December 5, 2020 - Douglas Myser

Stimulus needed due to faltering economy. An open letter signed by leading economic thinkers insists that a further COVID-19 stimulus package is needed this year, suggesting measures outlined in the CARES Act are still needed amid continued turmoil posed by the pandemic. It has been eight months since the CARES Act was signed by President Trump, with further such measures stalling due to an ongoing stalemate between Democratic and Republicans over what action to take. A statement released by the Economic Strategy Group, a program from the Aspen Institute which aims to promote "evidence based solutions to significant U.S. economic challenges," called for Congress to enact further stimulus as quickly as possible. Stimulus needed due to faltering economy.

"Amidst a resurgence in COVID-19 caseloads and continuing economic devastation from the pandemic, we urge Congress to enact legislation that focuses on the core measures necessary to provide additional fiscal relief as quickly as possible and no later than the end of this calendar year," the letter states. 'First and foremost", the letter also backs: support for individuals and families, income relief for those who are unemployed, enhanced benefits to assist households and homelessness due to income loss as well. Fiscal support for state and local governments as well as support for K-12 schools, to allow them to open safely, is also endorsed, while backing for small businesses is highlighted as a necessity.

"The CARES Act that was passed with bipartisan support in March 2020 provided necessary relief to millions of Americans and helped the economy rebound more quickly than expected. Many of the Act's key provisions have already expired but are still needed," the letter states. "Meanwhile, the pandemic resurges throughout the country. Our nation's leaders should act on another round of fiscal relief now. At the same time, the administration should act aggressively to deploy the unspent resources it already has to combat the virus and support businesses. Our country and economy cannot wait until 2021.