,058 per month.

  • Nearly five million more people who have been unemployed for at least six months will also be excluded from aid – which now averages $ 1,253 per month. The usual unemployment benefit limit is 26 weeks, and a provision extending it to 39 weeks is expiring.

  • A tax credit that incentivized more than 125,000 companies not to lay off workers is expiring. Businesses will also lose the ability to defer payroll taxes and make deductions for business losses.

  • Aid to state and local governments – $ 150 billion – is running out. Without further help, these governments will likely have to make cuts to schools, police forces, health care, and other programs.

Moody’s Analytics predicts that without further help, the economy will slide into a new recession early next year, with the unemployment rate approaching 10 percent. And Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has said that the history of economic crises suggests that Congress usually gives too little and not too much stimulus. “Some tax support would really help now,” Powell told a Senate committee this week.

Even if the two parties can come to an agreement on Capitol Hill, there is still a hurdle. President Trump would have to sign the bill in his final weeks in office.

Will you marry me, Taylor Hollenkamp? Last week, the last entry in our readers’ six words about gratitude was a suggestion. It was real – and she said yes. Here is the full story.

From the opinion: The Justice Department shouldn’t prosecute Trump after he resigns. Eric Posner, a law professor, argues, “acquittal would be the crowning glory of Mr. Trump, but even a conviction would improve his political standing in half the country by completing his ordeal.”

Lived life: In 1960, Rafer Johnson became the first black captain of a US Olympic team to carry the American flag into the Olympic Stadium in Rome. He won gold in the decathlon and became a close associate of the Kennedy family. He died at the age of 86.

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Every major US sport that has tried to play during the pandemic has completed its season successfully. But none of those who did this this fall – like pro hockey, baseball, and both men’s and women’s basketball – had to deal with virus case numbers nearly as high as they are today. These case numbers are now creating chaos in both professional and college football.

The NFL had to postpone a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens three times before finally playing yesterday – on a Wednesday afternoon, bizarre. (The Steelers won 19 to 14.) The Denver Broncos had no quarterbacks on Sunday, and the result was what Bill Simmons, the podcaster, called the worst football game he had ever seen.

College football has bigger problems. At least one team, Ohio State, is in danger of missing the playoffs for canceling so many games. “History will wonder if this messy, jumbled, and repeatedly interrupted season was worth all the risk,” writes Jemele Hill of The Atlantic.

Some public health officials have decided the answer is no. Santa Clara County, California has banned all contact sports for the next three weeks, which means the San Francisco 49ers cannot play home games. Instead, the 49ers play near Phoenix, where the number of cases is higher than in Santa Clara.

Both the professional and college seasons still seem to be drawing to a close sooner than not as the sport’s officials are keen to keep their lucrative playoffs. However, the results can be messy and contribute to the further spread of the virus or other injuries as athletes take up new positions on exhausted rosters.

For more: Kurt Streeter, a sports columnist for the Times, has urged the NFL to end its season early.

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