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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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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