UPDATED 12:51 PM PT – Friday, January 15, 2021
Joe Biden unveiled his plan to “transform the U.S. economy” with a pandemic relief package of $1.9 trillion in borrowed money. Conservatives and economists have warned this “transformation” could result in dramatic loss of economic opportunity and quality of life for Americans.
The “American Rescue Plan,” proposed by Joe Biden on Thursday, includes $350 billion for state and local government aid, $170 billion for academic institutions, $50 billion for COVID-19 testing and $20 billion toward a national vaccine program. The massive spending bill also allocates enhanced unemployment benefit payments of $400 per week through the end of September as well as a minimum wage increase.
Direct cash payments.
Aid to small businesses.
Keeping essential frontline workers on the job.
Those are the key elements of my American Rescue Plan.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 15, 2021
“It is time to raise the minimum wage so hard working people earn at least $15 an hour minimum,” Biden stated. “No one should work as millions are doing today, 40 hours a week at a job and still live below the poverty line. They are entitled to at least $15 minimum wage per hour.”
While Biden claimed a minimum wage hike would help those in poverty, economic experts argued that increasing the minimum wage, especially during a time with extremely high unemployment rates, could make it harder for low income Americans to find jobs. As a result, putting further strains on state budgets that fund unemployment benefits.
A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that a $15 wage increase would “add to the numbers of people in poverty” by taking many out of work and forcing employers to pay more. A Purdue university study suggested a $15 minimum wage, specifically in the restaurant industry, could lead to higher product prices.
Despite the huge cost and massive fiscal impact, the plan does not focus on creating jobs or setting aside money for building American infrastructure.
In a recent interview, economist Paul Tudor Jones warned that under a Democrat controlled presidency, asset values will eventually decrease, even if a massive stimulus package appears to help things in the first quarter of 2021.
Under President Trump, economic recovery in the last six months has outperformed the expectations of most economists. This was accomplished through reopening businesses, making adjustments to operations and encouraging of employees to work from home.
In a public address, the President warned about dangers of the Joe Biden economic agenda. He said it would cause social security to collapse, coverage for pre-existing conditions would be taken away and Medicare would be given away to illegal immigrants.
“The radical left gained power. They will collapse our economy and send our nation into a depression,” President Trump stated. “Biden will raise your taxes $4 trillion, massively increase your regulations, close down your factories, send your jobs overseas.”
While Biden’s recovery bill offers minimum wage increases and stimulus checks, it appears to have omitted the core request of millions of Americans, to regain the economic freedom they lost to Democrat imposed lockdowns.