This morning’s best editorial: Trump makes the wrong call on the economy

Be sure to check out the lead editorial in this morning’s Washington Post. As the authors note in “Americans still need pandemic aid. Trump is ensuring they’ll get nothing.”: President Trump’s inexplicable and mean-spirited refusal to negotiate a new pandemic relief package is a huge mistake:

WE DO not pretend to understand the political logic that impelled President Trump to call off talks over a new economic support package with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). An agreement could have boosted his flagging electoral prospects; and surely his popularity among Republicans gave him the clout to overcome the hesitancy of some GOP senators to vote yes on any package, which was apparently one factor in his decision.

What is evident, though, is that Mr. Trump has made the wrong call for the U.S. economy. It remains weak due to coronavirus-related limitations, especially in sectors such as retail, airlines, restaurants and hotels. Unemployment is still at 7.9 percent — concentrated among low-income workers, who are disproportionately Black and Latino — and temporary job losses are mutating into permanent ones. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell is openly calling for more aggressive fiscal intervention, warning policymakers not to focus on “the risks of overdoing it.”

Meanwhile human suffering continues to rise. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported yesterday, a third of American adults are now having trouble paying basic household expenses:

Nearly 78 million adults – about 1 in 3 – are having trouble paying for usual household expenses, today’s Census data show. Along with other data showing that hardship has significantly worsened due to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, the figures underscore the urgent need for policymakers to resume negotiations — which the President ended abruptly yesterday — and enact a robust, bipartisan economic relief package.

The Census Bureau data show that 2.4 million North Carolinians now find themselves in this foundering boat.

The bottom line: Americans are suffering like they haven’t in decades and thanks to the president’s irrational and irresponsible refusal to negotiate in good faith, that suffering continues to worsen by the day.

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