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‘Schoolmarm’ Janet Yellen, Mr. Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, urged lawmakers Tuesday to “act big” on the next virus aid/relief/stimulus package, saying that the benefits outweigh the costs of a higher federal debt burden.
Ms. Yellen said she wants to help Americans endure the final months of the COVID-19 chaos, and rebuild the US economy “so that it creates more prosperity for more people and ensures that American workers can compete in an increasingly competitive global economy.”
Mr. Biden has outlined a $1.9-T aid/relief/stimulus package proposal saying bold investment is needed to rev up the economy and accelerate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to bring the virus under control.
We are yet to know how much money from that $1.9-T is going to The People and when.
Ms. Yellen when asked what outlays would provide the biggest “bang for the buck,” she said spending on public health and vaccinations would be the 1st step. Extended unemployment benefits and food stamps, should be next, she said.
Targeting relief to the people in the greatest need, and to small businesses, will create “a great deal of spending per dollar spent, they will create jobs throughout the economy,” Ms. Yellen said.
“Right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big,” Ms. Yellen, the former Fed Chairwoman, told the Senate Finance Committee.
“Even though the amount of debt relative to the economy has gone up, the interest burden has not,” she said, referring to the amount of money the federal government pays in interest on its debt.
Just In: Mr. Biden’s proposed aid/relief/stimulus package calls for, as follows:
- Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, bringing the total relief to $2,000, including December’s $600 payments
- Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400 and extending it through the end of September
- Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September
- $350-B in state and local government aid (pork)
- $170-B for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
- $50-B toward COVID-19 testing
- $20-B toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities and tribes
- Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6)
Ms. Yellen said that some of The Trump Era signature 2017 tax reform act should be repealed, such as the cut in corporate tax rates, though rates would not go back to their pre-2017 levels.
Tuesday, the benchmark US stock market indexes finished at: DJIA +116.26 at 30930.52, NAS Comp +198.68 at 13197.18, S&P 500 +30.66 at 3798.91. The Russell 2000 (+1.3%) outperformed on the day
Volume: Trade on the NYSE came in at 1.1-B/shares exchanged.
HeffX-LTN’s overall technical outlook for the major US stock market indexes is Neutral to Very Bullish as Key indicators are flash caution in here.
- Russell 2000 +8.9% YTD
- NAS Comp +2.4% YTD
- S&P 500 +1.1% YTD
- DJIA +1.1% YTD
Looking Ahead: Investors will receive the MBA Mortgage Applications Index and the NAHB Housing Market Index for January Wednesday.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!