Economists have harsh words for President Joe Biden's heavy-handed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 spending package, broadly concerned that it will incentivize further unemployment and fail to resolve the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.
"We absolutely don't need another multi-trillion dollar stimulus," Texas Tech economics professor Alex Salter said.
"We've already spent $4 trillion fighting COVID since last year. Lack of spending isn't our problem. Government should spend more on producing and distributing the vaccine, and otherwise get out of the way,"
The bloated stimulus package includes $1,400 direct payment checks for Americans, $350 billion to bail out state and local governments, a renewal of unemployment benefits through September 2021, a federal $15 minimum wage and the list goes on, according to the Foundation for Economic Education.
"Helicopter money merely redistributes wealth—it does not create it," former top economic advisor for President Trump, Stephen Moore, said.
"We don't need this extra stimulus," he continued.
Moore likened Biden's approach to Obama administration stimulus agendas, which he notes ended in disaster.
"We learned from the Obama $830 billion "shovel ready" plan that Keynesian stimulus does not work,” Moore said.
"Obama’s own numbers indicate that we ended up with fewer jobs than if we had done nothing at all to 'stimulate' the economy,'" he added.
Mises Institute Senior Fellow Robert P. Murphy called the Biden proposal "economically unjustified," adding that "any of its good features could be achieved more directly through other policies."
Many economists are taking issue with the efficacy of additional direct payment checks, as well as the indefinite nature of the extended unemployment benefits, which began in March 2020, listed in the proposal.
"More checks don't make sense," Prof. Salter asserted.
"Household balance sheets are strong. Many households saved large portions of the previous checks. Yet another direct payment isn't about economic stability. It's about buying political support," he explained.
Murphy expressed sympathy for those effected by the economic collapse, but echoed Salter's view of the frivolousness of the additional checks and benefits.
"It is understandable that citizens want relief checks to compensate for coercive measures preventing them from earning income, but we shouldn't continue this trend of everyone getting checks from the government,” Murphy said.
“Ultimately the public isn't made richer by paying taxes that are then partially handed back to them.”