WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson wrote in the Wall Street Journal Thursday to make the case that Congress shouldn’t authorize another dime of coronavirus relief until it evaluates what has been spent, determines what worked and what didn’t, and redirects the nearly $1 trillion in relief money that hasn’t yet been spent or obligated.
Congress authorized $2.9 trillion of Covid-19 relief, which represents 13.5% of 2019’s U.S. GDP. No one knows exactly how much of the Covid relief has been spent or obligated, but 60% ($1.75 trillion) seems to be a consensus figure in Congress. Let that sink in. We’ve authorized enough spending to replace 13.5% of annual economic output, and more than $1 trillion of it hasn’t yet been spent or obligated.
So why is Congress rushing to pass at least $1 trillion more? For Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, $1 trillion isn’t enough. The House has passed an additional $3 trillion in Covid-19 relief, which would bring the total to $5.9 trillion, 27.5% of GDP. Again, employment has declined 10.5%, and respected estimates of GDP decline are 8% or less. Why should Congress provide financial support greater than the reduction in GDP?
You can read the full piece here.