The American Rescue Plan – Highlights and Comments

On Thursday (March 11, 2021) President Biden signed into law “The American Rescue Plan.” This is a $1.9 Trillion stimulus package.

Comments that I found notable (although don’t necessarily agree with) from President Biden’s March 12, 2021 comments regarding the plan:

This leg- — this legislation, as everybody has already mentioned, will provide $1,400 in direct payments, which we all promised.  Well, that means for a typical family of four — a middle-class family, husband and wife working, making $110,000 a year — that means a $5,600 check they’re going to get.  Eighty-five percent of the households in America will be getting this money.  (Applause.)


This legislation extends unemployment insurance by $300 a week until September.  It’s going to help 11 million Americans who were days from losing that benefit.  This legislation includes the biggest investment in childcare since World War Two.  That’s not hyperbole; that’s just a fact.  It’s a fact. 

It provides help for small businesses to stay open.  And, you know, four hundred thou- — so many have had to close because, the first time around, you all worked and did a great piece of work, and the House passed a significant legislation.  What’s the first thing the last President — he fired — he fired the folks who were supposed to watch and make sure it got, in fact, distributed the way it was supposed to.  We find out so much of it went to people who didn’t need it.  You all took care of that. 

It extends coverage and lowers healthcare costs for so many Americans.  So many Americans.  And it’s a big number for people. 


And one of the things that we said in the beginning that no one thought that I was being straight about was I said: This is going to create — we — we have to spend this money to make sure we have economic growth, unrelated to how much it’s going to help people.  Well, guess what?  Every single major economist out there — left, right, and center — supported this plan.  Even Wall Street agreed.  According to Moody’s, for example, by the end of this year, this law alone will create 7 million new jobs.  (Applause.)  Seven million.

And the bill does one more thing, which I think is really important: It changes the paradigm.  For the first time in a long time, this bill puts working people in this nation first.  It’s not hyperbole; it’s a fact.  (Applause.)   

For too long, it’s been the folks at the top.  They’re not bad folks.  A significant number of them know they shouldn’t be getting the tax breaks they had.  But it put the richest Americans first, who benefited the most.  And the theory was — we’ve all heard it, and especially the last 15 years.  The theory was: Cut taxes, and those at the top and the benefits they get will trickle down to everyone.  Well, you saw what trickle down does.  We’ve known it for a long time.  But this is the first time we’ve been able to, since the Johnson administration and maybe even before that, to begin to change the paradigm. 

We’ve seen time and time again that that trickle down does not work.  And, by the way, we don’t have anything against wealthy people.  You got a great idea, you’re going to go out and make millions of dollars — that’s fine.  I have no problem with that.  But guess what?  You got to pay your fair share.  You got to pay some.  Because guess what?  Folks who are making — living on the edge, they’re paying.  And so, again, all it’s done is make those at the top richer in the past, and everyone else falling behind. 

This time, it’s time that we build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out — (applause) — the middle out.  And this bill shows that when you do that, everybody does better.  The wealthy do better.  Everybody does better across the board. 


For reference, this American Rescue Plan as well as the previous COVID-19 stimulus plans are discussed on the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s March 10, 2021 page titled “Here’s Everything The Federal Government Has Done To Respond To The Coronavirus So Far.” As noted in that document, “So far, lawmakers have enacted six major bills, costing about $5.3 trillion, to help manage the pandemic and mitigate the economic burden on families and businesses.”


With regard to this American Rescue Plan, I believe there is a broad array of questions that can – and should be – asked. Many of the questions are similar in nature to those that I have previously discussed with regard to the stimulus measures and other interventions taken during and after the Financial Crisis. 


The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 3943.34 as this post is written