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Has the Trump administration responded well to COVID-19? Show more Show less

Government responses to emergency situations like the coronavirus outbreak can have a critical impact on the health and wellbeing of the public, and on the economy and society at large. So how have President Trump and his team responded? Will the American people benefit from or be hurt by the actions of the Trump Administration?

Yes, the Trump Administration has responded well to the Coronavirus Show more Show less

The actions taken by the Administration have shown leadership, have calmed the public and the markets, and have shown good decision making in a difficult situation.
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President Trump recognized the economic impact of COVID-19 on U.S. citizens and offered a stimulus package to support workers and businesses

COVID-19 has put U.S. citizens out of work who depend on regular paychecks to get by. President Trump also anticipated the damage the pandemic would do on businesses, keeping out-of-work customers from using their services. The president issued a $1200 stimulus check in April and business have already seen significant improvement despite the pandemic.
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Context

The Argument

On top of the extreme health risk the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the U.S., there is also the threat of a severe economic recession. President Donald Trump was elected to office in 2016 as a businessman first, so it is no surprise that has been quick to note the financial burden of those newly unemployed and facing unexpected pandemic-related costs. In mid-April, President Trump issued a $1200 stimulus check. According to Forbes, “78% of U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck,” so $1200 is a welcome relief for rent, food, and other expenses. Forbes also confirmed that as COVID-19 grows stronger, the financial state of the U.S. will become more and more of a problem at the forefront. The stimulus check is aware of just how circumstantial the pandemic’s effects on individuals are, so parents receive financial assistance for each of their children under the age of 16.[1] Businesses are in favor of President Trump’s stimulus checks as well because according to some companies, there has been a visible difference since the checks were issued and restored hope for the damaged economy. According to Brian Niccol, CEO of Chipotle, there was a noticeable surge in sales which he thinks is largely due to stimulus checks; people have a desire to support and engage with their communities and Niccol believes the checks are allowing the population to do so. Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowe’s, along with other corporations, also noted a considerable increase in sales.[2] The stimulus checks have begun to repair the economy by financially empowering the nation's people.

Counter arguments

As news of a second stimulus check from the Trump administration surfaces, it might seem that the primary check did the trick and so the country is asking for its continuation. The stimulus checks were surely welcome, but according to Bernie Sanders, a single check for $1200 is not enough to cover most individual’s monthly expenses. The intention of the stimulus check was in the right place, and now the idea needs to be expanded.[3] Although some companies praised President Trump’s stimulus checks and their effects on business, many others saw no difference in sales or otherwise found it not significant enough or impossible to determine its responsibility in any upticks in sales they did experience. CNBC reminds us that the pandemic’s enforced quarantine has drastically altered the flow of money in unpredictable patterns anyway. Perhaps the most potent of the many critiques of this stimulus check is the fact that its success is unsustainable.[2] Forbes recommended that people save the stimulus check, and many of those who could, did so. But those who could not save, because they needed to use the check for expenses, were the ones who stimulated the economy. And as the check disappears for some and is stored away by others for security, the economy falls flat again.[1] According to CNBC, households among “income brackets ranging from less than $35,000 to $150,000, about two-thirds of the stimulus money went into savings.” The National Bureau of Economic Research notes the potential of another stimulus check, but suggests that the most helpful option would be to assist particularly low-income households. These individuals were not saving their initial checks anyway due to expenses, so these secondary stimulus checks would flow directly back into the economy.[2] While well-intentioned, stimulus checks are a temporary fix for deep-rooted problems that the pandemic is exposing.

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/megangorman/2020/04/18/why-the-stimulus-check-may-be-the-first-step-to-this-financial-goal/#6e53ec67786b
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/22/stimulus-checks-worked-many-retailers-say-but-bump-short-lived.html
  3. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/second-stimulus-check-heroes-act-amount-timing/
This page was last edited on Sunday, 26 Jul 2020 at 15:06 UTC