David O’Brien, Editor
As President Biden and Democratic legislators continue to tinker with their predicted $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, one is bound to see similarities between it and the United State’s first major economic relief plan, the New Deal. President Roosevelt took office in a time of economic collapse, a crisis of confidence within the institutions of power and rising fears on both sides of the political spectrum of a radical revolution. Roosevelt managed to deal with each of these issues by instituting the New Deal, a three-pronged approach to revitalizing the economy. His plan circulated around relief, recovery and reform. Now that the impeachment trial has come to a close, Democrats are currently attempting to have history repeat itself through the coronavirus relief bill.
While most are aware that the relief bill would give $1,400 to families making less than $75,000 a year, many are unaware of the many earmarks attached along with their stimulus checks. The new bill expands unemployment to paying $400 weekly and expands the timeframe of these payments to Aug. 29, 2021. Along with the stimulus checks and unemployment wages, the Biden stimulus plan contains a $1,000 to $1,600 increase for child’s tax credit, which would provide an estimated $3,000 for children between the ages of six and seventeen and an estimated $3,600 for children below the age of six.
Democrats plan to institute recovery from the economic turmoil of the pandemic by mimicking the tactics of the New Deal like the Works Progress Administration. On the presidential campaign trail, Biden openly advocated pumping money into federal infrastructure, which would create government jobs. Previous presidential candidate and Secretary of State John Kerry and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been placed in charge of the climate task force. Biden hopes to utilize government programs to repair United States infrastructure and reinvigorate the job market. This is a massive shift from previous efforts to fix infrastructure via government projects with private industry.
The bill also contains reform measures that will allow the minimum wage to be increased in all states by 2025. Numerous members of the house are also attempting to make the increased child’s tax credit a permanent aspect of welfare, though it is unlikely it could pass through the Senate. These plans, along with the hopes that a modernized infrastructure and a more green country will lead to more economic stability, are currently the major aspects of the Biden administration’s plan for a modern New Deal. Only time will tell if Biden’s plan will be as successful as Roosevelt’s.