Wishing Won’t Make It So

rocket ship iphone tapping china huaweiCrazygoat / Pixabay

If all the president’s wishes had come true, not one American would have died from the coronavirus and the pandemic that never was would have miraculously disappeared when the warmer weather arrived in April.

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America: It's Time To Back To Work

Now, in mid-May, after more than 80,000 Americans have died, Donald Trump has another cheerful prediction: While there may be a few unpleasant side-effects, it is high time for Americans to go back to work.

But on May 11th, one of his top public health advisors, Dr. Anthony Cauci, made a big mistake when he testified before the Senate that if people went back to work too quickly, there would soon be a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The president, who is the nation’s leading science denier, found this prediction “unacceptable.” Dr. Fauci: wash out your mouth with Clorox!

This was hardly his first offense. Just a couple of months ago, when Trump predicted that we could have a vaccine to counteract the virus within a few months, Dr. Fauci and the president’s other public health advisors suggested that this would surely take twelve to eighteen months.

But Mr. Trump was not to be denied. He announced that, working at “warp speed,” we would have an effective vaccine by the end of the year. Our nation is indeed fortunate to have a leader who knows even more about vaccines than the world’s leading epidemiologists.

Output Of Goods And Services To Rise Like A "Rocket Ship"

But enough good news about the coronavirus. The president recently announced that our economy was now being reopened in what he termed a “transition to greatness.” Indeed, this would be an economic “big bang!” And our output of goods and services would rise “like a rocket ship.”

All we need to do is gradually relax our social distancing regulations, state-by-state. Soon, tens of millions of Americans will return to work, just picking up where they had left off.

Almost everyone agrees with the president’s view that his chances of being reelected hinge largely on a strong economic recovery. One would think that he would take whatever steps he deemed necessary to make that happen.

But aside from cheerleading from the sidelines, he has done very little to help the tens of millions of unemployed Americans actually go back to work. Indeed, perhaps his strongest recommendation was to temporarily abolish the payroll tax paid by nearly all employed Americans.

That would encourage those with jobs to spend more money, but our much larger problem is the tens of millions of Americans who have lost their jobs during the last eight weeks. They are the people who need a lot more help.

Republicans Oppose Democrat's Spending Measure

The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on a $3 trillion spending measure largely targeting the unemployed. But the Republican majority in the Senate is adamantly opposed, while the president labeled it “dead on arrival.”

Now we get to the best part. Surely, the president, who created the greatest economy in our nation’s history is aware that spending another $3 trillion would speed our economic recovery.

But Mr. Trump is evidently so confident that his own plan will get the job done at standard rocket ship speed – if not warp speed – then why have to share credit with Congress for our speedy economic recovery? So, in effect, the president is against perhaps the best available option to launch his economic “rocket ship” with a “big bang.”

In the meanwhile, time is running out for the economic miracle that the president so fervently desires. But all his wishing won’t make it so.

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About the Author

Steve Slavin
Steve Slavin has a Ph.D. in economics from NYU, and has written twenty math and economics books, including “The Great American Economy: How Inefficiency Broke It, and What We Can Do to Fix it.” The 12th edition of his introductory economics text came out in September.

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