Other Countries Are Spending More Than Us On Coronavirus Rescue Packages

Congress recently passed a $2.2 trillion rescue package to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. How does that compare to what other countries are doing? Here’s a very rough answer:

These comparisons are hard to make since every country had different safety net provisions in place even before the pandemic. It’s also hard to directly compare different kinds of assistance. Usually, though, media reports converge on something like “_____ passed a package worth $_____” and that’s the number I used.

This suggests that the US is likely to need a further stimulus bill, perhaps another $1-2 trillion. Luckily, the normal Republican reluctance to help the economy during a Democratic administration no longer applies, and Donald Trump is desperate for the biggest spending package he can get. I doubt he even cares what’s in it.

Another thing worth noting for lefties who are concerned/outraged/disgusted over the $500 billion corporate bailout that was part of the rescue bill: nearly every other country is doing the same thing. (The hardy capitalist Swiss are the exception.) Like it or not, it probably needs to be done if we want our economy to be ready for a bounceback when the pandemic is finally over. And remember: they’re just loans. We’ll get the money back eventually.

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