The right-wing refrain is ‘It’s a big-spending socialist scheme.’ But the President’s initiative has been embraced by the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the leading Trump administration economist, Kevin Hassett. None are listed in the Democratic Socialists of America green book.
Moreover, there is a minimal risk of adding lots more red ink to save the economy. In a paper for the Brookings Institution, the two most prominent Democratic economists — former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Jason Furman, who headed the Council of Economic Advisers — persuasively reiterate that with the “epochal decline in real interest rates” in recent years, big budget deficits are far more acceptable: “In a world of unused capacity and very low interest rates and costs of capital,” they write, “the old fears of deficits crowding out private investments” are not warranted.
It’s always challenging for the federal government to spend a huge amount of money in a short time. For that task, Biden has assembled an experienced and talented team, starting with Jeff Zients, who fixed the botched rollout of Obamacare, in charge of the COVID-19 response.