Over and over again, President Joe Biden has pitched his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan as vital to restoring a struggling American economy and recovering from the pandemic. Many households are struggling, he tweeted earlier this month, with desperate Americans wondering how they are going to eat. “That’s why I’m urging Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan and deliver much-needed relief.” Time, he has insisted, is of the essence. “We don’t have a second to waste when it comes to delivering the American people the relief they desperately need. I’m calling on Congress to act quickly and pass the American Rescue Plan.”
The fiscal response, he has argued, must be commensurate to the crisis at hand. “Now is the time we should be spending,” he said at a CNN town hall this week. “Now is the time to go big.”
Biden has certainly gone big. His $1.9 trillion deficit-funded plan would be among the largest stimulus/relief packages in history. But much of the spending he has proposed would do little or nothing to help actually struggling Americans. Instead, the plan is padded with non-urgent, pre-existing Democratic policy priorities that have, at most, only tangential relationship to the crisis at hand.
Take schooling, for example. The mass closure of schools has caused immeasurable chaos and frustration for families across the country, especially those with working parents, and it has set back educational advancement for children, especially in lower-income families with fewer resources or alternatives. Beyond the disruptions to family schedules and educational achievement, there is mounting evidence that school closures, in combination with other forms of isolation stemming from the pandemic, have taken a dark toll on student mental health. In the Las Vegas area, schools finally reopened following a rash of suicides in which 18 students took their own lives.- READ MORE
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