The following was written by guest blogger Jake Sandler and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Washington Outsider or its staff. Versions of this contents originally appeared on ChangeRoots under the title “Life in the Stimulation” and "Congress Picks Up the Bill."
After pursuing a career in business, Jake Sandler founded ChangeRoots to incentivize post-partisan integrity in politics. The unfortunate reality is that - right now - politicians are incentivized to act in the interests of whoever donates the most to their campaigns. We can change that using the power of behavioral science, which teaches us feedback is most effective when it is specific, immediate and consequential. Throw those into a pot, layer in some social media and viola, you got some ChangeRoots. Visit ChangeRoots at ChangeRoots.com.
At ChangeRoots, we stand for a post-partisan world rooted in love. A world where leaders prioritize our well-being over their political loyalty. The COVID-19 Pandemic presents us with an opportunity to take a step closer to that world. It has exposed the vulnerability of our healthcare, food, and economic systems. We need to address these weaknesses.
The first step is awareness, next comes acceptance, then action. Now is the time when we need leaders to act with respect, take the best ideas from both sides, and develop resilient systems that will take care of us.
By March 18, 2020, all 50 States were reporting cases of the corona virus responsible for the COVID-19 Pandemic. The total count throughout the US had reached 5,881 confirmed cases with 107 deaths (source NYTimes).
The response of the Federal government was to declare a State of Emergency and the response of the State governments was to shutdown unnecessary businesses across the country as well as impose other restrictions in order to limit social contact. Many State governments imposed quarantine measures of varying degrees. With businesses unable to operate, people earning less, and unemployment rising, the economy faces recession.
Due to overwhelming bipartisan support, and little debate, however, the highly partisan and polarized US Congress was able to passed the CARES Act on March 18, 2020. President Donald J. Trump signed the CARES Act into law the same night it was passed. CARES provides financial support to all US citizens and the US economy as we weather this sudden and unexpected storm.
The Economic Impact of COVID-19:
What is in the stimulus bill?
The stimulus is an attempt to boost employment and economic output through grants, loans, and tax breaks to State and local governments, individuals, and businesses from large corporations to small proprietorships.
Who gets what? (Source Politico)
How does it compare to the 2008 stimulus?
Did the 2008 stimulus bill work?
The recession ended in July 2009, just five months after Congress passed the stimulus. Economic growth immediately started to pick up. The US economy expanded 1.5% in the third quarter of 2009 after shrinking 4.4% in Q1 2009. Within 18 months, the economy added 4.1 million jobs after losing jobs at a rate of more than 500,000 jobs a month during the recession.
Our Post-Partisan Take
The overwhelming and ongoing response to the COVID-19 Pandemic is example of what can happen when we put down political loyalty and pick up the shared interest of protecting all Americans from common threats. Imagine if this was how we operated all the time. That is the post-partisan world we are fighting to create.
s is forcing both parties to remember that the common goal of political leaders should be serving the American people. The Senate voted unanimously on the CARES Act, which includes aspects that both Democrats and Republicans had to compromise on. Hopefully, this bipartisan spirit can carry forward when it comes to tackling problems beyond COVID-19. Hopefully, it will result in a more responsive government.
It is a scary and difficult time as information and the world around us seem to change daily. Although we are in a state of uncertainty, we are also looking for glimmers of hope. Congress passing a bill with such overwhelming bipartisan support is ray of sunshine. President Trump demanding relief by putting cash in the hands of struggling Americans, with Democrats supporting that demand, is daylight breaking through the clouds.
Axios: White House proposes $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, Reuters: Special Report: How Korea trounced U.S. in race to test people for coronavirus
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