With a deadline looming, stimulus talks between congressional Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked over four issues: a liability shield for business, aid for state and local governments, stimulus checks for all Americans and a boost in unemployment compensation for workers who have lost their jobs. From a purely economic perspective, the right solution is easy: all of the above.
From a political standpoint, however, that’s unrealistic. Including all four provisions would push the overall price tag to more than $1 trillion, a red line for a crucial bloc of Republican senators. Ideally, those senators would realize that the risks of doing too little right now far outweigh the risks of doing too much. The U.S. job market is already feeling the impact from the latest wave of the pandemic, and there is no sign that it’s near its end.