Trump seeks stimulus package potentially worth more than $1 trillion, including direct payments to Americans


One trillion dollars that is how much the trump administration is requesting from Congress the money would be used to help people and businesses suffering in this pandemic and just to be clear this package would be on top of the one hundred billion dollar package already passed by the house Charlie secretary Steven Mnuchin said many Americans need money in hand as quickly as possible we're looking at sending checks to Americans immediately and what we've heard from hard working Americans many companies have now shut down whether it's bars or restaurants Americans need cash now and the president wants to get cash now and I mean now in the next two weeks the secretary said if something is not done the unemployment rate could jump to as high as twenty percent I want to bring in NPR chief economics correspondent Scott Horsley has got good morning David let's begin with this new leave propose funding package we're hearing about this trillion dollars what exactly would it cover the administration has not offered a lot of details but we do know that this plan includes a financial lifeline for big industries like airlines which have been hard hit help for small business in some fashion and then the centerpiece of the plan ease these direct payments to Americans in rolling out a rescue package of this scale yesterday the administration's essentially acknowledging that the very aggressive public health measures that they have put in place to try to slow the spread of the corona virus pandemic are gonna put a really big dent in the U. S. economy and they need to be equally aggressive in trying to you know build a bridge over that so Americans don't get hurt worse than they otherwise would what if I want to ask you about these direct payments I mean almost like a paycheck from the government going to a lot of Americans to help I mean what how much are we talking about here and and does is everyone entitled to get to get these checks the number that's been floated is a thousand dollars but we again we haven't seen the details as possible there could be more than one check Steven Mnuchin did suggest yesterday in talking with reporters that there might be some income limits that millionaires for example might not need this kind of rescue others a house house version of this idea that had a threshold of a hundred and thirty thousand dollars people bold making below that would be eligible but those are some of the details that could still be worked out and this was sort of a change right I mean that the president had previously been talking about doing something with the the the payroll tax to help people that this would be different right that's right in their number of problems with the presence of payroll tax proposal one it wouldn't help people who need it most to suddenly been dropped from the payrolls it wouldn't help workers who rely on tips for a big share of their income and we know that wait staff and bars and restaurants have been among the hardest hit in this crisis even for those who did benefit from a payroll tax cut it would it would be slow to pay out you know that that the tax relief is sort of dribbled out a little bit of time every week or two with your paycheck and as you heard the treasury secretary say that the administration wants to get this money in the hands of Americans fast so they settled on this direct payment option instead so if we're talking about a trillion dollars and and you think about that the national deficit that we hear so much about I mean to what extent can can the country afford on a package like this right now this will add to the the federal deficit which obviously was already running in the trillion dollar range but there are lots of people who are happy to lend money to the federal government this time and frankly economists say this is the kind of crisis where it makes sense for the federal government to run a deficit with the private sector is shutting down and the public sector needs to step in and help patch the hole great man Q. economist at Harvard who was one of those George W. bush's top advisers had a blog post last week where he said yes there are times when it's important to worry about the rising government debt this he said is not one of those times I think I just have to walk around our communities and and feel the streets and and how quiet they are to understand that life has really changed I mean you've been looking specifically at which businesses industries across the U. S. have been particularly hit hard what do you learn it's been really widespread airlines course with some of the first to sound the alarm they're saying this is been a a bigger blow to them than the September eleventh attacks hotels have been deeply affected Marriott announced furloughs yesterday for tens of thousands of workers obviously bars and restaurants are largely shut down some are still offering takeout but that's a greatly reduced staff and and some of closed altogether the U. A. W. sexually asked that the automaker shut down they haven't gone that far yet but they have made adjustments and and living staff I heard yesterday from a bookstore in my hometown of Denver the tattered cover that has cut most of its workers it's still offering a limited service of mail order delivery and curbside pickup obviously a lot of people stuck at home will have some extra time to read these

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