After passing a $1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief package, the Biden administration has accomplished its first goal of getting a floor under our economy and society. While not perfect, the bill does a lot, including:
$1400 relief checks to millions of Americans
$300 / week boost to unemployment insurance through September
Increases child tax credit from max of $2,000 a month to $3,600 a month and expands it to millions more people, including the lowest income people
$350 billion to state and local governments which makes sure we don’t have to close bus lines or cut fire departments
$130 billion to reopen schools
Tens of billions towards vaccine administration and distribution as well as testing
At New Consensus, we’re thrilled with the passage of this relief bill and are glad the Biden administration is taking the COVID-19 crises, both economic and public health, seriously. However, this bill is only short term relief to an acute problem. While giving people relief now is absolutely necessary, this bill does not (and was not intended to) solve any of the root causes of dysfunction in our economy. It does not invest in the kind of long term production that can build wealth for millions of Americans for generations to come. It does not create any of the necessary institutions for us to create a nimble, dynamic, constantly developing America. In short, this bill does not ‘Build Back Better.’ To tackle that, Biden is reported to be introducing an economic recovery plan sometime soon.
So between now and the introduction of Biden’s recovery plan, we want to focus this newsletter on presenting short, simple solutions that Biden could easily put in there. We’ll try to put one idea out every weekday and our goal for each of these ideas will be:
Concretely solve a specific problem
Show how Biden could do it, including how Biden could pay for it
Explain the long-term institutions we can create along the way
We hope you’ll follow along!