There is little question that the U.S. economy was critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but politicos across the ideological spectrum have differing recommendations regarding a planned recovery.
While former President Donald Trump pushed for a rapid reopening of businesses and other services, his successor sees a much longer trajectory than many Americans would prefer.
“That’s not hyperbole”
According to Breitbart, President Joe Biden indicated that it could take another decade before the nation’s economy fully recovers from the impact of the ongoing public health crisis. His rather grim outlook came in the wake of particularly disappointing unemployment numbers last month, which revealed that a mere 49,000 jobs had been added to the economy during January — and only 6,000 of those were in the vitally important private sector.
During a White House meeting with Democratic lawmakers to discuss his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package proposal, Biden painted a dim portrait of America’s economic future.
“We’re going to be talking about the recovery package, but we saw the jobs report that only 6,000 private-sector jobs have been created,” he said. “And at that rate, it’s going to take 10 years before we get to full employment. That’s not — that’s not hyperbole; that’s a fact. We’re going to be in a situation where it’ll take a long, long time.”
Nevertheless, he predicted that swift action to push through his preferred relief bill would provide “a lot of hope” for the nation and those struggling under the impact of the pandemic.
“But again, the end result is, it’s not just the macroeconomic impact on the economy and our ability to compete internationally; it’s people’s lives,” Biden added.
“If we don’t take action”
The president reiterated that “people are hurting, and we can fix it,” describing it as “the irony of all ironies” that “when we help them, we are also helping our competitive capacity through the remainder of this decade.”
Just hours after that partisan meeting, Biden appeared to contradict his earlier dire forecast. During a speech in the White House State Dining Room, he once again referenced the weak jobs report, once again portraying the nation as the scene of plenty of heartache and loss — both physically and economically.
In touting his massive relief proposal, though, he also cited notably rosier predictions by analysts, Wall Street insiders, think tanks, and even the Congressional Budget Office, none of which have suggested that it would take as much as 10 years to return to pre-pandemic conditions. In fact, he noted that both Moody’s and the Brookings Institute predicted that the nation’s gross domestic product “will reach pre-pandemic projections by 2021, meaning we’ll have recovered by the end of 2021” if the federal government takes decisive action.
“And much sooner, by the way, than if we do nothing,” he added, citing CBO projections that “if we don’t take action, it would take until the year 2025 to return to full employment.”
The bottom line seems to be that the president is hedging his bets, leaving Americans even more confused regarding how long they should expect to suffer from the impact of the virus.