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Discussing More Relief: Congress Examining New Stimulus Legislation

Posted at 6:58 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 06:58:36-04

LANSING, Mich. — With another stimulus bill on the table in congress there's the potential for trillions more of our tax dollars to be spent on Coronavirus-related relief, but where should that money go specifically? Maya Rodriguez spoke to one economic expert who says where the government sends the money could make a huge difference down the road to recovery.

Even as many states start to re-open for business, the pain of the country's economic downturn can be felt from coast to coast.

As Benjamin Whitmore shared "All I can do is get back to work and hope that they'll come."

On Capitol Hill the latest effort to bring more financial relief to America comes in the form of the 3-trillion dollar “heroes act” passed by the house last week and all but certain to go nowhere in the Senate. so, what’s a government to do?

Jim Angel a George Washington University Finance Professor explained that “when we think about government expenditures, we want to think about spending money efficiently - the right way.”

Angel has been monitoring the government’s coronavirus-related stimulus bills.

The heroes act is the 5th such bill and would include an additional $1200 stimulus payment to all eligible individuals as well as more than a trillion dollars ((1.08 trillion)) to help cash strapped local and state governments.

If it becomes law it would be the largest economic stimulus bill ever in American history.

Angel further shared that , g“it will take time for this shock to work its way through the economy and for the unemployment to go away.”

Which is why, he argues, the government needs to be more targeted in how it spends money in its stimulus bills.

His answer -- more public works or infrastructure programs similar to those that sprung up in the 1930s during the great depression.

“When people are unemployed, that is output that is lost forever. So, the best thing to do is to use this as an opportunity for public works to fix our roads, our bridges, our parks and our infrastructure because that provides lasting benefit.”

Needless to say, it’s not the 1930s and not everyone is cut out for that kind of work, but he says… there’s more to infrastructure jobs… than just construction, but he says there’s more to infrastructure jobs, than just construction.

“It isn't just using a shovel. don't forget: you need very expensive machine operators and also don't forget the engineers who have to design the roads and bridges and, of course, don't forget the five thousand lawyers to deal with all the litigation involved. so, there's plenty of work to be done here.”

Work that – for now--- remains out of reach for tens of millions of Americans.

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