U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s proposal to pour $1.9 trillion into a hobbled economy could lay the foundation for a surge in jobs and spending that many economists say is needed to avoid long-term damage from a record-breaking pandemic recession.
Analysts had already begun marking up their forecasts for economic growth this year after last week’s elections in Georgia delivered control of both houses of Congress to Democrats.
Many, though, had penciled in smaller packages, more along the lines of the $892 billion stimulus passed in December.
Spending big on vaccine rollout, testing, and to shore up state and local governments on the frontlines of those efforts could help bring a swifter end to the country’s healthcare crisis, which remains at the root of the economic crisis.
The incoming Democratic administration’s proposed package provides targeted aid that economists say delivers the most effective economic boost, including an increase to the current extra weekly benefit to the unemployed, to $400 from $300.
It would also direct $170 billion toward reopening schools, the closure of which in many parts of the country has forced millions of workers, particularly women, to leave their jobs.