The $900 billion fiscal stimulus approved by congressional leaders late Sunday, and now headed for speedy enactment, is, like the accompanying funding deal to avert a government shutdown, more than a little underwhelming. Not just because it’s a shadow of the multi-trillion-dollar CARES Act approved last spring. Not just because both Democrats and President Donald Trump wanted to spend substantially more. Or even that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell counseled against a too-small second stimulus causing a “weak” recovery. But simply because in this almost unparalleled circumstance of a pandemic, “throwing money” at the problem is exactly the right thing to do.
It amounts to taxpayers borrowing from their future selves to keep afloat in the months ahead. Better to keep people on the job, in their homes and feeding their families in 2021 than in more dire circumstances.