Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said during a Fox News appearance in August that he is against further stimulus funding because “if you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession,” governors “will not have an incentive” to reopen the economy.
Axios noted at the time that “Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked over the next coronavirus stimulus package,” though the “Trump administration has said it is willing to pass a bill at a lower price tag than House Democrats’ $3 trillion proposal.”
Paul and some other Republicans insisted there was no need for further federal aid.
The Kentucky Republican said: “The money will be borrowed or the money will be printed. Both of them have ramifications. If we do another trillion, we will be in about $5 trillion for one year. We have never, ever in the history of the United States borrowed so much so rapidly. And I fear the consequences.”
Paul continued: “If you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession, we can stay in a recession longer. The recession is created by the government. The government shut the economy.”
Additional assistance means “all of these governors, Democrat and Republican, will not have an incentive to open the economy if you soften the amount of suffering that they have created,” Paul argued. “What we need to be doing is every day broadcasting that your governors are causing the unemployment.”
However, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Power has said repeatedly that the fate of the U.S. economy is directly linked to the course of the pandemic.
There is no trade-off between the economy and the pandemic, Powell and other economists argue, and economic recovery is all but impossible if the virus isn’t contained.
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