The most important part of Biden’s economic speech is what he did not say | Forum

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xysoom Nov 18 '20

As President-elect Joe Biden took the stage Monday for his first big address on the U.S. economy, coronavirus cases were hitting all-time highs, numerous states and cities were issuing fresh stay-at-home orders, and Americans were noticeably pulling back again on spending.To get more economy news today, you can visit shine news official website.

Biden made clear that his first priority is getting the virus under control. He walked onstage wearing a mask and proclaimed, “There’s nothing macho about not wearing a mask.” He urged unity and common sense, saying that his own family would limit Thanksgiving celebrations to no more than 10 people. But in this moment of rising unease, it was noticeable what Biden did not say in his speech.

He did not extend any sort of olive branch to Senate Republicans to restart bipartisan negotiations on a stimulus bill, and he danced around the question of whether the nation needs another wide-scale closure of businesses and schools. What happens with a stimulus bill and business closures in the next few weeks will play a crucial role in the health of the economy that Biden inherits on Jan. 20. Some argue that his lack of clarity on these issues is an attempt to keep his options open. But the nation is increasingly looking to him for guidance. Economists are overwhelmingly urging Congress to pass another stimulus package.

The sticking point has been the price tag. House Democrats passed a $3 trillion stimulus bill in May. Senate Republicans swiftly rejected it and have made it clear they don’t want anything bigger than $1 trillion, though their most recent offers have been closer to $500 billion. Biden did not attempt to close that gap on Monday. Instead, he went out of his way to praise the Heroes Act, the Democratic bill that the GOP has said isn’t happening.His words make it increasingly less likely that there will be a deal by the end of December, when unemployment aid is set to expire for as many as 13 million Americans, and student debt relief and a nationwide eviction moratorium also go away. Many left-leaning economists, including Jason Furman, a former chief economist to President Barack Obama, have urged Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to take a smaller deal now to lock in some stimulus funding. Something is better than nothing for millions of struggling Americans and small businesses, they say. “We are 10m jobs short, virus is spreading, millions are weeks away from losing benefits, we should not wait any longer to act,” Furman tweeted over the weekend. “The idea that we can get a better deal if we delay until February is both wishful thinking and ignores the suffering now.”Furman’s call comes alongside a chorus of voices from the Federal Reserve and the private sector calling for immediate aid.

As the number of coronavirus cases rises, customers aren’t visiting restaurants and stores regardless of whether there is an official stay-at-home order in place or not. There’s growing concern that many small businesses won’t make it through the winter. “The longer you wait on stimulus, the more scarring there will be,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. “The pullback in high-frequency data is dramatic already. If we don’t get a negative employment number in November, I think we will have one in December.” Biden’s remarks Monday were especially surprising after his new chief of staff, Ron Klain, appeared on a Sunday morning talk show endorsing swift action on a stimulus proposal, which many interpreted as support for some sort of compromise package.