Coronavirus Rescue Bill Will Be Our Biggest Stimulus Since World War II

Apparently we have reached agreement on the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill. Not much has changed since Sunday except that an inspector general will oversee the $500 billion corporate lending facility that’s part of the bill.

The astonishing part of all this is that virtually all of the money in this bill is meant to be spent over the next six months or so. That’s about 20 percent of GDP, which isn’t far off the amount we spent on World War II—though obviously that spending lasted considerably longer. By contrast, the 2009 stimulus bill spent roughly $400 billion per year, or a little under 3 percent of GDP.

This is a gigantic bill. Just to give you a sense of scale, here’s what it looks like in the context of the overall budget deficit on an annual basis. World War II is literally the only comparable period in recent history.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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