Many Australians will have heard that the US Senate last week passed, after gruelling deliberations and strong opposition by the Republicans, a COVID relief bill amounting to $1.9 TRILLION (that’s about $2.3 trillion in Australian currency.
The superior numbers of Democrat votes available to President Biden enabled the new administration’s flagship national recovery and stimulus package to come into being.
The money will be spread across a multitude of programs right across the United States where the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive death, misery and hardship.
Billions of dollars will be assigned to unemployment relief, welfare assistance and stimulus cheques of $1400 will go to millions of families – and additional amount to earlier $600 payments.
The payments will cut out for single incomes of $80,000 a year and couples earning $180,000.
Billions of dollars will flow to State and local government bodies to allow activation of infrastructure and social benefit projects.
Hard-hit states and cities have seen an estimated 1.3 million public service jobs lost in these sectors.
Tens of billions of dollars will flow to COVID testing and ramped up programs for increasing the rate of vaccinations.
All this is happening when the pandemic still remains a deadly menace across America.
The legacy of poor federal administrative reaction to the threat of the virus is more than 500,000 deaths of American citizens and continuing waves of infection across a country where political ideology often seems to trump science.
Australians may carp and whinge about many aspects of the strong response by state and Federal
governments to the coronavirus invasion of our continent but most people feel a sense of relief and satisfaction that the national defensive response has been appropriate – and necessary.
As it is, the cost to Australia has been huge in economic terms and there has been a social burden as well.
The Australian National Net Debt now stands at an estimated $A703.2 Billion (or 36.1 per cent of GDP).
By 2023/24 the debt figure is expected to blow out to almost $A 1 Trillion! (That’s $966.2 billion – or 43.8 per cent of GDP.)
We are emerging well enough from the crisis – but the road ahead may not be easy.
The U.S., on the other hand, is saddled with a deep-seated economic situation.
Only once in the entire history of the United States has a Presidential administration delivered a public surplus – and that was in 1835, under Andrew Jackson.
National debt creep appears to be a way of economic life for the U.S. Despite all his promises to ‘drain the swamp’ and wind back the debt President Trump managed to rack up a $US7.2 trillion addition to the figure.
It now stands at around $US 27 trillion!
The gap between the United States government spending and revenue is now looking to be around 102 per cent of GDP.
Still, it is clear that the Biden Administration has had little option other than try to reboot large areas of the American economy and try to reinvigorate confidence and productivity.
The shadow of economic crisis has already shown in history how easy it is for populist ‘saviours’ to gain public support.
As a matter of interest; do you have any idea how much one trillion dollars is?
Well, a million dollars (in $100 notes) would occupy a reasonably-sized sports bag at your feet.
A billion dollars would fill, say, 10 wool bales.
A trillion dollars (that’s one-thousand billion) would fill a very large warehouse.To order photos from this page click here