Over a third of the adult population of the U.S., more than 100 million people, are under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. Millions are out of work, thousands of businesses have closed their doors. Over 50,000 people have been definitely tested positive with COVID-19 (and untold millions more must have it), and over 700 people have died. It is an unprecedented disaster to this country, and to its economy.
At 1 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, the Senate and White House have agreed on a stimulus package worth upwards of $2 trillion aimed to soften the economic blow of the pandemic.
In the days before its announcement, the contents of the package were a subject of fierce and partisan debate in the House and then the Senate. Each side had priorities they tried to include, with both sides trying to paint the other as ‘sneaking’ their provisions in or holding the public good hostage for partisan agendas.
The text of the package that was agreed upon in the end was not yet available at the time of this article, but it was predicted to include a $500 billion fund for industry and a similar amount to give up to $3000 each to millions of households. Another $377 billion was proposed for small-business loans, $250 billion for a very necessary expanded unemployment budget, and perhaps most important of all $130 billion to help hospitals meet their increased demand.
This is the largest stimulus package in U.S. history, possibly in world history. It exceeds everything the U.S. will spend on national defense, research, and highway infrastructure this year. It amounts to 9 percent of the entire gross domestic product of the nation.
Source: LA Times
Source: Al Jazeera