Jimmy’s Washington Examiner Op-Ed | Coronavirus is no excuse for a Trump New Deal

Written by on March 19, 2020

Past attempts by the federal government to “save the economy” have (at best) failed to achieve their goals and (at worst) exacerbated crises faced by the nation. In addressing the economic strife America now faces, policymakers must recognize the critical uniqueness of the novel coronavirus and learn from past mistakes. This means providing support to those in need but not bringing about a sort-of Trump New Deal that would expand entitlements.

This time really is different. Both the Great Recession and the Great Depression resulted from deeper, underlying issues in the economy. These challenges were often precipitated by years of faulty federal policy, such as the financial crisis of 2007-2008, and brought about the recession because of those underlying issues. President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package didn’t help boost economic growth, and there is clear evidence President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal prolonged the Great Depression and made it even deeper than it would have been otherwise.

Today, conferences have been canceled. Elections and political party assemblies are being postponed. Air travel is drastically reduced. Mountain ski resorts have been shut down. Most restaurants, bars, shops, and schools are closed or limited operations. In some areas of the country, shelter-in-place punishable by law is in effect.

What’s happening to businesses and workers suffering due to the sudden economic shock isn’t the result of an incentive structure warped by years of bad policy, nor from systemic problems. The economic crisis stems directly from government edicts intended to prevent a viral pandemic from becoming uncontrollable.

As a result, those out of work in the food-service, travel, hotel, energy, and other industries may find it impossible to secure alternative employment. This is the most significant issue, as individuals who aren’t working or are on hiatus are severely limited in what they can do to meet their needs.

It is sensible to provide some short-term relief for the unemployed. But the critical question is how that relief is accomplished…

Click here to read the rest of Jimmy’s March 19 op-ed for The Washington Examiner.

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