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Rebuilding the Economy Will Require Joe Biden to Think Very Differently Than 2009

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Rebuilding the Economy Will Require Joe Biden to Think Very Differently Than 2009

Photo caption: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks on the third plank of his “Build Back Better” economic recovery plan for working families, on July 21, 2020, in New Castle, Del. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images. Article by James K. Galbraith.

It is a delusion to think that merely injecting money will bring back the happy mix of jobs and incomes we’ve lost in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Joe Biden’s invocation of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, in the opening words of his convention acceptance speech, offered a flash of hope that, in broad terms, the Democratic nominee has grasped the scale of the Covid-19 crisis. Yet before Biden even spoke, the head of his transition team, former Sen. Ted Kaufman, undercut that hope, telling the Wall Street Journal that, in effect, Biden didn’t mean it. “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” Kaufman said. “When you see what Trump’s done to the deficit … forget about Covid-19, all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts. So we’re going to be limited.” After being called oUS Manufacturingut by David Sirota, the Biden campaign split the difference: There will be “stimulus” in the short run, retrenchment later. […]

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