Something unprecedented has happened in recent weeks. The passage of the CARES Act—the largest stimulus package in American history—and broader debates about government spending, production, and health care have fundamentally shifted the political paradigm. As the coronavirus pandemic ravages an already fragile economy, consensus is building, even among the deficit scolds of 2008–2009, around the

With the CARES Act corporate bailout underway, large corporations are once again being rescued by a hurting American public. No one doubts that stabilizing the economy and saving jobs as a first priority is absolutely critical. What’s also necessary is to understand what factors—besides the coronavirus—made large corporations so vulnerable in this moment.  One factor

The current economic crisis is fast-moving, and many of the challenges we are facing—and anticipating—are unprecedented. Though the immediate effects of the coronavirus may spark a potential recession, our economy’s underlying structural problems mean that the fallout will likely be much worse and last longer for millions of people unless we act quickly and aggressively. 

COVID-19 represents both a public health emergency and an economic crisis. While federal, state, and local governments must take strong steps to stem the spread of the virus — from continuing to close schools, restaurants, and workplaces and limit the size of gatherings, to ensuring that everyone has access to health care and can be

How Much Stimulus Do We Need?

If the experience of the last recession is a guide, avoiding a severe downturn will take far more stimulus spending than is currently being discussed—as much as $3 trillion. The coronavirus is, first and foremost, a public health crisis. The most immediate questions it poses are how to keep it from spreading, and how to

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a collapsing economy. The economic situation is deteriorating so fast that people are struggling in real time to understand fundamental questions and policy objectives.  “A Forward-Thinking Policy Response to the Coronavirus Recession” is an overview of where things stand. We focus on the nature of the economic crisis, and

Anyone who follows the DC budget game knows that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) serves as its referee; any proposal that involves new spending or revenue is scored by the CBO for its impact on the federal debt over the next 10 years. That score normally sets the terms on which the proposal will be

Imagine a world in which the most pressing issue is to slash taxes for the rich and only the rich, costing the US government hundreds of billions of dollars and doing little to spur economic growth. Imagine a policy so unequal that even Mitt Romney has his doubts. Reader, I give you the capital gains

Progressing Ahead in 2019

Summers are never slow at Roosevelt, and now we’re gearing up for an even busier fall. At the top of our to-do list is explaining how and why the public sector must make big investments to tackle our nation’s toughest challenges; promoting our ideas to influence the Democratic presidential debate; and welcoming two new fellows

Behind the Numbers: Powell Backs Down

The Fed was in the news this past week, partly for its annual Jackson Hole conference, partly for some impolitic comments by a former official, but mainly for its recent decision to not lower interest rates. Most observers had expected that the cut in rates this spring would be followed by another cut this time.