Biden’s COVID-relief bill is neither a COVID nor a relief bill

DM

Joe Biden has signed what may well end up being the biggest accomplishment of his presidency, an enormous $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill. With his other priorities likely to molder in the Senate, the spending will probably stand as a signature statement of Biden’s approach to governance — and it should be a damning one. The legislation is a misnomer; it is neither a COVID nor a relief bill. Only a tiny portion of the spending in the bill goes toward vaccinations and other priorities directly related to the pandemic. Much of the rest of the spending isn’t well-suited, or even designed, to respond to current economic conditions, which are increasingly favorable. Democrats are telling themselves that it’s like 1933, when we were in the midst of a depression, whereas it’s more like 1983, when we were coming out of a punishing recession.

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