On January 28, the U.S. Department of Commerce released its latest report: U.S. GDP shrank by 3.5% in 2020. This is the largest decline in US GDP since World War II and the first negative growth since the financial crisis in 2009.
From this data, we can see: the United States is facing a thorny problem, how to balance epidemic prevention and economic restart?
The “ultimate contradiction” of American Society: epidemic prevention vs restart
On January 28, the latest data released by the U.S. Department of labor showed that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits that week remained at a high level of more than 800000, and the total number of unemployed Americans was about 18 million.
At this time, Biden stood up and said that he would take two measures to boost the economy and employment.
In the short term, Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan: “American rescue plan.”;. Among them, half of them are used to help American families, and half are used to help small and medium-sized enterprises and carry out epidemic prevention work.
How much can each American get? 1400 dollars. If you have children at home, you can apply for another $1400. But $1400 is a drop in the bucket for many American families, even less than a month’s rent.
In addition, Biden needs to get the budget through Congress as soon as possible. In the United States, an important indicator to test the new president’s ruling ability is whether he has made a difference in the first 100 days before taking office, which is often called “first 100 days in office” by American politicians;.
To achieve this goal, Pelosi and Schumer, together with congressional Democrats, launched a process called “budget reconciliation.”. In this procedure, urgent issues related to people’s livelihood, such as the budget, can be passed by a simple majority of 50 votes in the Senate instead of an absolute majority of 60 votes.
Even so, the Republican Party still has a strong way to interfere with Biden’s stimulus plan: repeatedly revise the budget to shrink the bill. &After the start of the “budget reconciliation” process, members can make up to 1000 amendments to the motion.
Biden previously said he hoped to release $1.9 trillion in March this year. But there is no lack of confrontation, lobbying and interest exchange between the two parties. The specific plot is more wonderful than the American Drama House of cards.
In the medium and long term, Biden will launch “build back better plan”;. The plan covers infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, R & D and clean energy. It hits some of the key points of the U.S. economy, but it will also face more political obstacles.
In addition to these economic stimulus programs, the Biden administration’s top priority is epidemic prevention and control. If the epidemic cannot be controlled, it is difficult to fundamentally reverse the economic downturn. At present, there is no turning point for the epidemic in the United States.
The epidemic has not yet been controlled, and the social disintegration in the United States has intensified
The last three weeks of January were described by the new york times as “the deadliest three weeks of the epidemic in the United States.”;.
Since January 7th, novel coronavirus pneumonia deaths reported in the United States have been more than 4000 cases per day. In January 20th, the novel coronavirus pneumonia cumulative death toll exceeded 400 thousand.
There is another set of data to watch.
44 days after the first death in the United States, the number of deaths in the United States reached 25000.
With the increasing severity of the epidemic in the United States, it takes less and less time for every 25000 additional deaths.
Biden said after taking office that he would inject 100 million doses of new crown vaccine into the American people within 100 days, but it is not easy to implement this goal.
Vaccination inequality is unfolding between the poor and the rich, the elite and ordinary people in the United States. Many American media commented that this is a “hunger game” about vaccines;. Even Hollywood’s elites have tried every means to find a new vaccine, and even bribed doctors.
The epidemic is not over, can the US economic emergency be solved?
In fact, behind Biden’s massive stimulus package lies a longer-term problem: debt.
Since last year, the United States has introduced five rounds of fiscal relief bill. Biden’s massive stimulus bill means that the federal government will spend a lot more. This will lead to the further expansion of the US deficit in the future, and the huge debt may pose a threat to the US long-term economic growth.
Affected by the epidemic, the US budget deficit hit a new high again. According to the data released by the US Treasury Department on January 13, during the epidemic period, federal government spending increased significantly, tax revenue decreased significantly, and the US budget deficit in fiscal year 2020 increased by 200% year on year, reaching a record high of US $3.1 trillion. At the same time, the US federal debt is close to US $28 trillion, which is about 134% of GDP in 2020. For the first time in more than 70 years, the federal debt has exceeded the economic scale of the whole fiscal year.
In response, Michael Boskin, an economist at Stanford University, said: “huge debts can’t last indefinitely. At present, the interest rate close to zero will certainly rise, and the United States will pay a high price for these debts in the future. ”
The associated press predicts that the U.S. economic outlook for 2021 is still uncertain. Some experts have warned that unless the vaccine is distributed across the United States, and the federal government led anti epidemic work is carried out across the United States, the U.S. economic recovery will be difficult to achieve. However, the process could take months. In the meantime, millions of Americans will continue to struggle to survive.