Bernanke, Yellen and More Than 140 Top Economists Call for Massive New Coronavirus Relief Bill
A group of more than 140 top economists, including former Federal Reserve chairs Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, Nobel laureates and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, are calling on Congress to adopt another aggressive coronavirus aid package.
"Congress must adopt another stimulus package before most of the support for the CARES law expires this summer," the economists write in a letter to Congress leaders, written on Tuesday by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, an inequality think tank , has been published.
“Given the current forecasts of economic needs, this new bill should at least continue to provide support for the unemployed, new support for states and municipalities, investment in programs to maintain the relationship between employer and employee, and additional help to stabilize overall demand. Although the signatories to this letter have differing views on the optimal size and composition of the package, we all agree that an adequate response must be large, according to the nominal output gap of nearly $ 16 trillion that our economy is facing according to the CBO faced next decade is estimates. "
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In addition to Bernanke and Yellen, Jason Furman, Austan Goolsbee and Christina Romer, who headed President Obama's advice to economic advisors, are other notable signatories. Martin Neil Baily, who chaired President Clinton's council; Alan Blinder and Donald Kohn, who were vice chairmen of the Fed; and economists Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, Emmanuel Saez, Robert Solow and Cecilia Rouse.
Economists warn that "state and local governments will face potentially catastrophic budget squeezes without further Congress action" and the unemployment rate is expected to remain in double digits by the end of the year. And lawmakers should try to learn from the response to the 2008-2009 recession:
“Insufficiently bold responses by Congress policy to the Great Recession have unnecessarily prolonged suffering and slowed economic growth. Congress should not make that mistake again. … Congress should counter this risk and the economic damage that is already occurring by adopting as soon as possible a multi-faceted aid law of a size that meets the challenges of our economy. "
Conservatives say it's time to stop spending coronavirus aid: The economists' statement comes on the same day that a group of 20 conservative leaders, some of whom are closely related to the White House, President Trump and the majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, called for deficit spending to be stopped on coronavirus relief.
“Government spending - and measures such as paying millions more workers to stay unemployed than going back to work and paying states more money to keep them closed - hamper the rapid recovery we are helping Jobs and income don't want to stimulate it, ”the conservatives wrote in a letter. "In short, runaway government spending is the new virus that is affecting the economy."
Conservatives, including economists Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, Jenny Beth Martin, say that lifting payroll taxes is "the best way to boost the economy." President Trump has pushed for income tax leave, although the idea has met with opposition from the legislature in both parties.
Congress and administration have so far provided $ 4 trillion in emergency relief for corona viruses. Many economists and Democrats say more is needed, and both Trump and McConnell have indicated that another round of pandemic legislation is likely, although lawmakers are still debating the right size and scope of an additional package. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has told cable communications networks in recent days that Trump wants the next bill to be "at least $ 2 trillion." Formal negotiations on the next bill are expected to begin next month.
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