Earlier this month Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law two economic stimulus packages to help individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, including free testing and emergency paid leave for sick employees.
Among President Trump’s other proposals to help Americans could be $1000 checks to individuals and $500 per child. The president also wants the government to provide unemployment benefits for people out of a job because of closures and loans for small businesses closed because of the crisis.
Adam Brandon, CEO of FreedomWorks, said the new proposal could cost over $1 trillion. Is this the best way to help the economy? Brandon doesn’t think so (emphasis added):
This pandemic is the third crisis I have lived through in Washington. Congress and presidents have always had the same reaction: spend enormous sums of taxpayer dollars to deal with the problem, adding to our already huge national debt that now exceeds $23 trillion. Where is this money going to come from? That important question always gets pushed aside.
No one should underestimate the health threat and economic damage of the coronavirus. I have elderly parents in Ohio and family members who work in the restaurant industry. But I also came to Washington to be part of the solution to our out-of-control spending problem.
We will get through the coronavirus. But the debt and deficit will remain an existential threat to our nation. It is foolhardy to keep running up the national credit card without worrying about how to pay it off.
So what is Brandon proposing?
We need to make an important distinction between spending to fight the disease COVID-19 that is spread by the coronavirus and spending on economic assistance programs.
Brandon takes issue with direct payments to every American. He wrote that it “becomes a contest between lawmakers and the White House seeking to outdo each other in adding program after program to express their concern for Americans impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.” He sees a better way through the crisis, as far as it concerns the economy: suspending the payroll tax and increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program.